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May 9, 2013
By Philip Gruenwald, media relations assistant
Richard Allman, a 1975 Northwest Missouri State University alumnus, is giving a deferred estate gift with a current value of more than $500,000 to establish the Richard Allman and Margaret Peterson Three-Dimensional Art Fund to through the Northwest Foundation to benefit art students.
“This is a beautiful testamentary gift that recognizes and continues to provide for differentiation within our excellent Department of Fine and Performing Arts,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “Thanks to Richard Allman and his late wife, Margaret Peterson, for inspiring so many to follow their passion in providing difference-making legacies throughout Northwest Missouri State University.”
Allman chose to donate his entire estate to Northwest to establish the fund. A portion of the estate gift will be designated for the endowed Richard Allman and Margaret Peterson Three Dimensional Art Scholarship, named in honor of Richard’s late wife, which benefits selected full-time students earning a 3.0 grade-point average who have declared a bachelor of fine arts major with an emphasis in sculpture or ceramics. Students will be chosen based on academic merit and financial need, and the fund will remain open for additional donations.
The remainder of the estate gift will be used to benefit Northwest ceramic and sculpture programs.
“I want to make sure Northwest can use this gift to help young art students,” Allman said. “This is the best place the money can go.”
Allman has fond memories of the people he met and spent time with at Northwest. He also enjoyed sitting near Colden Pond and walking along the Wabash Railroad tracks formerly located north of campus. He remembers spending hours creating art in the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building.
“I really enjoyed going to plays and spending hours in the studio,” Allman said. “The art department even then had individual studio spaces carved out in the basement. A lot of schools still don’t do that, but we had our own little studio space to just create art.”
After graduating, Allman served the United States Army until 1978, when he enrolled in University of Central Missouri’s secondary education program. After graduation, UCM hired him as an art instructor. He taught there four years and met his future wife, Margaret, painting professor emeritus at UCM. Allman began teaching elementary and middle school art in the Kansas City School District in 1993 and retired in 2011 to support his wife during her battle with cancer.
While considering how his gift could benefit Northwest, Allman visited the University and was impressed with the new Fire Arts Building. Allman also noticed how much Northwest has grown since he was a student.
“When they gave me the tour and I saw the facility, it blew my socks off,” Allman said. “It’s better than the facilities at a lot of other colleges that have Master of Fine Arts programs.”
Now retired, Allman enjoys the house and studio he built on 10 1/2 acres in Peculiar. He is glad to support students in Northwest’s “first-rate” art program and advises them to work hard during their time as students.
“To be successful artists, students need to practice, practice, practice,” Allman said, paraphrasing an old vaudeville punch line. “They need to build a portfolio and skills good enough to justify being an art major, but it can be very rewarding.”
Teresa Gustafson, director of strategic donor development at Northwest, helped Allman construct the gift, which reflects his relationship with the University.
“Seeing the development of campus, specifically the Fire Arts Building, made Richard confident in his gift of an endowed scholarship and providing assistance to the ceramic and sculpture program,” Gustafson said. “Bringing alumni back to campus helps them identify the personal way they want to connect to Northwest. In Richard’s case, the art scholarship fund serves an important function as a recruiting tool, because scholarship assistance is often a deciding factor for students.”
For more information about giving to Northwest, contact the Office of University Advancement at 660.562.1248 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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