Campus and Students Reap the Benefits of Gifts

A crew pours concrete on the mall plaza. The area will soon feature a new fountain, thanks in large part to the donation of an alumna.

Once a proud symbol of campus, the mall fountain had needed a repair for years. It was rarely on, and when it was, the geyser-like stream of water it produced often made it uncomfortable to sit near and difficult to have a conversation in its vicinity.

Thanks to gifts from many generous donors through a plaza campaign, including a brick campaign, the entire Student Union Building plaza is getting a makeover. The new fountain and the surrounding area will now be known as the Sandra K. Giachino Reavey Sesquicentennial Plaza, following a donation from Reavey’s estate and the success of Truman’s 150th anniversary brick campaign.

“Everyone knows that state support has been flat or diminishing for some time, so for us to get to do some of the things that make campus a unique place people can take pride in we increasingly will need to look to private support,” said Charles Hunsaker, director of development. “Our first priority as a University is providing a quality education, so gifts from donors allow us to fill needs that would otherwise go unmet because of our primary responsibility to supporting students.”

Support from donors can be seen in many spots on campus, including the recently completed parent-supported pavilion in Red Barn Park as well as the bulldog sculpture on the mall, which was provided through the generous support of donors.

Gifts to the University can come in many ways, and they can support any area of interest for the donor. The Truman State University Foundation has more than 825 different funds donors can support, and if there is not already a fund designated for a specific interest, one can be created. In recent years the Office of Advancement has conducted campaigns to support a variety of areas on campus, including University Counseling Service, the Women’s Resource Center, the Bike Co-op, Forensics, the Bulldog Student Investment Fund and many more.  

“These were areas that students wanted to see supported,” Hunsaker said. “We took their feedback and communicated that with our donors, many of whom contributed to those funds.”

By far, most of the money donated to the University goes directly to students in the form of scholarships. In the “Pursue the Future” campaign, which came to an end in 2018, Truman secured more than $24.6 million in donations specifically for scholarships. In total, more than 57 percent of donations from the campaign were designated to support students, and 94 new scholarships were created as a result.

Created in 1985, the mission of the Truman State University Foundation is to advance the University through lasting relationships, strong financial support and prudent stewardship. For more information about giving to the University, or to see some of the funds the Foundation supports, visit

Provided through parent support, the pavilion in Red Barn Park offers a covered location for many different occasions such as hosting picnics, an outdoor classroom or meeting destination. It will also be useful for event registrations or seeing outdoor movies.
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