Article Category Archives: Giving Matters

Couple Shows Gratitude with Gifts

Alumni Terry and Faye (Attaway) Whitworth both credit the education they received at Truman for preparing them to have successful careers, and they have returned the favor with a sizeable donation to establish two new scholarships.

Through a gift earlier this year, the Whitworths have set up two scholarships for undergraduate students. One will go to a student majoring biology, the other to a pre-MAE student in social and cultural studies.

In addition to putting the Whitworths on the path to successful careers, Truman also brought them together as a couple. Terry, a northeast Missouri native, came to the University from Martinstown. Faye picked Truman because it was centrally located and she was unsure where her family would be stationed with her father in the Air Force.

The couple married during their sophomore year. After graduating in 1968, they both pursued graduate degrees from Utah State University. Faye has a Master of Science degree in history and Master of Science in Education degree with an emphasis in special education, while Terry has a Master of Science degree and Ph.D. in entomology.

Currently, the Whitworths live in Tacoma, Wash., where Terry is an adjunct professor at Washington State University and the owner of Whitworth Pest Solutions. Faye retired from teaching after 37 years. 

The Whitworths established their scholarships with a cash donation of $40,000, and they intend to continue adding support to the funds each year. Like many who turn 70 1/2, they are required to take minimum withdrawals from their IRAs each year. The Whitworths have chosen to make Qualified Charitable Distributions – a required minimum distribution that is paid directly to a charity – to fund the scholarships. They also have left a gift to Truman through their estate plan. Because they know the difficulties that face a young couple while working toward a degree, the Whitworths have asked that their scholarships give preference to married students.

Recurring Gifts Lead to Exponential Support

Regular, smaller gifts have a way of making a significant difference.

This has certainly been the case for Phil and Jenn (Bender) Christofferson. The opportunity to make recurring donations has opened the door to make the impact they desire through the ease of automation. For the past 20 years, the Christoffersons have been making gifts to the Kyle Cope Memorial Scholarship, and for the past decade, those contributions have come through scheduled quarterly gifts.

The scholarship was established in 1999 by Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brothers and friends of Kyle Cope. He was an active member and leader of Lambda Chi Alpha social fraternity and also served a two-year term as the student representative to the Truman Board of Governors. Kyle passed away in an automobile accident in November 1997.

As a fraternity brother, and as friends of Kyle, Phil (’95) and his wife Jenn (’94, ’95) have been passionate about supporting this scholarship over the years. What they found, like many other alumni and friends, is that making their gifts through a recurring schedule provided ease and flexibility.

“We were looking for a way to make sure our gifts to Truman were consistent, and didn’t require us to remember to send a check every few months,” Phil said. 

The impact of the regularly scheduled gifts has added up over time. The Christoffersons’ support of the scholarship now exceeds $15,000, with most of that total coming through recurring donations.

“It provided us a way to make a more significant contribution to Truman each year,” Jenn said. “By spreading our gift out through quarterly donations, we are able to do more to honor Kyle’s memory and give back to Truman.”

For more information on recurring gifts, go to   

SUB Plaza to Get New Look and Fountain

This summer the plaza area directly to the east of the Student Union Building is getting a major renovation. The space is being funded through a seven-figure, naming-level gift along with funds generated through the Sesquicentennial Plaza campaign and the 2019-20 Truman Parent Council fundraising project.

The area will be named the Sandra K. Giachino Reavey Sesquicentennial Plaza, in honor of Reavey, who was a Kirksville native and 1962 graduate of Truman. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business education. In addition to the plaza naming gift, she also established the Sandra K. Giachino Reavey Scholarship to support Kirksville High School graduates who are majoring in business at Truman. Reavey passed away in January 2018.

The plaza will provide a beautiful outdoor gathering space for events, house the commemorative, inscribed bricks and pavers that were donated through the Sesquicentennial Campaign and boast a renovated fountain, which is sure to be a centerpiece on campus.

Perspective of the new fountain by the Student Union Building