Rewarding Southeast Experience Leads to Fulfilling Career
Becoming a frequent traveler hasn't let Southeast Missouri State University graduate Jason LeGrand forget his Missouri education. Jason graduated from Southeast in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in mass communication, public relations option, and a minor in psychology. His experiences since Southeast have left him grateful to the University. "I believe Southeast serves an important purpose in Cape Girardeau and the state. I was a local kid who got a solid education and had a rich campus experience," Jason says.
Raised in Jackson and Cape Girardeau, Jason has fond memories of the University before he became a Redhawk. He took swimming lessons in the pool that used to be in the basement of Academic Hall and he attended special events at the University Center and the Show Me Center.
The Importance of Scholarships
Jason's reverence for the University led him to make the decision to designate Southeast as a beneficiary of his life insurance policy and ask for the planned gift to be used for scholarships. "I know that not everyone is guaranteed that educational opportunity," he says. "As someone who works at another public university, I know scholarships are critical. Support for state universities is down, and this is something that makes a real difference. Students need scholarship help—now more than ever—and that will be true in the future."
Mentors Pave the Way for a Bright Future
Jason's loyalty is due in part to the mentors he was fortunate enough to encounter. Jason says, "I had great mentors at Southeast, including staff members Jay Goff, Juan Crites, Loren Rullman and Debbie Fulton, who taught me much as a student working in marketing and university relations. The practical experience gained with them added much to the excellent classroom instruction by faculty members such as Joe Low and Ferrell Ervin."
Their influence and the influence of other educators helped direct Jason's future. "I'm grateful for the education I received at Southeast, and for the work and play outside of class. I had a great experience, and it was enough to convince me I wanted to work on a college campus."
Jason feels his education and experience at Southeast prepared him well to pursue a career that has included Cornell, University of Denver and University of Maryland. He currently works as the director of major gifts for the west coast for the University of Maryland College Park's $1 billion capital campaign, which means he splits his time between the Maryland campus and the California coast.
Being acquainted with major gifts, Jason wanted to give to where he was the most grateful. "I got a lot out of my college experience. I had fun, learned a lot, and my education and student experience prepared me for my career. I left with great friends and real work experience."
Jason's generosity will enable future students to experience the same level of commitment and passion he developed at Southeast.