Couple's Deep Devotion and Passion Fueled Planned Gifts
Doctors Larry and Sharron Quisenberry are deeply devoted to Truman State University and for good reason. They know the transformational influence of the Truman experience and can point to evidence of that powerful influence in their own lives. After spending much of their careers in higher education leadership, they also share a highly informed appreciation for Truman's distinctive qualities when compared to other colleges and universities across the country.
"An education at Truman makes a difference because it is an exceptional institution that has a long history of quality education and the ability to influence learning in Missouri, surrounding states, and beyond," Larry says. "The quality of educational programs and students graduating from Truman today is even better than in previous generations."
Larry and Sharron's passion for preserving Truman's exceptional quality and distinctiveness has turned to action as Truman enters the quiet phase of the new comprehensive fundraising campaign, "Pursue the Future." This new campaign is designed to raise $40 million in private support for student scholarships, academic programs, faculty support and athletics.
"Truman's high-quality education at an affordable price is in jeopardy because state support for higher education is declining," Sharron says. "States have other obligations to meet and the result continues to be increases in tuition. Other sources of funding need to be found to offset costs to students to maintain the affordability of a university education. To ensure a quality education and keep costs and affordability in line, it is extremely important that we, as the Truman alumni family, provide additional funding for scholarships and program excellence. These contributions will ensure that Truman will be able to continue to provide high-quality education at an affordable price."
Larry and Sharron are leading this effort with a $50,000 campaign pledge combined with a $1 million planned gift commitment of IRA assets to support two scholarship endowments, the Dr. John Black Scholarship Fund and the Larry and Sharron Quisenberry Business and Science Endowment Fund, through the Truman State University Foundation.
Supporting the Dr. John Black Scholarship Fund is especially meaningful to Larry and Sharron as it pays tribute to their very special friend and mentor. Dr. Black was Sharron's major advisor as an undergraduate student at Truman and was instrumental in guiding her career path of earning a Ph.D. in entomology and becoming a university professor and administrator.
"Dr. Black was an exceptional man and outstanding faculty and mentor throughout his career at Truman. He significantly influenced hundreds of students as they pursued their careers as doctors of osteopathic medicine, masters of science and doctors of philosophy," explains Sharron.
The Larry and Sharron Quisenberry Business and Science Endowment Fund was established by the Quisenberrys in 2010 with an initial commitment to the "Bright Minds, Bright Futures" campaign. The scholarships produced from this named endowment provide students with funds for curricular and noncurricular activities.
"These opportunities, we feel, promote learning, the development of critical thinking skills and the ability to make, in the long-term, personal contributions to society," Sharron says. "Our scholarships are based on need and scholarship."
The Quisenberrys chose to further fund their named scholarship endowment with a planned gift arrangement of IRA assets. They found that gifting these assets to the Truman State University Foundation yielded greater tax savings than leaving these assets to heirs.
"The retirement assets will be tax-free, providing the maximum commitments of the assets," Larry remarks. "We strongly encourage others to make similar contributions because of the long-term impact that Truman State University has on its graduates and ultimately on society."