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Springfield, MO

Jenkins establishes MSU study-abroad scholarship

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Springfield businessman Joe Jenkins has traveled the world. Now, he wants to give students a chance to do the same.

Jenkins, owner of Jenkins Diesel Power, has committed to a $25,000 gift to Missouri State University, to be used to establish the Grace Gardner Endowed Scholarship for Study Away.

An anonymous donor has pledged another $25,000 to the fund. Under MSU’s matching program for endowed scholarships, $2,250 in annual support will be made available to students beginning this fall.

“I have had the opportunity to travel abroad, including trips to China with Missouri State University and Springfield Chamber officials,” Jenkins said in a news release. “It is a life-changing experience that I believe Missouri State students need to have as early in their lives as possible.”

The scholarships will provide financial support for undergraduate students who wish to study abroad and will be awarded on a combination of financial need and merit. Students are each eligible for up to $1,000.

Preference will be given to students who have spent less time abroad.

The late Grace Gardner was a teacher at MSU's Greenwood Laboratory School from 1946 to 1983. While there, she established the District Model United Nations, which by 1983 had grown to include 435 students representing 87 countries. She also guided the State Student Council Organization for more than 20 years.

Gardner died in 1999.

MSU President Michael Nietzel said in the release that the university’s goal is to grow the endowment for study away scholarships to $300,000, which would provide $13,500 in annual scholarship support.

The scholarships will be awarded each fall and spring semester. A faculty and staff committee will review all applications and make final decisions.[[In-content Ad]]

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