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Stirred to Action: A Lifetime of Helping Others

Martha Faye Fouts Woollums

Martha Faye Fouts Woollums

Throughout a teaching career that began in the throes of the Depression, Martha Faye Fouts Woollums has never lost her passion for the young people of Missouri-or for those who helped light her path to success.

Her career began with a $30-a-month assignment in a one-room schoolhouse tucked away in rural northwestern Missouri. She thought she would only teach for a year or so, but her love for the profession and her students proved to be too powerful. Her teaching career would ultimately span five decades. Along the way she earned several college degrees, became a published author and, most importantly, made her mark on the world through the power of education.

After Martha received a fellowship to the University of Missouri-Columbia from the Wall Street Journal in 1969, she encountered Professor William H. Taft, whose teachings at Mizzou's famed School of Journalism made an incredible impact on her life. Recently, she expressed her thoughts about Professor Taft in a letter to the Columbia Daily Tribune: "I have always felt that Taft has had the courage to say what he thought and the talent to educate in a way that was meaningful. Not only was his style insightful, but it was refreshingly amusing. Perhaps most noteworthy was his ability to stir his students and readers to action."

To express her gratitude to Professor Taft and the University of Missouri-Columbia, Martha recently made a generous gift establishing the Martha Faye Fouts Woollums Endowed Scholarship Fund. The endowment fund provides scholarships for students from several counties in northwestern Missouri. It will be further bolstered by a gift from her estate plan.

Though many years have passed since Martha Faye Fouts Woollums first made the daily 5-mile walk to teach a single room full of hardscrabble country kids, her lifetime of dedication is still embodied in generations of students across Missouri. And the legacy of love she has crafted will stir to action countless generations to come.

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