COLUMBIA - A St. Louis couple gave $2.5 million to MU's College of Veterinary Medicine on Monday.
Nathan Hurst of the MU News Bureau said Gary Savill and Barbara Stampfli-Savill want the money to go toward scholarships for veterinary students, and encourage recipients to volunteer.
"We are thrilled to be able to give this gift to the College of Veterinary Medicine with the intent that it will support the development of future veterinarians for years to come," Gary Savill said. "Barbara and I are animal lovers, and we hope this gift will help care for animals around the nation and the world by educating future classes of veterinarians. We also wish to enable students who otherwise would not be able to afford the education and training required to enter this noble profession. Another important aspect of this scholarship is volunteer work; we hope that students who receive this scholarship will be inspired to continue such charitable work throughout their careers."
Hurst said the endowment will give at least one scholarship to cover half of all tuition and fees each year. Students will need to show financial need and preference will go to students from underrepresented ethnic groups. Students will have to perform at least 120 hours of animal-related community and volunteer service every year also.
"Providing a top-tier education for our students at an affordable cost is a priority for this university," MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said. "The Stampfli-Savills' generous gift will help us further that cause. By helping MU train future leaders in the field of veterinary medicine, they will assist generations of students in achieving their academic and career aspirations as we continue to serve the needs of Missourians."
The couple does not have any affiliation with MU or the College of Veterinary Medicine, but Hurst said the couple was inspired after reading about the philanthropy of other donors.
"We are grateful to Barbara and Gary for their generosity to the college and appreciate their desire to help increase diversity within the veterinary profession," said Neil Olson, dean of the MU College of Veterinary Medicine. "Their additional aim of fostering community service is one we as a college also embrace."
The couple, which owns and operates Silver Wraith Choppers, LLC in St. Louis, also donated a custom-built motorcycle to the College of Veterinary Medicine. The motorcycle will be raffled off as part of the college's annual Gentle Doctor Benefit, which raises money for student scholarships. Raffle tickets for the motorcycle are currently on sale. Click here for more information about the motorcycle and to purchase tickets.