Article Category Archives: Giving Matters

Program Leads to Increased Donations

TeamTrumanAlumni and friends can support their favorite Bulldog teams, even if they cannot make it to the games. The Athletics Challenge, implemented in 2012-2013 and overseen by the Office of Advancement, rewards teams for generating donations for their respective sports. Teams compete to see which one can attain the largest percent increase in donations and total number of donors. Winning teams earn an additional $1,000 for their program.

Football took home the first award for increase in the number of donors, while women’s golf had the largest increase in dollars. Eight of Truman’s varsity teams had significant increases in support last year thanks to the Athletics Challenge, and the Athletics Department in general saw a 25 percent increase in support.

There is still time to support a Bulldog team in the 2013-2014 Athletics Challenge. Gifts received by June 30, 2014, will count towards the current competition. For details on the program, or to make a donation, visit or call (660) 785-4133.

Holman Speaker Series Welcomes NFL Great

Herman Edwards

Herman Edwards

Herman Edwards, the former NFL player and head coach, and current analyst for ESPN, visited Truman in April as part of the Holman Family Distinguished Speaker Series.

After a 10-year playing career, which included a trip to Super Bowl XV with the Philadelphia Eagles, Edwards moved to the sideline and has served as the head coach of the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs. Off the field he and his wife Lia are involved in various philanthropic efforts, including his own charity, the Herm Edwards Youth Foundation. He also devotes his time to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Boys and Girls Clubs and the All Pro Dad initiative, a parenting program that has received national recognition.

A masterful and energetic motivator, Edwards’ presentation focused on establishing a life plan in order to achieve goals. He also stressed the importance of service and giving back to the community.

The Holman Family Distinguished Speaker Series is named in honor of Squire Paul and Meeda (Daniel) Holman by their children to honor their parents’ long association with the University. It is funded through an endowment with the Truman State University Foundation.

Teacher Recognition Scholarship Bestowed

President Troy Paino, left, honors Andrew LeFors with the James and Margaret Mudd Teacher Recognition Scholarship during the Spring 2014 Commencement Ceremony.

President Troy Paino, left, honors Andrew LeFors with the James and Margaret Mudd Teacher Recognition Scholarship during the Spring 2014 Commencement Ceremony.

Fort Zumwalt West High School social studies teacher Andrew LeFors was selected as the James and Margaret Mudd Teacher Recognition Scholarship honoree.

Spring graduates nominated 21 teachers whom they feel made a significant impact on their lives as students. A selection committee reviewed the candidates and based on essays written by seniors Alexandra Currie and Lindsey Wolf, LeFors was selected as this year’s honoree.

LeFors was recognized during the Spring 2014 Commencement Ceremony and a $1,000 scholarship will be given in his honor to an incoming Truman student from Fort Zumwalt West High School.

Since its origin as the North Missouri Normal School in 1867, Truman has been committed to providing a strong teacher education program. Over the years, thousands of teachers have received their preparation at the University, and the dedication to teacher programs is deeply rooted in the University’s history.


Alumnus Returns to Honor Deceased Friend and Professor with Concert


Scott Piper, center, takes a bow after the Jim Thomas Memorial Concert in March. Piper was joined on stage by Nancy Hueber, left, who provided piano accompaniment. Joe Benevento, right, compiled and edited Thomas’ work into the acclaimed collection, “Brief Tracks.”

Dr. Scott Piper, an alumnus and renowned tenor, returned to Truman, March 29, to posthumously honor a former professor whom he greatly admired.

Years ago on the Truman campus, a special friendship developed between English professor and poet Jim Thomas and a young Piper, who is the son of emeriti faculty members Fontaine Piper and Vera Piper. Although Piper would go on to carve out a distinguished career in music, he always delighted in Thomas and his craft.

Thomas was a faculty member at the University for 30 years and retired in 1994. He passed away in 2009. A scholarship in his honor is available through the Truman State University Foundation.

