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$1 Million Gift Supports MU College of Human Environmental Sciences

April 22, 2009

Story Contact:  Emily Smith, 573-882-3346,

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A recent gift to the University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences will fund the Department of Textile and Apparel Management (TAM), the Office for Financial Success and the HES Dean's Fund for Excellence. MU Chancellor Brady Deaton announced Wednesday that Catherine Allen, MU alumna and financial services industry leader, has committed $1 million of her estate to the college.

"Catherine Allen cares deeply about MU and the College of Human Environmental Sciences," said Stephen Jorgensen, HES dean. "She recognizes that society has great need for the teaching, research and service of this college. Allen is a committed, visionary alumna. Throughout the years, she has provided a wealth of leadership and wisdom to MU."

The Office of Financial Success is part of the Personal Financial Planning Department at MU, one of the premier personal financial planning programs in the nation. The department contributes to the financial well-being of families across the state and the nation. The Department of Textile and Apparel Management also is nationally recognized. TAM graduates prepare for leadership in the soft-goods industry and the international marketplace, and TAM faculty members advise policymakers on global textile and apparel issues.

"This generous gift will provide resources for the college to meet its greatest needs and seize opportunities to serve," said MU Chancellor Brady Deaton. "As a whole, HES touches every aspect of our lives. Its six units cover the basic human needs of food, clothing, shelter, finances, family and community."

A native Missourian, Allen graduated from MU in 1968 with a degree in home economics. She chaired the For All We Call Mizzou campaign steering committee for HES and represented the college on the National Campaign Steering Committee. In 2003, she received the Faculty-Alumni Award from the Mizzou Alumni Association. In 2005, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from MU for her professional achievements in financial services and technology.

"It is an honor to be part of the Mizzou family and I am grateful for the education I received when I was here," Allen said. "This gift is because of my belief in supporting public education and the excellent academic programs led by MU Chancellor Brady Deaton and HES Dean Steve Jorgensen."

Allen was the founding chief executive of the financial services industry consortium BITS, which facilitated the transition from paper to electronic statements at financial institutions throughout the world. BITS led the creation of best practices in more than 30 areas for the financial services industry. Allen retired from BITS and is now chairman and CEO of The Santa Fe Group, a strategic consulting company in Santa Fe, N.M. She is chair of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling Advisory Council.