MU Graduates Honor Their Mother Through Endowed Scholarship Fund

Wagner FamilyThe Wagner family recently gathered at the U-Club to remember their wife and mother. The children and their Fund to honor the memory of their mother. Scholarships will be awarded to students who demonstrate volunteerism through community service.

Losing a family member can be a difficult experience for all parties involved. Often, gifts, cards and donations are made to honor relatives who have passed away. Now, a family of University of Missouri-Columbia graduates and their father are going beyond traditional means to pay tribute and honor their hero.

The Judy Wagner Memorial Scholarship Fund was created by surviving children Lewis, Alex, Miranda and Zach Wagner in honor of their late mother, Judy, who passed away five years ago. Their father, Lewis, agreed to match the amount of money pledged by the children over a three-year period and donate the gift collectively to the University as an endowed scholarship. The fund is designed to reward students who are community-oriented and show a strong sense of volunteerism through their service activities. The family made the first donation of $4,000 in June 2003. They plan to give $6,000 this year to meet the minimum endowment level of $10,000.

"Since the passing of my mother, I've wanted to honor her and the values of volunteerism and community service that she instilled in my siblings and me," said Zach Wagner, youngest surviving child and 2003 graduate of MU's College of Business. "My wife, Nicole, and I discussed the idea of a scholarship fund and felt it was a great way to continue my mother's legacy while helping young students achieve a college education. My siblings and I are dedicated to funding the scholarship for many years."

In addition to the scholarship, the Wagner family has adopted a stretch of highway as a way to honor their late mother, Judy Wagner, and her values of volunteerism and community service.Scholarships from the fund will initially be distributed university-wide, with the first $500 scholarship to be awarded in Fall 2006. Students interested in receiving the award will complete an application process, including an essay focused on community service activities. Applicants will be chosen based on academic standing, school-related activities and their volunteer experiences.

"It is truly exceptional that four recent graduates are willing to give back to their alma mater in such a generous way to honor their late mother," said David Clithero, executive director of advancement at MU. "In addition to helping a deserving student, this scholarship recognizes MU students who are giving back to their community through their work as volunteers."

The Wagner family plans to extend the fund in the future, with scholarships awarded specifically to students enrolled in colleges from which they graduated, including the College of Business and College of Education.

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