Piper, now an assistant professor of music at the University of Michigan, commemorated his friendship with a special concert to benefit the Jim Thomas Memorial Scholarship Fund. The concert featured newly commissioned musical settings of Thomas’ poems from the acclaimed collection “Brief Tracks,” compiled and edited by Truman English professor Joe Benevento.

For more information about the Jim Thomas Memorial Scholarship Fund, contact the Office of Advancement at (660) 785-4133.

Scholarship Endowment to Honor Professor and University Leader

Teri Heckert

Teri Heckert

Dr. Teri Heckert, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology, displayed remarkable courage as her fierce battle with cancer concluded, Feb. 19, 2014.

Heckert was born to lead, to inspire and ultimately, to teach. At Truman, she was recognized for her academic expertise in the field of psychology, where she won the respect and admiration of her colleagues and her students. Even greater admiration and respect was earned for her humanity, for living a joyful and purposeful life that steadfastly supported and elevated others. Heckert’s actions were consistently motivated by what she knew to be in the best interest of her students. Her recent work included a focused effort to facilitate meaningful relationships between the University and its friends and alumni.

A member of Faculty Senate and two-term president, Heckert was a member of the Guiding Coalition that worked with the president to create a vision document for the future of the University. Her numerous leadership roles also included serving as chair of the Northeast Missouri Regional Campaign Committee for Truman’s Bright Minds Bright Futures campaign. Surpassing the regional and overall fundraising goals has been cited as one of the accomplishments that made her most proud.

To memorialize and commemorate her significant and lasting contributions to the University, family and friends established the Dr. Teresa M. Heckert Memorial Scholarship in Psychology.

“She was keenly aware of the increasingly important role that the Foundation and charitable giving holds for the future success of the University and its students,” said Brad Chambers, Truman’s planned giving officer. “We were better and more effective because of Teri and her passion for our mission. Working to build the Dr. Teresa M. Heckert Memorial Scholarship Endowment is one of several ways that we are now committed to honoring Teri as well as the people and priorities that were important to her.”

Contributions to this new scholarship endowment can be completed online at or by mailing a gift to: Truman State University, Office of Advancement, 205 McClain Hall, 100 E. Normal, Kirksville, MO 63501. For more information, contact Brad Chambers or Becky Pike at (660) 785-4133.

Charles Holman, Truman Philanthropist, Dies at 89

Charles Holman

Charles Holman

Truman State University lost a great friend with the passing of Dr. Charles R. Holman of Kirksville on Feb. 27, 2014.

The son of Squire Paul and Meeda Holman, Charles grew up near campus on Florence Street, where Truman was an everyday part of family life. His father was a member of the staff at Northeast Missouri State Teachers College, and the family often provided room and board services to students prior to the addition of campus residence halls.

Charles’ education was interrupted by World War II, where he served his country as a B-17 bomber pilot. He attended the University and went on to receive his Doctor of Osteopathy degree from Kansas City Osteopathic School in 1949.

His career included service as an anesthesiologist and he was later employed by the Veteran’s Administration in Ohio and Arizona. Charles traveled extensively in Europe and spent time in Germany, the island of Maderia and Mexico.

In 2008, Charles made a gift of nearly $2.9 million to Truman to establish three endowments with the Truman State University Foundation: need-based stipends for students to participate in study abroad programs; a distinguished speaker series to bring national and international figures to Truman’s campus; and need-based stipends for students to attend Truman’s graduate programs.

The second-largest gift ever to Truman, this generous commitment will have a lasting impact on students and permanently commemorate the Holman family’s deep connection to the University. It was also the capstone gift that boosted Truman to success in its $30.6 million Bright Minds Bright Futures fundraising campaign.
He is survived by a brother, Wilmer Holman of Shively, Ky., a sister, Vinita Swisher (’49) of Nashville, Tenn., and a special friend, Marilyn Cowan (’69) of Kirksville.