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$1 Million Gift to Fund Full Scholarships for Veterans at MU

Nov. 13, 2013

Story Contact(s):
Nathan Hurst, hurstn@missouri.edu, 573-882-6217

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri has received an estate commitment of $1 million to create the Col. Dwight B. Schannep U.S. Army Air Corps Veterans Scholarship Fund, which will support full academic scholarships for MU students who are military veterans. This gift was committed to create opportunities for future veterans to pursue higher education and help transition from their military time defending their country to being successful citizens and helping build a better America. The donors, who requested to have their identities remain confidential, did not attend MU as students but chose the school for this gift to honor Missouri native Col. Dwight Schannep, the positive impact of the MU Veterans Center, and MU’s excellent national academic reputation and Midwestern values.

“We chose Mizzou because many veterans are from Midwestern states, and Columbia would not be far from home for them,” the donors said. “Second, veterans can study almost anything at MU and prepare to become engineers, teachers, doctors, or just about anything they want to be. Finally, we chose MU because of its academic excellence, notably the School of Journalism, which we’d expect would attract veterans from all over America who want to become journalists. We hope this gift will enable veterans who’ve served our country to study at a great school to prepare for the rest of their lives after military service. Scholarship recipients may be 21-year-old enlisted service members working for a first degree, 25-year-old officers wanting to become physicians or journalists, or 45-year-old (young) retirees aiming at second careers in fields such as teaching. We also want to honor the service of a veteran like Col. Schannep by having his name live forever.”

The donors, one of whom is a military veteran, believe veterans receiving this scholarship will find Col. Schannep’s life inspiring and worthy of honor. He was born and raised in Versailles, Missouri, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and  began a career of service in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Schannep fought in World War II, along with much of the Greatest Generation, and served with distinction away from his family for almost the entire war. He then passed away tragically in a military airplane crash shortly after the war.

For veterans who receive this scholarship in the future, as well as all MU student veterans, the nationally recognized MU Veterans Center will help meet their needs, answer questions and provide resources, including academic advisement, mentoring, tutoring, and support with financial and personal issues. The center also provides assistance for families during deployments, coordinates a network of health professionals with expertise in addressing the needs of veterans, and runs a network of social support groups among MU veterans. Carol Fleisher, director of the MU Veterans Center, says this gift will go a long way in helping veterans transition to lives outside of the military.

“Almost six years ago, MU decided to make our campus military friendly by creating a full-service Veterans Center that our veterans could call their own,” Fleisher said. “We accomplished this goal, but we were still missing an important piece – scholarships for veterans.  The Col. Dwight B. Schannep U.S. Army Air Corps Veterans Scholarship Fund will provide that missing piece and become the cornerstone for our work.  I want to thank the donors for their gift, and especially thank them for honoring Col. Dwight B. Schannep.  He must have been a wonderful soul to have inspired those he left behind to create this gift.  The MU Veterans Center will continue to honor him by caring for those men and women who follow in his footsteps.”

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton believes this gift will be instrumental in furthering the university’s goals of honoring and respecting those who have protected the freedoms of all Americans.

“We are very thankful to the donors for this generous gift,” Deaton said. “This gift will enhance opportunities to advance MU’s mission of education by honoring and rewarding MU students who have served our country. We take pride in the way we recognize our student veterans through the MU Veterans Center and other student programs across campus, and this gift will allow MU to further this noble cause.”

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