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News Release

Sept. 16, 2018

University celebrates students, donors for ‘Powering Dreams’

Northwest Missouri State University students came face-to-face on Sunday with the alumni and friends who support them through their contributions to University scholarships during the sixth annual “Powering Dreams” celebration of donors and scholars in Bearcat Arena.  

The celebration is a collaborative event that brings together students and University donors as well as faculty and staff representing the University’s academic affairs division, members of the Northwest Foundation, and the friends and families of scholarship recipients.

The afternoon advances, inspires and solidifies Northwest’s mission of focusing on student success – every student, every day, Sam Mason, a development officer in Northwest’s Office of University Advancement, said.

“We recognize that finances are a big part of your success,” Mason told students attending the event. “The less you have to worry about how you’re paying for college, then we’re setting you up for success, and we sincerely hope that you’re enjoying your time here at Northwest and that you’re finding your own measure of success.”

During the event, scholarship recipients were seated at tables with the donors who are directly responsible for helping to fund their education at Northwest. The celebration allows students to not only thank donors for their investment but exchange stories about their experiences at Northwest and career plans.

“Lifelong learning is what makes Northwest Missouri State a special place,” Mason said. “Connections and support that are established today will continue with gratitude and stories and chapters that are yet to be written.”

Northwest Provost Dr. Jamie Hooyman, noting the value and worthwhile investment of a college education, thanked the donors for their gifts and called on the scholarship recipients to be grateful, to be accountable and to pay it forward in honor of those donors.

“They’re able to focus on their classes and their learning and get every ounce that they can out of this University because that’s why we’re here,” Hooyman said. “We’re here to create the next generation of leaders, and that’s something we take very seriously.”

Hooyman noted a number of recent Northwest successes, including a record 78.66 percent of freshman class returning to the University for a second year. Additionally, Northwest’s graduate rate is in the 89th percentile of its national peer group, and the University boasts state-leading career placement rates of 97.4 percent for undergraduates and 99.8 percent for graduate students.

“What you do for Northwest with your donations is you help us excel and be the best, and I’m very proud that we’re the best,” Hooyman said. “We’re the best in so many ways.”

Kori Simmermon, a senior chemistry major from Grain Valley, Missouri, says her scholarship has motivated her to work harder in pursuit of her college degree.

“I know that I’m not the only person who struggles to pay for school and I know that so many other people do,” she said. “All of us are so thankful for what we’ve been given. We know that we couldn’t be here without those scholarships. I just hope that they know that we really appreciate it, and we are more than thankful for what they have given to us.”  

Among the donors on hand Sunday was Linda Nichols Place, a 1972 Northwest graduate whose family established the Charles M. Place Memorial Scholarship in honor of her late husband.

“We want kids who choose Northwest,” Place said. “We want them to come here and be able to have the time, energy, money to explore all the possibilities Northwest can give them and also all the possibilities of friendships, and meeting other people and getting a wide view of what’s out there and what they’re capable of.”

For more information about the Northwest Foundation or to make a gift to support Northwest, contact the Office of University Advancement at 660.562.1248 or


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215