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Alumni Newsletter 2012

Alumni Newsletter 2012

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Alumni Newsletter 2012 at Missouri State University-West Plains.
Alumni Newsletter 2012 at Missouri State University-West Plains.

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Categories:Types, Brochures
Published by: Missouri State University-West Plains on Nov 12, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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Alumni News
a newsletter for friends of Missouri State University-West Plains
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Single largest gift
given to Missouri State-West Plains
Missouri State University-West Plains students will soon benefit from the largest gift in the campus’ history – a $4 million donation that will endow and expand the Corps of Opportunity Program and fund two athletics scholarships. The gift to the Missouri State University Foundation is from the Lorene Thompson Brooks estate. In recognition, the Corps of Opportunity Program will be renamed the Ed and Lorene Thompson Brooks Corps of Opportunity Program. It is the largest scholarship gift in the Foundation’s history. The gift also will fully cover the cost of two Grizzly Athletics scholarships. Lorene Thompson Brooks was born Feb. 27, 1930, in Stotesbury, Mo. Her family moved to Koshkonong, Mo., in 1941. She graduated from Koshkonong High School in 1948 and attended Draughon Business University in Springfield. Brooks died Dec. 20, 2010, in Austin, Texas. Her older brother, Bob Thompson, and his wife, Eva, are her survivors and live in West Plains. When Brooks’ only child, Diedre, died of cancer in the late 90s, a relative suggested the daughter’s collection of books be given to the Garnett Library at Missouri State University-West Plains. This began a long-lasting relationship that spawned a continued interest in the campus and its students, resulting in this bequest to the university for need-based scholarships. The Corps of Opportunity Program combines scholarships and on-campus work opportunities for qualified students who need financial help to pay for their college education. Although federal and state financial aid programs provide assistance to students who have the greatest financial need, the Corps of Opportunity Program targets students who have unmet financial need, whether or not they received benefits from one of these government programs. In addition to providing much needed financial assistance to students, the Corps of Opportunity Program provides students with on-campus  jobs that will enable them to fund their education. The program began during the 2008 summer session and currently benefits up to eight students each academic year. The bequest will double the number of students benefiting from the Corps Program.
From left with a photo of Brooks are Brooks’ brother Bob Thompson and his wife, Eva, of West Plains; Missouri State-West Plains Chancellor Drew Bennett; Missouri State University Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of the Foundation Brent Dunn; and Missouri State-West Plains Director of Development Elizabeth Grisham.
New scholarships
Several scholarships have been established this year to benefit students at Missouri State University-West Plains.
The Al Hufstedler Leadership Scholarship Endowment
will provide assistance for an Alton High School graduate and a Couch High School graduate to attend Missouri State University-West Plains. High school superintendents will nominate the recipients of this Leadership Scholarship. 
The Al Hufstedler Memorial Endowed Scholarships
 will provide assistance for three individuals to attend the West Plains campus, including a graduate of Alton High School, a graduate of Couch High School and a veteran who graduated from a public high school in Oregon County. The scholarships are designed to help students whose area of interest is math, science or engineering.Al Hufstedler was a 1949 graduate of Alton High School, a U.S. Air Force Veteran and a successful electronic design engineer. The scholarships honor Mr. Hufstedler’s Oregon County roots, where he loved to hunt, fish, camp and canoe near his family’s farm in Riverton, Mo., both as a young boy and after retiring. 
The Ewan Linton Memorial Basketball Endowed Scholarship
 is being established by a group of Missouri State University-West Plains alumni in memory of the former Grizzly basketball team member who passed away in 2011. Ewan was originally from Jamaica and played for the Grizzlies during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. To contribute to any scholarship fund, call the development office at 417-255-7240 or click the “Give Online”
button at wp.missouristate.edu/development.
The sounds of hammers and heavy equipment can be heard across campus now that crews with Bales Construction Company, Inc., in Springfield have begun work on Gohn Hall.Construction began in earnest in January after university officials  joined with members of the David Gohn family in December to officially break ground on the $2 million construction/renovation project. When completed in fall 2013, the building will provide office and classroom space for the Missouri State University Outreach program on the West Plains campus.The project, considered the No. 1 capital priority by Missouri State University System officials, was made possible in fall 2011 with a major gift commitment from the Gohn family and university money from the Springfield and West Plains campuses.Gohn, a local banker, and his sister, long-time public educator Virginia Gohn-Sapp, donated their family home to the university to provide a facility for the Outreach program to offer bachelor’s and master’s degree completion programs, including those in business and education, locally.Completion of Gohn Hall will make it easier than ever for students in the West Plains area to complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree without leaving their home, university officials explained, adding students can obtain an associate’s degree at Missouri State-West Plains then complete the four-year program via distance learning technology in Gohn Hall.
