Paying It Forward

Katherine and Steve Justice

Katherine and Steve Justice ’70

A deep sense of gratitude along with a desire to pay it forward led Steve Justice ‘70 and his wife Katherine to set up the Steve and Katherine Justice Athletics Scholarship with a significant gift and a commitment to add to the scholarship through retirement plan assets and their estate.

A desire to play baseball brought Steve to Truman from State College of Iowa (now University of Northern Iowa). Unfortunately for Steve, an injury prevented him ever taking the field for Truman. He did however remain connected to athletics while at Truman, earning a B.S. in Physical Education.

Steve began his teaching career at Saydel Consolidated School District (Des Moines, Iowa) in 1971, where he taught government, Iowa history, social studies and physical education and health at the junior and senior high levels. He coached football, track and field, and cross country for the 12 years he spent at Saydel. He met Katherine through a mutual friend, and in 1977 they were married.

When Katherine was offered a position in Galveston, they made the move to Texas. They had determined that whoever got a job in a warmer climate first would determine where they lived. So Steve followed Katherine to Texas where he almost immediately found a position working with at-risk high school students and teen parents in the Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District, a job he held for 28 years. He did return to Iowa each year to work as an official at the Drake Relays.

As a tribute to his parents for their support and sacrifices, in 2001, Steve and Katherine established the Robert and Mona Justice Athletic Scholarship, which provides assistance for three student-athletes each year. Because of his love for Truman baseball, he has also supported the program throughout the years.

When asked what they would say to those considering a gift similar to theirs, Steve says “It’s so rewarding.” Katherine adds: “It’s important to find your passion and pay it forward in life. You get more back than you give.”

Like Steve and Katherine, you too can invest in your passions at Truman State through a future gift. Contact Marie Murphree, CFRE, at 660-785-4124 or mmurphree@truman.edu to learn more about how you can make a difference for future generations of students.