Article Tag Archives: Troy Paino

Forty Years of Funding Bright Futures


The Pershing Society Scholarship Program celebrated its milestone 40th anniversary March 1 on campus.

Approximately 300 Pershing Scholar alumni and current Pershing Scholars, administrators, faculty and staff involved with the program, were in attendance to honor former University President Dr. Charles McClain for his vision and foresight in establishing the program. A campaign to fully fund a Pershing Scholar was announced with a $1 million goal. Since the launch of the Thanks a Million, Dr. McClain! campaign on June 1, 2013, nearly $600,000 has been raised in cash, pledge and estate gift commitments.

Attendees enjoyed campus tours and a welcome reception.

Later in the day, everyone gathered for a luncheon that featured several speakers including Rhodes Scholar Andrew McCall (’10), Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary (Rhodes) Russell (’80), Foundation Board president and Board of Governors member Sarah (Hartmann) Burkemper (’92), Alumni Board member Pamela (Weatherby) Popp (’83), University President Troy Paino, and the honored guest, Dr. McClain.

More information on the Pershing Celebration, including the memories others have shared in the online guestbook, is available at To inquire about the Thanks a Million, Dr. McClain! campaign, contact Brad Chambers or Denise Smith in the Office of Advancement at (660) 785-4133.

Forgotten Time Capsule Brings Back Memories

Charles Tharp reveals a school newspaper from the 1954 Science Hall time capsule, which was opened in May. Pictured, from left to right: University President Troy Paino, Jon Broyles of the Freemasons, Professor Emeritus Max Bell, Tharp and President Emeritus Jack Magruder.

Charles Tharp reveals a school newspaper from the 1954 Science Hall time capsule, which was opened in May. Pictured, from left to right: University President Troy Paino, Jon Broyles of the Freemasons, Professor Emeritus Max Bell, Tharp and President Emeritus Jack Magruder.

Thanks to alumnus Charles Tharp, attendees were able to take a step back in history when a time capsule enclosed in the 1954 Science Hall cornerstone was opened during a ceremony on campus May 5, 2014.

Tharp, who had owned a local landfill, grabbed the cornerstone when portions of the Science Hall building, now known as Magruder Hall, were demolished to make room for renovations and additional construction in the 2000s. It sat in his yard for the last decade and this past spring when he was cleaning vines from the stone he noticed the weather had eroded some mortar from the back, revealing the time capsule. Tharp, contacted his friend and former professor, Dr. Max Bell, who had been on campus when the Aug. 5, 1954, cornerstone dedication took place. Bell, a professor emeritus of botany who divides his time between Florida, Kirksville and Alaska, agreed to help Tharp with the opening of the time capsule.

Also assisting with the reveal was Dr. Jack Magruder, president emeritus of Truman. Magruder was a sophomore chemistry major at the time of the 1954 dedication. As the cornerstone was originally dedicated by the Freemasons of the Grand Lodge of Missouri, Jon Broyles, grand master of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Missouri, spoke about the history of the Masons and their role in building construction.

Buried in the time capsule were copies of the school newspaper, course schedules, student handbooks, alumni magazines and a copy of the Aug. 5, 1954, dedication speech delivered by Phil Donnelly, Missouri’s governor at the time.

Thanks to Tharp’s willingness to donate the cornerstone and the time capsule back to the University, the contents are available for review in the special collections gallery located on the third floor of Pickler Memorial Library. The cornerstone will be placed close to its original location on the north side of Magruder Hall. Photos from the time capsule unveiling event may be found at

Gibbons Acknowledged with Honorary Degree

GibbonsMarilynMarilyn Gibbons accepts her honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from President Troy Paino during commencement ceremonies Dec. 14. Gibbons is only the fifth person in the University’s history to be awarded an honorary degree and is believed to be the first individual to have devoted 50 years of service to the University. She started working in the Registrar’s Office in 1963 and officially retired Dec. 31, 2013. During her years of service, she worked under 10 of the University’s 16 presidents.

News Briefs

Brent Buckner, professor of biology, received the 2014 Excellence in Education Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists for his commitment to innovative teaching and high-quality mentoring, along with his engagement in funded projects that reach far beyond the University. He was commended for his impressive record of working with undergraduate students on meaningful research projects leading to mutual publications, as well as placing students into excellent graduate and professional programs.

Robert B. Graber, professor emeritus of anthropology, served as guest editor for a special issue of the higher education journal On the Horizon. It can be found online at

Jesse Krebs, associate professor of clarinet, performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 with the Kansas City Symphony (Jan. 22-26) at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts.

Chad Montgomery, associate professor of biology, has been selected as the new director of the Office of Student Research. He succeeds Michael Goggin, professor of physics, who served as the interim director during the past year. The OSR serves as a central resource for student research, scholarship and creative activities at Truman and works to promote, facilitate, highlight and assess faculty-mentored student research across all disciplines.

Troy Paino was recognized as the “most devoted” university president by the website NerdScholar. In February, in honor of Presidents Day, the site compiled a list of personable presidents. The site is dedicated to helping students find the right school for them.

Truman’s MLK Day of Service was recognized in the January edition of Missouri Campus Compact (Vol. 5, No. 2).