Skip to Content

Meyer Gives Back Alumnus Finds Unique Way to Give Back to Southeast


The Mary E. (Griffith) Meyer Reading Room is centrally located in Kent Library, across from the cafe. The room serves as a group study area for students assigned to teams working on group projects. The reading room is just steps away and within ready access to other library materials students may need while completing their projects.

When approached by Jane Stacy (former Director of Alumni Services) to make this gift in his wife's honor, Tom did not hesitate, because the library has special meaning for Tom and Mary.

"My wife and I met at the library; she was a student worker there. I used to go to the library and sit at the table right by that room. I would study and wait for her to get off work, and we would walk back together," he says. "I checked out my wife there at the library."

Having the Mary E. (Griffith) Meyer Reading Room dedicated in his wife's honor is only one of the countless ways Tom has given back to the University through the years. He and his wife are Southeast Boosters and also support KRCU at Southeast Missouri State University as well as the Harrison College of Business. Since Tom is also the president of his own real estate company in Cape Girardeau, he frequently advises the Foundation regarding real estate matters. Tom has also served on the Planned Giving Advisory Council for the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

Tom has been very involved with the Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association; he and his wife are lifetime members. Tom is the incoming president of the Alumni Association. Tom has been working with Director of Alumni Services, Shad Burner, on new, innovative ideas for this year's Homecoming celebrations, among other things.

"Tom has already made an incredible impact on the Alumni Association," says Burner. "I look forward to his term as president as a transitional time marked by many great accomplishments at the Association. Tom and I believe we can strengthen the Association's relationship with the rest of campus, diversify the geographic make up and scope of the board of directors, and develop stronger ties to the alumni community at large."

One of Tom's favorite groups to work with is the former Southeast Vet Corps. He was integral in the formation and recognition of the Vet Corps. A member of the Navy SEABEES during the Vietnam War, Tom enjoyed the camaraderie of being around other veterans. In 2006, he helped organize a Vet Corps reunion at Southeast's Homecoming celebration. It was the first time the group had a reunion since it began to disperse in the late 1970s. Thanks to Tom's help, the Vet Corps is now recognized as an alumni chapter and celebrating with a traditional pig roast every year at Homecoming.

Tom says even in economic times such as these with things a little tighter for everyone, it's still important to give back to the University.

"The University and faculty were there for us when we were students, especially when we got back from the service. Being students, we had to pinch our pennies; we often wore old military jackets to class. We couldn't afford to give anything then; now we can afford to give back to the University and to people who gave us so much. We received a hand up, and now its time to give a hand back. My education has helped me succeed in business and in life, so I want to give back."

He adds that former University President Mark Scully really liked the veterans and members of the Vet Corps and helped them adapt to student life after having served in the military.

Some of Tom's favorite memories of Southeast are hanging out at Memorial Hall with the other veterans between classes and devouring books in the private study rooms at the library. He also remembers his most influential teachers, including Dr. Charles Wiles, Dr. Bert Kellerman, Dr. Van Psimitis, E. Victor Williams and his speech teacher, Dr. Joe Low.

Whether it is through his generous support of the University over the years, his service to the Foundation and the Alumni Association, or his fond recollections of his time at Southeast, it is easy to see that Tom Meyer is the personification of Southeast Missouri State University.

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