Looking in the Rearview Mirror
Growing up on a farm in Iowa, Steve Justice knew his parents had to make many sacrifices to further his education at Truman State University. Today, Justice is sharing his time and resources to enhance the lives of other students at Truman.
After receiving a Bachelor of Science in education from Truman in 1970, followed by a Master of Arts in school administration in 1981, Justice coached in Iowa for 12 years before moving to Texas, where he taught at-risk high school students for 21 years. To fulfill his penchant for sports, Justice has also been involved with the sports operation and management at Rice University for the last 20 years.
Although he lives hundreds of miles away in Texas, Justice still finds ways to volunteer his time and talents to his alma mater. For instance, he can be found on the Truman campus handing out gifts to new graduates after the University's Summer Commencement, which has often prompted him to think about what type of graduation speech he might give. "I would tell the new grads that, as they leave school and see Kirksville in their rearview mirrors, to not ever forget how the University made a difference in their lives," says Justice. "It's not just about getting a degree; it's also the people you meet, the bonds you create and the relationships you make that will last a lifetime."
"Truman has made a huge difference in my life, and it makes me want to give something back." Justice has named Truman in his estate plans and is also a charter member of the University's John R. Kirk Society. Reflecting back on his college days also motivated Justice to create a scholarship. "At that point in time, my dad didn't have near the resources he has now, so I know what a major sacrifice it was for my parents to put three kids through college," says Justice, whose two sisters-Mary Beth (Justice) Overton ('71) and Melissa Ann Justice-Rud ('77)-also graduated from Truman. "I figured the least that I could do was to name a scholarship in honor of my parents."
Each time Justice looks in his rearview mirror as he drives away from Kirksville, he has the satisfaction of knowing that not only did Truman make a difference in his life, but that he has made a difference at Truman.