Leaving a Legacy in Education
Impressive Record of Philanthropy and Service Culminates in an Estate Gift
"I feel like we all owe something to the past and have a responsibility to the future," says Dr. Gail Crump, who has earned impressive credentials in English. After graduating summa cum laude from Truman in 1964 with a B.A. and a B.S.E. in English, he achieved a master's degree and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Arkansas. He joined the faculty at the University of Central Missouri in 1969, where he taught until his retirement in 2011.
In addition, Gail served as chair of the departments of English and philosophy, interim chair of the department of modern languages, interim chair of the department of geography and interdisciplinary studies, and associate provost. Gail's commitment to give back to his alma mater quickly became a mission as he considered the profound impact that Truman had on his life and the lives of his siblings.
"My twin brother, Gary, and my younger brother, Jay, all went to Truman, and because of the good starts we received here, we all eventually earned doctoral degrees. We literally would not have been able to do what we did if we had not lived in Kirksville and had the affordable college in town. I owe Truman State University a lot," Gail says.
Gail has also given a great deal in return. In 2007, Gail created the C.V. Huenemann Lectureship in English with a gift of $25,000 to the Truman State University Foundation in honor of his former English teacher Dr. Calvin V. Huenemann.
Relishing the Experience
As a former member of College Players and Oral Interpreters, Gail says that theater productions played a significant role in his college experience. "At that time, my great friend and mentor, Dr. Jim Severns, was the only faculty member working on productions. He directed all the plays, did the stage direction of the operas and designed the sets for all productions-an enormous volume of work," Gail says.
In return, Gail has donated to the Severns Theater Fund. "Really, nothing I could ever do would adequately repay Truman; Jim Severns and his wife, Pat; and Dr. Elizabeth Worrell for that great experience," Gail says.
Gail's gifts are not exclusive to financial support. As a member of the University's Foundation board, Gail committed hours of service to enhance Truman's mission.
"Our biggest goal is to help students get to Truman and enjoy the fruits of a high-quality education at an affordable cost," he says. To address this need, Gail is providing a generous planned gift from his estate of $180,000 to create the Dr. Gail Crump Scholarship Fund as well as a scholarship honoring his late brother, Gary. "I know that money is tight for many people right now, but all alumni need to think seriously about what they can give to support higher education."
"I would never say anything to diminish the tremendous personal efforts alumni put in on their educations and careers and certainly would never discount their great individual accomplishments. They need to take deserved pride in what they have done," Gail says. "But it is not discounting people's efforts and achievements to remember that nobody gets where they are completely on their own. What I had the chance to do was made possible by forward-looking political and educational leaders and citizens who committed themselves to creating the empowering educational environment of which Truman State University is such an outstanding expression."