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.