Donations from members of the Philanthropic Women for Education (PWE) at Missouri State University-West Plains funded more than $14,000 in student-centered projects in 2019.
“We are overwhelmed by the dedication and generosity of the members of the Philanthropic Women for Education,” said Missouri State-West Plains Chancellor Shirley Lawler. “Through their collective giving efforts, many student-centered programs and projects are funded. This allows our students to have expanded learning opportunities thus equipping them to be the next generation of leaders.”
Formed in 2003, PWE supports Missouri State-West Plains in its mission by expanding the involvement of women as philanthropists. The group meets three times a year to hear from guest speakers and talk with prospective members.
During the final meeting of the year, group members review proposals submitted by faculty and staff, then vote on projects to recommend for funding with their combined annual gifts.
Past projects funded by PWE include tutors, equipment purchases and travel expenses for conferences attended by student groups. PWE also furnished a classroom in Looney Hall, which houses allied health programs.
“A blessed life is paid forward,” PWE member Regina Gleghorn said. “You give back because people before you created opportunities with their gifts and service. You change the world one life at a time, one project at a time, one gift at a time.”
Projects supported by PWE this year include:
- Welcome Week: This campus tradition is all about welcoming new students and bringing the university together. Donations and sponsorships allow officials in the student life and development office to host several activities, including a movie night, inflatables day, on-site escape room and float trip. Activities center on building community and fostering friendships.
- NaBITA Conference: The National Behavioral Intervention Team Association provides education, development and support to school professionals who work every day to make our campus a safer place.
- Study Abroad Scholarship for the Sea Turtle and Tropical Ecology Costa Rica Trip: Students ventured overseas to learn the history, geography, ecology, politics and more of Costa Rica. This hands-on experience is a powerful learning opportunity for students, many of whom have never been outside of Missouri.
- Nursing Skills Lab: As the university’s nursing program grows, so does the financial need. Funds help provide the nursing department with basic essentials, such as a wheelchair, refurbished hospital bed, etc., to properly train students to succeed in the health care field.
- FBLA-PBL Academic Competitions: Leadership is key at these competitions where business students learn the tricks of the trade and demonstrate a spirit of teamwork and accomplishment. Missouri State-West Plains students have excelled in these areas, placing in both state and national competitions.
- Enhancing Student Learning: When it comes to hands-on learning, class equipment is extremely important. Stereo microscopes provide valuable information for students in biology, biomedical sciences and anatomy labs. Updated equipment, such as the stereo microscope, are not only useful with student education, but also help them stay engaged.
- Oz-Con Banners: As Oz-Con continues to grow bigger each year, it is vital to maintain a professional aesthetic to keep attendees and vendors coming back. With guests from all over the Ozarks and celebrity participants from across the country, stand-up banners are very helpful to lay out where certain events are located.
- State and National Professional Agricultural Student Organization Competitions: These competitions are opportunities to submerge students in career preparation, subject matter expertise and employment interview skills. Students also have the opportunity to network with industry professionals and participate in activities with different students from other Missouri colleges.
- TRiO Etiquette Dinner: This unique experience provides students in the federally-funded TRiO Student Support Services program an opportunity to network with employer sponsors while also learning proper table etiquette for business meals. Students also are required to attend “How to Build a Resumé” and “Interviewing for a Job” workshops to help give them a leading edge in today’s workforce.
- Geography Awareness Week: Funds will be used for special lectures, panel discussions, a field trip to Branson and more so students can develop effective decision making skills, understand geo-spatial issues and recognize their impact as global citizens.
- Middle School Math Relays: This event brings area teachers, students and parents together on campus to promote middle school math education and introduce students to the campus with the hope they will consider pursuing their college education here in the future.
“Community giving is at the heart of Missouri State University-West Plains’ success,” Lawler said. “This university grew from a community’s dream to provide higher education in the rural Ozarks. We feel so blessed to see this generosity continue for the betterment of our entire region.”
For more information about PWE and how to join, call the Missouri State-West Plains development office at 417-255-7240.