Larry and Polly Hendren of Columbia, Mo., two University of Missouri-Rolla graduates, have made a $1 million planned gift to the MSM-UMR Alumni Association.
The unrestricted gift will bolster the not-for-profit organization’s efforts to connect alumni to the campus and to each other by providing support for a number of programs, including student scholarships, alumni gatherings, student grants, faculty and staff recognition programs and the UMR Magazine.
“We’ve been very involved with the alumni association,” says Larry Hendren, former president of the MSM-UMR Alumni Association. “We’re very proud of the institution UMR has become. We know this support will add to the association’s strength.”
The Hendrens’ announced the gift during the MSM-UMR Alumni Association’s annual awards banquet on Saturday, Oct. 21, during Homecoming weekend.
The Hendrens’ gift is one of the largest ever given for the benefit of the MSM-UMR Alumni Association. The Hendrens are also members of the Order of the Golden Shillelagh, an organization of major donors to the university and the alumni association.
“Larry and Polly’s generous gift will provide critical resources to boost the alumni association’s future offerings,” says Lindsay Bagnall, a 1976 graduate of UMR and executive vice president of the MSM-UMR Alumni Association. “They have also been loyal supporters of the association’s annual fund for many years, which supports the numerous programs we already provide.”
“The Hendrens’ planned gift will not only help the alumni association serve nearly 50,000 UMR graduates and former students, it will also enhance the association’s ability to provide aid to students, campus faculty and staff,” adds UMR Chancellor John F. Carney.
Larry and Polly met while attending UMR and graduated from the university in 1973 with a bachelor of science degree in mining engineering and a bachelor science degree in engineering management, respectively. Before moving back to Missouri in 1978, the Hendrens headed east after graduation to work in the coal mines of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
“We realized when we graduated and moved to the East Coast the significance of having an engineering degree from Rolla,” Polly says. “Even in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, if you said engineering and Missouri, they knew you were from UMR.”
Since their graduation, the Hendrens have taken many opportunities to demonstrate their ardent support for their alma mater. In 1997, Polly formed the Mid-Missouri Section of the alumni association. Larry is a former member of the UMR Board of Trustees, a former president of the alumni association and has served as chair of the Public Resource Ambassadors, which acts as the alumni association’s legislative affairs branch.
Additionally, the couple has helped recruit students over the years by funding transportation and other expenses so that high school students from Columbia could visit the UMR campus for themselves.
“As OGS members, we’ve been very humbled by being with a number of alumni who have given a lot back to the university, and we always hoped that someday we would have the opportunity to do that too,” Larry says.
Larry is president and CEO of Engineering Surveys and Services, a firm headquartered in Columbia, Mo. The company specializes in civil, mining, environmental and geotechnical engineering; all types of surveying; and laboratory services, including construction materials testing and environmental laboratory services. The firm also has offices in Sedalia, Mo., and Jefferson City, Mo.