No One Should Be Priced Out of a Quality Education

Justis Tuia

Justis Tuia ’07

What does a quality undergraduate education provide? Critical skills used in both personal and professional life? Exceptional preparation for graduate school? Life changing opportunities? Justis Tuia ’07 believes he received all of this and more when he came to Truman State University. Thanks to a generous scholarship, he got a college education without taking on crippling student debt. Now he aims to give as he received.

"With the cost of higher education continuing to increase and state support continuing to dwindle, I feel it is imperative that I invest in future members of the Truman family," Justis says. "No one should be priced out of a quality education, especially when employers are increasingly requiring an undergraduate degree as the minimal credential necessary. Ultimately, we all benefit when we co-create an informed, analytically critical and engaged citizenry."

Investment is the perfect word to describe Justis’ involvement with his alma mater. In 2016, he was honored as the Young Alumnus of the Year. The award was well deserved. He has been active in his regional alumni chapter, serves on the national alumni association board, regional campaign committees and more. In addition to his tireless service, he continues to donate generously. Along with outright gifts, Justis had the vision to designate Truman as a planned beneficiary of some of his assets. That decision was born from a desire to be more generous than his monthly budget would allow.

"As a relatively younger member of the Truman alumni family, much of my liquid capital is tied up in a mortgage, saving for a rainy day and retirement, and covering everyday expenses," Justis explains. "While I do set aside money on a monthly basis to contribute to Truman, designating the University as a beneficiary on various financial instruments allows me to ensure that an institution I love is cared for long after the obligations of daily living are gone."

As Justis has discovered, beneficiary designations offer many creative ways to give gifts larger than originally thought possible. To learn how to make a huge impact on future members of the Truman family via beneficiary designation, contact Marie Murphree, CFRE, at 660-785-4124 or