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Sept. 25, 2015
This story appears in the fall 2015 Northwest Alumni Magazine. To view the Northwest Alumni Magazine in its entirety online, click here.
Bernard “Barney” Brinkmann came to Northwest Missouri State University from St. Louis in 1974, looking for something new and different. Although many of his friends remained close to home, Brinkmann was ready for the challenge of going to school more than five hours away.
Brinkmann graduated from Northwest in 1979 with a degree in psychology, and for the past 37 years he has worked for AT&T as the manager of outside plant planning and engineering design, processing high-speed data orders.
“My education from Northwest helped me shape who I am today,” Brinkmann said. “The University made me approach situations from different angles and assisted in problem-solving. Having a degree built my confidence and ensured I was prepared for my career.”
Through the years, Brinkmann and his wife, Colleen, have traveled to various parts of the world including Colleen’s native country, India.
“For a country to compete in the world market, we need to be competitive both academically and financially,” Brinkmann said. “Education is so valued in India, and it is a tool to get people out of poverty.”
With the value of education in mind, Brinkmann has pledged a portion of his estate to Northwest and to support the future needs of the College of Arts and Sciences in the area of liberal arts.
“Deferred giving provides an opportunity for alumni to leave their legacy to Northwest,” Northwest Senior Development Officer Steve Sutton said. “Barney’s gift will assist future students in achieving their goal of earning a college diploma.”
Brinkmann and his wife understand the importance of philanthropy and how financial assistance and scholarships can truly make a difference in the life of a student. Knowing firsthand the cost of a college education and its worth, Brinkmann wants future students to succeed and have the same opportunities he had.
“Northwest offers a solid and affordable education,” Brinkmann said. “Because of its size and location, each student has the opportunity to find their place. I hope my pledge helps future Bearcats.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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