Humphreys family gives $1 million to MSSU for scholarships

By Emily Younker:


Debra and David Humphreys, of Joplin, have given $1 million to Missouri Southern State University for the establishment of scholarships over the next decade, the university announced Tuesday.

Recipients of the Debra and David Humphreys Excellence Award must be graduates of high schools within 50 miles of Missouri Southern and be majoring in biological and physical sciences, mathematics, education, accounting, finance, engineering technology or computer science. Each award will cover at least half of a student’s tuition for the school year.

“Missouri Southern State University serves a vital role making a college education available and affordable in our community,” the Humphreys family said in a statement. “In addition, many graduates have gone on to live and work here. We hope that our scholarship gift will help offset the financial burden of tuition and enable more students from Joplin and surrounding areas to obtain their college degree from MSSU.”

Alan Marble, president of Missouri Southern, said the scholarships will be awarded to students based on both merit and financial need. More than 40 could be awarded each academic year, and recipients will be designated as “Humphreys Scholars,” he said.

“We are honored and grateful to receive this gift on behalf of the Missouri Southern State University Board of Governors, faculty, staff, administration, but most importantly on behalf of the students who will so richly benefit from this generous donation for many years to come,” he said.

To be eligible for a scholarship, students must meet one of the following criteria at the time of application, in addition to residency and major requirements:

  • At least a 3.7 high school or college GPA.
  • A composite score of at least 28 on the ACT or a combined critical reading and mathematics score of 1300 on the SAT.
  • Placement in the top 10 percent of their graduating class in high school.

Samuel Kohrs, a junior education major, said the announcement of additional scholarship opportunities for students was welcome.

“I think that’s huge and a great thing they would do for the university,” he said of the Humphreys family. “I think a lot of students could use that instead of taking out loans.”

Kohrs, who was working Tuesday at the reception desk of Beimdiek Recreation Center on campus, said he currently receives both athletic and academic scholarships that enable him to pursue his education.

“My scholarships are huge because I pay very little money, and it’s very manageable to get through college without having a lot of debt,” he said.

About the family

David Humphreys serves as the chief executive officer and president of TAMKO Building Products; Debra Humphreys chairs the board of trustees of Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, which she and her husband helped establish in 1993.

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