Former UM Curator Creates Scholarship in MU College of Education

By Shannon Sowell, Development Research Coordinator

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Former University of Missouri System Curator Mary L. James knows all too well the challenges that come with creating and sustaining a stimulating, yet affordable, educational experience. Throughout her service on the Board of Curators, James was a proponent of helping Missouri’s young people earn college degrees. She and her husband, William E. James, recently reinforced their years of support for this mission with a gift creating the Mary L. James Scholarship Endowment in the College of Education.

“Mary and her family have given consistently and generously of their time, energy, personal resources and counsel,” Chancellor Brady J. Deaton said.  “I am hopeful that the students who enter MU on this new scholarship will be fully aware of Mary’s history and proud to know they are following in her footsteps.”

This scholarship will be welcome news for those entering a field that is personally rewarding, though typically not financially rewarding.  The scholarship will be awarded for the first time in August 2009. Both undergraduate and graduate students will be eligible to receive it.

“Mary and I are honored to have made this gift to MU’s College of Education,” said Bill James. “Mary and her sister, Jeanie Brown Snider, are proud graduates of the college and have dedicated their careers to making a difference through educational opportunities.”

“The college has made great strides in the last decade in Missouri and around the world.  Mary had a chance to witness that firsthand during her service as an MU curator.  She and I both wanted to pay tribute to that achievement and support MU’s historic For All We Call Mizzou billion-dollar campaign,” he said.

The Jameses also support the Community Newspaper Management Fund and the William E. James Scholarship in the Missouri School of Journalism. Mary’s late father, J. W. Brown, Jr., was a graduate of the Journalism School. Mary’s mother, Wanda Brown, is also a proud supporter of MU.

After graduating from MU, Mary James taught in San Antonio, Texas, and Harrisonville, Mo.  She served as executive director of the Cass Medical Center Foundation and was the human resources manager for the Cass County Publishing Co. for 26 years.  Most recently, she was the Adult and Community Education Coordinator for the Cass Career Center.  Mary is active in numerous Harrisonville and Cass County community organizations.

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