Article Category Archives: Giving Matters

Pursue the Future A Campaign for Truman

With approximately 18 months left in the “Pursue the Future” campaign, the finish line is within sight. At the time of printing, more than $32 million of the $40 million goal had been secured. This year will be significant for the campaign as five of the University’s major regional campaign events are scheduled and a number of smaller receptions and cottage group events are being planned.

“Strong regional efforts are important to the success of our campaign. We are tremendously grateful to have strong regional campaign teams who are energizing our base of supporters through their enthusiastic and consistent outreach,” said Charles Hunsaker, co-interim director of advancement.

The total impact from regional campaign efforts during the public phase of the campaign, which began in July 2015, has now exceeded $9.8 million.

The campaign is scheduled to conclude June 30, 2018. To learn more about the “Pursue the Future” campaign, go to

Remaining Regional Campaign Schedule

Mid-Missouri  •  April 29, 2017
Iowa  •  June 17, 2017
St. Louis  •  July 28, 2017
Denver  •  September 23, 2017
Northeast Missouri  •  November 4, 2017

Gift Annuity Offers Further Scholarship Support

Jack and Val Reiske celebrate at a family wedding with their five grandchildren.

Jack and Val Reiske chose to support the needs of the University and its student by funding a charitable gift annuity with a $25,000 gift to the Truman State University Foundation.

“With each passing year we become more and more aware of the debt we owe those that contributed to our education,” Jack said. “This is a debt that can only be repaid by investing in the future of those students following us.”

The couple made the gift as part of Truman’s “Pursue the Future” campaign, specifically the “Thanks a Million, Dr. McClain!” fundraising initiative. As a former member of the Truman faculty and current member of the Mid-Missouri Regional Campaign Committee, Jack has a keen understanding of the economic conditions that have lent a sense of urgency to the fundraising efforts on behalf of the University and its students.

“As state support for higher education continues to fall, it becomes increasingly vital that private support be increased,” he said. “For many prospective University students the cost of a degree has become an economic burden which many families cannot carry.”

This planned gift arrangement allows Jack and Val to receive fixed payments throughout their lives while providing generous support for the fund they chose to support, the Charles J. McClain Scholarship Endowment.

“I was fortunate during the course of my career to serve under a number of able administrators, but none more able than Dr. McClain. His service to the University and the state of Missouri is incalculable,” Jack said. “Few leaders in any field possess the leadership skills and intuitive insight that that Dr. McClain brought to northeast Missouri. The Truman State University of today is his legacy to Missouri and Truman students, past, present and future. I can think of no better way to honor Dr. McClain than to support future students of Truman by making a contribution to the scholarship fund established in his name.”

The “Thanks a Million, Dr. McClain!” fundraising initiative has raised $1.2 million in support for the ABC/Charles J. Scholarship, the Charles J. McClain Scholarship and the General John J. Pershing Scholarship Endowment.

Charitable Gift Annuities Allow You to Support Truman and Receive Fixed Payments for Life
If you are 55 years of age or older, establishing a charitable gift annuity (CGA) is a wonderful way to secure steady payments for yourself and receive valuable tax savings while providing for Truman’s future.

Sample Maximum Gift Annuity Rates for One Person
Age    Rate
55    4.0%
60    4.4%
70    5.1%
80    6.8%
90+    9.0%

For more information and a customized CGA illustration, contact Truman’s Advancement Office at (800) 452-6678.


The second annual #BulldogsGiving gave donors the chance to compete for matching funds from Truman alumna Colleen Ritchie (’84). Donors could support any area of campus important to them during the weeklong campaign (Nov. 14-18) with matching funds available in four featured campaigns: Athletics, the Black Alumni and Attendees Scholarship, the Greek Letters Today, Leaders Tomorrow Scholarship and the Truman Band Fund.

The featured areas took their campaigns to social media, increasing exposure and attracting donations from alumni, parents, students and friends of the University. A spirit of competition fueled the challenges, attracting even more donors this year – 340 people contributed $20,405 to the featured campaigns. With 118 donors, wrestling won the Athletics challenge and the $2,500 match. The Truman band met the most challenging tier of the participation goals and was rewarded with a $2,500 match. The Black Alumni and Attendees Scholarship and the Greek Letters Today, Leaders Tomorrow Scholarship each received $500 in matching funds. With match money, the total contributed to featured #BulldogsGiving campaigns reached $26,405 – surpassing last year’s totals by 34 percent.

