Speech and Hearing Clinic Drive Exceeds Expectations

Fifty may indeed be nifty, but to those associated with the Truman Speech and Hearing Clinic, $100,000 sounds better.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Speech and Hearing Clinic, the University conducted a “Give $50 for the 50th” fundraising campaign with the goal of generating $50,000. After approximately a year of accepting donations, the campaign concluded in February with a grand total of $100,000 raised in cash, pledges and planned gift commitments.

Paula Cochran, chair of the Communication Disorders Department had been deliberately kept in the dark about the final total unveiled at the campaign wrap-up event.

“I was stunned at that final amount,” she said. “We know we have the strong support of clients, alumni and the community, but this total so exceeded our expectations. It’s very encouraging to all of us.”

Truman’s Speech and Hearing Clinic has been helping residents from Kirksville and the surrounding area since 1960. In November 2011, it was moved into new facilities located in the Truman Health Sciences Building. The clinic serves individuals with disorders of speech, language, voice, fluency, hearing and swallowing, all at no cost to the people served. No-cost clinics are rare due to the necessary heavy reliance on donations. The Speech and Hearing Clinic provides services thanks to the support of the University and from community organizations.

“The outstanding results of the ‘Give $50 for the 50th’ fundraising campaign demonstrate the community’s willingness to invest in the Truman Speech and Hearing Clinic and its efforts to provide ongoing state-of-the-art speech-language-hearing and literacy services. These results are also evidence of a deeply imbedded passion that our donors possess for improving our community,” explains Janet Gooch, dean of the School of Health Science and Education.

In addition to the support the Speech and Hearing Clinic provides the community, it also offers hands-on learning for Truman students. Students observe therapy, then become clinical assistants and eventually assume the responsibilities of student clinicians. Because student learning is a key component of the Speech and Hearing Clinic, it was also a high priority of the fundraising campaign. The centerpiece of the “Give $50 for the 50th” campaign was the establishment of the Dr. Cornelis Koutstaal Endowed Study Abroad Scholarship, which will provide communication disorders students with scholarship support for the transformational experience of study abroad.

Murilyn Koutstaal poses with the poster celebrating the endowed study abroad scholarship created in honor of her husband Dr. Cornelis Koutstaal.

The award was established and fully endowed through a gift from Murilyn Koutstaal to honor the legacy of her husband, the late Dr. Cornelis Koutstaal who served as professor of communication disorders and head of the Human Potential and Performance Division from 1990-2001. He was honored with emeritus status upon his retirement.

Other major donations during the campaign came from the Scottish Rite Valley of Columbia, Mo., an affiliate of the Scottish Rite, a national Masonic organization. They provided a $10,000 gift to kick-off the campaign in November 2011, as well as an additional $10,000 gift the next year.

By the time faculty, staff, students and friends of the Speech and Hearing Clinic gathered to celebrate the conclusion of the campaign in February, expectations had already been exceeded. With more than $95,000 already raised, one final donation from Speech and Hearing Clinic director Melissa Passe was enough to reach an even $100,000, double the original campaign goal.

“As an alumna of the CMDS program and the director of the Speech and Hearing Clinic for the past 21 years, I know first hand how important the clinic’s work is to both our campus and the Kirksville community,” Passe said. “I value each and every client and student, and can think of no better way to express my appreciation and personal, as well as professional, happiness for all that the clinic and Truman itself has provided me over these many years. It is indeed my great honor to push our total to $100,000.”

To learn more about the Speech and Hearing Clinic and the services available, visit comdis.truman.edu/clinic. For information about making a donation, contact the Office of Advancement at 660.785.4133.