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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

July 9, 2013

Alumni show appreciation for Northwest with gift to assist students

Northwest alumni John and Kris Teale recently laid plans to assist Northwest and its students with a six-figure gift. The Teales' gift will assist Northwest where its need is greatest. (Photo by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

Northwest alumni John and Kris Teale recently laid plans to assist Northwest and its students with a six-figure gift. The Teales' gift will assist Northwest where its need is greatest. (Photo by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

John and Kris Teale have benefitted for decades from the opportunities provided at Northwest Missouri State University and its mission to help students succeed. Now, the longtime Maryville couple is seeking to assist the University and its students with a six-figure gift.

The Teales recently decided to repurpose a life insurance policy into a gift that fulfills their philanthropic desires and assists Northwest where its need is greatest.

“Giving back to Northwest has never been a question,” John said. “Once we were in a position to make significant gifts we decided it would be more fun and rewarding to start giving now while we can enjoy it. We are beginning with a life insurance policy that we had taken out years ago for a much different purpose. As our life situation changed we discovered that we could re-purpose the policy by gifting ownership of the policy to the University.”

Both Iowa natives, John completed his degree in industrial technology in 1973 at Northwest; Kris earned her degree in early childhood education from the University in 1991. After John completed his degree, the couple stayed in Maryville and John joined Midland Engineering Inc., where he became a partner in 1976 and president in 1989. Now in its fourth decade, the company has evolved and changed its name to Midland Surveying Inc. and expanded its operations, adding Midland GIS Solutions LLC in 2000.

Although Teale retired in 2012, the businesses currently boast about 30 employees who have attended or graduated from Northwest. Midland continues to provide students with opportunities to apply their skills, John said, but it also benefits from the vast skills with which Northwest students are equipped. Numerous Northwest interns from a variety of academic departments have become valuable resources of intellectual talent for the firm.

“We were extremely impressed with the quality of students and willingness of their instructors to accommodate our needs while insuring that the students had a meaningful learning experience,” John said. “The instructors do a tremendous job in preparing these high-achieving performers to become industry leaders of tomorrow and we are grateful for that win-win relationship.”

As a member of departmental professional advisory teams at Northwest, John also shares feedback about curriculum and trends in his industry, participates in mock interview days and provides opportunities for countless students through directed graduate projects, internships and full-time employment.

“John Teale’s devotion to Northwest has had a profound impact on many students who either gained their first experience working for Midland Surveying or Midland GIS Solutions as interns or as full-time employees,” said Dr. Carol Spradling, associate professor of computer science and information systems. “Former Midland interns and employees now work at companies such as Garmin, Burns & McDonnell engineering, Principal Financial Group, and other national and regional companies.”

The Teales have a long and deep family legacy at Northwest. Their two sons, Greg and Adam, as well as their daughters-in-law are Northwest alumni. John’s brother and sister, Kris’ sister, nieces and nephews attended the University, too.

The skills they learned at Northwest and the relationships they’ve built through the years because of their connection to the University continue to have an impact.

“The friendships and relationships that have been created at Northwest, both as students and alumni are priceless,” said John, who was a member of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity at Northwest. “We have built many lifelong friendships, many of which we maintain contact today. We have a tremendous pride in Northwest and believe that much of our success is due to the educational and social experiences that were gained as students and active alumni.

“We feel fortunate to be in a position to pay it forward so that others may experience similar opportunities as a result of their relationship with this fine institution.”

For more information about giving to Northwest, contact the Office of University Advancement at 660.562.1248 or

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468