This year’s #BulldogsGiving highlights the importance of community coming together to impact the Truman experience of current and future Bulldogs. The featured funds were selected based on the history of camaraderie that defines these groups, and the continued investment of a community of loyal donors helps the funds to grow and support more students.

Donor Honors Mother and Sister with Scholarship

John Millemon — Photo courtesy of DCCCD, Photographer Kathy Tran

John Millemon (’73, ’80) established an endowed scholarship in 2016 in memory of his mother, Claire (Swingle) Millemon (’44), and sister, Mary Jane (Millemon) Merrill (’68).

In 1931, Claire graduated from Mercer High School and her parents sold their farm for gold, which, according to family lore, still had dirt on it. They moved their family 60 miles east to buy a farm near Kirksville so that Claire and her siblings could attend the University.

When Claire had earned enough credit hours, she began teaching in small schools in northeast Missouri, including many one-room schoolhouses. She continued her education in the summers and received a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in mathematics in 1944. Her children, Mary Jane and John, followed in their mother’s footsteps and enrolled in the education program at Truman.

Mary Jane earned a B.S.E. in elementary education in 1968 and taught for more than 40 years, primarily in Merriam, Kan.

John earned a B.S.E. in geography/social studies in 1973 and a master’s degree in counseling in 1980. After working in banking, finance and human development, he taught and mentored students at the Dallas County Community College District in Texas for many years. He retired in 2015 as the assistant dean of the Learning Center of Richland College and program facilitator for the Center for Renewal and Wholeness in Higher Education.

Claire and Mary Jane passed away in 2002 and 2010, respectively. John established the Claire Swingle Millemon and Mary Jane Millemon Merrill Memorial Endowed Scholarship in loving memory of his mother and sister and the impact they had on his life and that of countless young students throughout the course of their careers.

The inaugural recipient of the scholarship is Hannah Smith, a junior from O’Fallon, Mo., majoring in mathematics and education. She intends to teach high school math.

New Scholarship Supports Business Students with Rural Backgrounds

President Susan L. Thomas presents an award to Captain Norman Keith Motter (’60) and his wife Patricia Motter.

Captain Norman Keith Motter and his wife Patricia Motter have established a new scholarship for Truman students majoring in business and who also grew up on a rural Missouri farm.

Captain Motter graduated from Kirksville High School in 1956 and from Truman State University in 1960 with a degree in industrial arts education. He became a Naval aviator and went on to a long and distinguished career as a Captain with American Airlines. Originally from rural Adair County, he retains his roots in the area through management of the family farm on the Chariton River, which has been in his family more than 165 years.

Currently, Captain Motter continues to support students in the education program at Truman through a scholarship established in memory of his teacher mother, Anna Catherine Brown Motter (’34). Recently, he and wife Pat established the Captain Norman Keith Motter Endowed Scholarship to support Truman students with financial need, majoring in business, who grew up on a farm in rural Missouri. The scholarship may be renewable with satisfactory academic progress. This scholarship will honor Captain Motter’s rural Missouri upbringing and support students from farming families.

Greenley Legacy Gift Creates $1.2 Million Scholarship Endowment

Grace Hortense Greenley

Grace Hortense Greenley, a lifelong educator, understood the value of education and its importance to society. The former teacher and administrator made a major legacy gift to help area students continue their education at Truman.

Fueled with an estate distribution of approximately $1.2 million, the Grace Hortense Greenley Scholarship will provide substantial resources to students interested in pursuing a degree in business and accountancy, with preference given to students from Knox and Shelby counties in Missouri.

“This impactful gift will provide remarkable opportunities for Truman students for generations to come. It is a very fitting and lasting tribute to the educational career of Miss Greenley,” University President Susan L. Thomas said.

The gift is invested in Truman’s endowment pool, and when sufficient earnings have accrued, awards will commence. When fully endowed, the value of annual awards is estimated to total $50,000.

Born on the family farm near Novelty, Mo., Greenley graduated from Novelty High School in 1936. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business education from the University in 1940 and later returned to earn her master’s degree in 1956. She taught for 36 years in Missouri secondary schools in Laclede, Edina, Brentwood, La Plata, Novelty, La Belle and St. Louis. For 10 years she served as basketball coach and had outstanding teams at several high schools.

In 1963, she was selected principal of the newly formed Knox County R-I High School in Edina, a position she occupied until her retirement in 1976. During her educational career, she had memberships in national, state, district and local professional organizations.

As a memorial to her parents, Greenley donated the family farm near Novelty to create a research center. She was recognized by the Missouri Preservation Organization and the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation.

Greenley passed away Dec. 21, 2014, at the age of 96.