New scholarship offered


Willie Brown

University President Bruce Speck stands with Interim Vice President for Development JoAnn Graffam at halftime of the One State, One Spirit Classics, announcing a new scholarship for graduates from the classes of 2011-13 at Joplin High School, McAuley Catholic High School, Thomas Jefferson and College Heights.

Jordan Larimore


A college education just got a little bit easier to finance for twelve different graduating classes of local high schools in the aftermath of Joplin’s historic May tornado.

Missouri Southern President Dr. Bruce Speck, along with JoAnn Graffam, Interim Vice President for Development, announced at Sunday’s One State, One Spirit Classic, that the University has offered $1,000 scholarships for the classes of 2011-13 at Joplin High School, Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, College Heights Christian School and McAuley Catholic High School, all in Joplin.

“It started when the President’s Council began trying to think about ways that we could keep leaders in this community,” Speck said. 

“And we wanted to do something that we thought would promote that.”

The scholarship will be a non-renewable one, with the $1,000 being broken into two parts, $500 awarded each semester, beginning the student’s first academic year out of high school.

Speck also said that this scholarship will not be affected by the University’s “stacking policy,” in Financial Aid.

This means that the scholarship will be added on top of any other award or financial aid students receive, even going beyond the full cost of attendance.

“There’s a various order that you do scholarships,” Speck said. “But this is above all that. You could come here from one of the high schools, and you could be fully paid to come and this is still on top of that. 

“So it’s there regardless. It’s not a stacking issue, we’re going to give it to you, period. In fact we’re going back right now, the students that are here [graduates from the area high schools in the class of 2011], we’ll be cutting checks probably this next week for them.”

Secondary Principal of College Heights, Daniel Lewis, said he believes the new scholarship opportunity will have an impact on CHCS graduates’ decisions on where to pursue higher education.

“I think it’s a terrific opportunity for our students,” he said. “I think it’s great that Missouri Southern’s reaching out to the local schools, especially after what happened in May with the tornado, and I can see this being a great partnership between the local schools and Missouri Southern. Missouri Southern is a great school, we have a lot of kids that go there, and I can see this being very beneficial for us.”

Graffam echoed Speck’s thoughts that it was important for Southern to do everything possible to keep area high school students in Joplin, and both hope that these students will do so and become future leaders in the Joplin and Southern community.

The scholarship covers approximately 25 percent of a first-year full-time student’s costs, according to Graffam. She also mentioned that as of now, Southern has approximately 100 students on campus from May’s graduating class that will be awarded the scholarship this academic year.