Truman Faculty Member Makes Generous Planned Gift Commitment
The joy and affection that Dr. Fred Shaffer, professor of psychology, holds for his students, his colleagues and the graduates of Truman State University is apparent within moments of meeting him. There is an unmistakable warmth as he explains what this University means to him. He is also quick to agree that the definition of family is not exclusive to those with whom you share the same DNA. It is a connection that is far more meaningful. "Truman has been my family and my students have been my children since I arrived in Kirksville in August 1975," Fred says.
An accomplished scholar, educator and researcher, Fred attended Claremont Men's College before earning his M.S. and Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. He is a respected Truman faculty member and board chair for the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance. His expertise in biofeedback has taken him around the globe teaching about the subject and its clinical applications.
In the nearly four decades that Fred has been a part of the Truman family, he has strived to ensure that students are exceptionally well-educated and have the opportunity to be transformed by their Truman experience. His understanding of the power of research experiences for undergraduates has motivated him to invite nearly 40 students annually to work as members of his research team. And while he is providing a rare opportunity for his students, Fred believes he has received the greatest benefit. "Our psychology majors have made the last 36 years of my life exceptional through their engagement in my classes and involvement on my research team," he says.
Preserving the "Truman Experience" As state support for higher education continues to rapidly diminish, Fred is helping preserve the transformational experiences that have become a distinctive part of a Truman education. "The reduction in state funding has convinced me of the need to protect our support for our students," he says. Fred provides loyal support with annual gifts to the Truman State University Foundation; however, current budget conditions have motivated him to also support Truman through a substantial planned gift commitment. "I want to support students majoring in psychology to be able to travel to research conferences and to study abroad," he explains. "My estate can help support activities like research and study abroad that contribute to Truman's excellence."
A planned gift commitment through a combination of a bequest in his will and designating Truman as the beneficiary of life insurance will establish two important funds. The Dr. Erik Peper Research Fund will provide support for student travel to research conferences. It also honors one of Fred's first mentors in biofeedback and three decades of collaboration between their research team. The Donald and Nancy Moss Study Abroad Scholarship is inspired by Donald and Nancy's extensive international travel and generous support for Fred's students at international conferences. This fund will provide greater access to study abroad experiences for psychology students.
Through this generous gift commitment, Fred is demonstrating his concern for Truman's future while further elevating the University to the status of a family member. "The two planned gifts have given me the peace of mind that I have helped to look after future generations of Truman students," he says.