With shovels from left are John David and Robert Mahaffey Jr.; Caroline, Jack and William Beykirch; and Sam, Mary Claire and Libby Gohn. Behind the podium is Missouri State-West Plains Chancellor Drew Bennett.
Experience April in Paris
{without leaving the Ozarks}
TOLL FREE 888-466-7897
Make plans to attend Missouri State University-West Plains’ 18th Annual Auction, set for Friday, April 13, 2012, at the West Plains Civic Center exhibit hall. Several thousand dollars worth of goods and services already have been donated to sell at the auction, and more are being added every day!This year, the silent auction will be held from 5 until 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner. The live auction begins at 7:30 p.m. A portion of the proceeds of this year’s event will go toward building the Tuttle Amphitheater. Tickets are $30 per person and include dinner, good company and many opportunities to bid on practical and luxury items, trips, themed baskets, gift certificates and more, with values ranging from $5 to over $5,000. Among the items already obtained are four admission passes to Walt Disney World’s theme parks in Orlando, Fla.; trips to the Caribbean; a Stihl KombiMotor multi-task tool with trimmer and other yard and garden attachments from Hirsch Feed and Farm Supply valued at over $1,000; a Keurig coffee brewer; and tickets to various attractions in the area and around the state.Auction attendees once again will have the opportunity to reserve a table and help support the auction’s bottom line. For $300, you can reserve seating for eight near the stage or further away from the action, if you prefer. Please let us know you are planning to attend by contacting the development office at 417-255-7240 or via email at wpdevelopment@missouristate.edu. You also may register online at wp.missouristate.edu/development/auction.htm. More information can be obtained by going to the auction’s Facebook page “MSU-WP Auction.” Be sure to “like” the page to receive updates as new items are added. Also, the auction website will be updated periodically as items are added. Make your reservation by April 5 to receive an “express pass” entry, a time-saving way to breeze past the registration table the night of the auction. As in recent years, dress is casual, but to add to the atmosphere, vintage Parisian attire – berets, vests, scarves! – is encouraged.
Graduate makes
giving back a priority
Jeremiah Thieman knows he owes his success to the education he received at Missouri State University-West Plains. That’s why he has made it a priority to give back to the campus each year with a donation to the
Annual Fund
.“I’ve heard it said for those who have a lot, a lot is expected of them. That’s why I give to Missouri State-West Plains. Had it not been for the West Plains campus, I don’t think I would have stayed in college,” he said in a recent interview.Thieman grew up on his family’s farm near Lamar, Mo., and knew after graduating high school that attending college at a large campus in a metropolitan area wasn’t for him. Missouri State-West Plains, however, offered a small campus with a small-town atmosphere.“I came to West Plains because it was small,” he explained. “I was still on the fence trying to decide between a degree in agriculture or construction management, and I knew I could focus on my basics there.” He admits his first semester in fall 2002 was difficult. “I almost didn’t make it through. I wanted to go home so badly, but everyone there was so supportive, and it really made a difference for me,” he explained.The support helped Thieman achieve his Associate of Arts in General Studies degree in May 2005 and prompted him to continue his education at Missouri State University in Springfield, where he completed a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree, with a major in Construction Management and a minor in Agribusiness, in 2008.Immediately after graduation, he received a job offer as project engineer from Elkhorn Construction in Evanston, Wyo., which provides plant construction and maintenance solutions to the oil and gas industries, as well as pipeline services. He was then promoted to area manager for the company’s ConocoPhillips maintenance contract, overseeing seven supervisors and 70 to 80 employees who provided maintenance and construction of the ConocoPhillips pipelines and terminals throughout the Midwest.Just a few months ago, Thieman joined Rooney Engineering, Inc., a Denver, Colo.-based company specializing in petroleum, natural gas and water pipeline transmission projects. He serves as a construction manager out of the company’s Casper, Wyo., office, working on pipeline construction and demolition projects for Enbridge Pipeline.“Had it not been for the education I received at both campuses, I would not be in the position I am today to give back,” Thieman said. “I truly believe in giving back as much as you can.”To donate to the
Annual Fund
, please visit

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