Skip to Content

Honoring a Love of Education


After four years of fundraising that included creating an annual children's fashion show and selling prepared food to the community, the McDowells were able to provide an endowed memorial scholarship "to honor the memory of our son Jerry who was a staunch advocate for an educated society."

Jerry David McDowell was born to Jerry and Maxine McDowell on Feb. 6, 1967, in Jackson, Miss. After graduating in 1985 from Charleston R-1 schools in Charleston, Mo., he entered Harvard University as an English major. Upon graduating, Jerry moved back to Charleston and worked as an English teacher and as an assistant alternative school director at Charleston Schools.

Jerry was a well-known leader in the Missouri Bootheel, often dedicating his time and talents to the Mississippi County community and to the entire southeast Missouri region. One of Jerry's greatest joys was his employment as a grant writer with the Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center in Charleston, one of the organizations that would later become a champion in his parents' quest to honor his memory with a scholarship.

Jerry's love of education was fostered by his family. The McDowells have a strong tie with Southeast Missouri State University; in 1972, Jerry Sr. received his master's degree in teaching and Maxine received her master's degree in education. The McDowells also have a daughter who attended Southeast in 1988.

"We decided to contribute to Southeast because the McDowell family is very proud of Southeast Missouri State University for the educational opportunities it provided for our family and others," said the McDowells.

The Jerry McDowell II Memorial Scholarship will make it possible for youth in the Bootheel region to continue their education, something Jerry was a firm believer in.

Because it is set up as an endowment, all contributions that have been made will be invested to provide income for scholarships for many years to come. The McDowell Scholarship is available to students from Mississippi, New Madrid and Scott counties in Missouri.

"It was important for us to provide a scholarship for youth in the Bootheel because we want to continually serve students with financial need," said the McDowells.

Because of Jerry Sr. and Maxine's indelible love of life and passion for education, Jerry's memory will never be extinguished.

To learn more about how you can make a difference to Southeast students through endowed scholarships, go to or contact the Southeast Missouri University Foundation at 573.651.5935 or 888.812.3769.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

First name is required
Last Name is required
Please include an '@' in the email address

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the Southeast Missouri University Foundation a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Southeast Missouri University Foundation, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, 63701, [the sum of _____] or [_____% of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal] for its charitable purposes in support of Southeast Missouri State University [for its unrestricted use] or [to establish the _____________ Fund]."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Southeast or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Southeast as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Southeast as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Southeast where you agree to make a gift to Southeast and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.

First name is required
Last Name is required
Please include an '@' in the email address