A new program to support undergraduate students between their first and second year at Missouri University of Science and Technology recently reached its goal of $1 million, thanks to a $500,000 investment from the Kummer Institute Foundation.
These “bridge” scholarships are designed to help students during the period at which research shows they are most likely to leave college. The program is part of a $1,050,000 investment of Kummer Institute funds for the Kummer Inspiration Program.
“Student success is a top priority for S&T donors and for the Kummer Institute,” says Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson, chair of the Kummer Institute Foundation Board of Directors. “Through the Kummer Inspiration Program we are able to support our students at a critical point in their academic journey, making it possible for them to focus on learning rather than worrying about finances. At the same time, the Kummer Inspiration Program gives our donors the opportunity to double the impact of their contribution.”
The foundation donated a total of $1,050,000 for the Kummer Inspiration Program. Of that, $550,000 will be used to match donations made for ranked and endowed faculty positions, while $500,000 went to matching donations for bridge scholarships. The Kummer Institute matched donations of at least $25,000 toward the scholarships.
The scholarship portion of the program reached its goal on June 23, with the $500,000 donated matched by the board, making $1 million in scholarships available to students in STEM-related programs at S&T, including business and information technology (BIT).
The Kummer Inspiration Program was developed to align with the giving goals of many S&T donors.
For Edwin Stuckey, a long-time S&T donor, an athletic scholarship was what brought him to Rolla, where he played on S&T’s undefeated 1980 football team, which won the conference championship that year. In 1982 he earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering management, headed back to his hometown, Kenosha, Wisconsin, and, in 1996, established Stuckey Construction Co., of which he is president.
“I’ve been giving back in smaller increments over the years, but it was time for me to make a larger commitment to helping someone else,” Stuckey says. “I was fortunate enough to receive an athletic scholarship. It’s important to me to pass that opportunity along, so that someone else can receive the same benefits of attending S&T as I did.”
Dr. Colin Potts, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, says the program illustrates how philanthropy can support student success.
“Our experience shows that some new students benefit from targeted assistance if we are to retain them for their second year,” Potts says. “Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the vision of the foundation’s board, we can support our students when they need it most.”
To learn more about the Kummer Institute, please visit kummerinstitute.mst.edu.
About Missouri University of Science and Technology
Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,200 students. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System and located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 101 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top 10 universities for return on investment, according to Business Insider. S&T also is home to the Kummer Institute, made possible by a $300 million gift from Fred and June Kummer. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu.