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Sept. 24, 2023

University celebrates students, donors during annual ‘Powering Dreams’ event

Northwest Missouri State University students came face-to-face Sunday afternoon with the alumni and friends who support them through their contributions to University scholarships during the annual “Powering Dreams” celebration of donors and scholars at the Agricultural Learning Center.

The celebration provides an opportunity for students to not only thank donors for their investment but exchange stories about their experiences at Northwest and career plans.

Dr. Lance Tatum

Dr. Lance Tatum

“Scholarships are such an important part of how we support student success at the University,” Northwest President Dr. Lance Tatum said. “Scholarships allow us to compete for the best and brightest students and provide critical financial support to students who would otherwise not be afforded an opportunity to seek a college education.”

Addressing donors, Tatum added, “I want you to know that your investment in our students is having a profound impact. To put it simply, you make the dream of attending Northwest Missouri State University for many a reality, and we are thankful for your giving.”

Among the scholarship recipients attending Sunday’s event was Sadie Schafer, a senior agriculture education major from Barnard, Missouri, who received the Harold Wilmarth Scholarship and the Piveral Wake Mitchell Scholarship for the 2023-24 academic year.

Having grown up on a farm, Schafer developed a passion for agriculture early in her life and followed the path of her two older brothers by choosing to pursue higher education at Northwest. She will apply her learning next spring as a student teacher and then plans to seek a teaching position in a high school setting.

Sadie Schafer

Sadie Schafer

On behalf of Northwest scholarship recipients, Schafer expressed gratitude to donors whose generosity helps students pursue their dreams.

“Without these scholarships, attending college would have been incredibly difficult for me,” Schafer said. “Growing up on a small farm, finances aren’t always available and some years are tough to even make the payments. With the help of incredible individuals, I am able to attend college without the worry of what it costs. This allows me to focus on classes and achieve highly academically. Not having the stress of working a lot in my free time to make ends meet allows me to be involved in many clubs on campus and network with my peers. From my perspective, the biggest thing these scholarships have done is not only provide me an education, but it also provides an education for the future of agriculture. My future students will receive a quality education in agriculture, an industry so important to the world, because of the kindness of the individuals like you.”

Cindy Wolfe

Cindy Wolfe

The donors attending Sunday’s event included Cindy Wolfe, a 1988 graduate of Northwest, who funded a scholarship for education majors. Thankful for the teacher training she received at Northwest, which led her to a 17-year teaching career, Wolfe said she wants to help today’s students reach their potential. 

“I believe that basic education is important for all students, but a college education will help expand the horizon for students wanting to find their niche and become the best and brightest in their field,” Wolfe said. “In today’s world, things are rapidly changing. Having an advanced degree will afford individuals a better opportunity to understand the changes of our world and the direction things are going as most college professors are up to date on current events as well as changes locally and globally. The professors here do a fantastic job of sharing this knowledge with their students and help prepare them for the real world.”

Scholarship support remains a central mission of the Northwest Foundation, which funded 1,467 scholarship awards to Northwest students during the last fiscal year. Total scholarship funding through the Foundation increased for the fifth consecutive year in FY23, while the average scholarship amount awarded from donor-funded scholarships during the year was $1,013.

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


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215