OGS earns its pearls

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On July 29, 2007

As the Order of the Golden Shillelagh celebrates its 30th anniversary, it’s tempting to relive the past and reminisce about how individuals “picked up the shillelagh” to provide financial support for the university. After all, that group of concerned individuals, like a grain of sand to an oyster, supplied the foundation for what became a lustrous organization.

The numbers almost speak for themselves. Since its founding in 1977, members of this generous group have:

  • Funded $42.5 million in scholarships
  • Donated $20.1 million for program support
  • Contributed $23.1 million to new building construction and renovation
  • Funded more than $10.6 million for endowed professorships and chairs
  • Donated more than $12.7 million to unrestricted accounts to be used as needed.

OGS members make a minimum commitment of $10,000 over five years to the university or the MSM-UMR Alumni Association. These numbers total more than $109 million in cash and pledges over the last 30 years, including more than $13 million in deferred pledges.

That’s impressive. But behind these figures are more timeless stories – about leadership, loyalty and sacrifice. Natural pearls, the most elegant and sought-after kind, begin with a disturbance, take years to mature, and maintain their strength and magnificence for centuries. Likewise, OGS was formed after alumni and friends recognized that – without their help – the university would struggle to maintain the high quality of education that has been associated with the school since its beginnings in the 1870s.

As the university embarks on another journey, under a new name, it will again rely on others to come together and add their layer, making the organization stronger and even more precious.

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On July 29, 2007. Posted in Features, Summer 2007