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Southeast Student Athletes Succeed...On and Off the Court


Student athletes at Southeast come to play a sport they love but find a top quality education in the process. Originally from Muncie, Ind., Molly Davis initially decided to come to Southeast because of the volleyball program, but she has found many more reasons to love Southeast.

"I was recruited by Coach Renata Nowacki and when I visited the campus, I absolutely loved everything about it. I'm very, very happy with my decision," said Davis.

As a junior, Davis contributes a great deal to the success of the Southeast volleyball team. Davis has received numerous titles. She has led her team with digs, a defensive fore-arm pass of a hard-driven ball. With 637 digs, Davis set a new single season record and is currently ranked 7th in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) in digs.

Davis is also an accomplished student off the volleyball court. She is an OVC Medal of Honor recipient, on the OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll and a Southeast Scholar Athlete. Davis, who is a sports management major with a business administration minor, says that she has to maintain a specific schedule in order to continue excelling both inside and outside of the classroom.

"A typical day usually begins around 9 a.m.," said Davis, "although some days start earlier with 6:45 am weights. My class schedule starts at 11 a.m., and I walk to and from class. After class, I usually finish some homework or take a nap to prepare for afternoon volleyball practice. Practice starts around 3:30 p.m., so I'm at the gym around 3 p.m. We practice for two hours or so and then it's time for dinner and more homework."

Although at times her schedule can get a little hectic from balancing both school and volleyball, Davis has treasured every minute of her time at Southeast.

"My college experience so far has been wonderful," said Davis. "I have met my best friends at Southeast. I am able to play a sport that I love at the Division I level, and I'm also enjoying my major and education. I came to Southeast undecided and I really had no clue as to what I was going to study. Southeast offered so many programs that I was able to find the right fit for me."

Davis feels very fortunate to have the opportunity to play volleyball for a Division I university, and she believes that this opportunity was made possible due to the Bruce K. Edwards Scholarship, an athletic scholarship she received upon admission.

"I found out about the scholarship through my head coach," said Davis. "The scholarship process [at other universities] was stressful, particularly with the volleyball aspect. Finding a school I liked on top of a volleyball program that I felt I could play in and contribute to was quite the task. I'm very fortunate I found Southeast as it was a school that met all my criteria."

Looking back, Davis believes that her athletic and academic careers may have been very different had she not received the Bruce K. Edwards Scholarship.

"I'm not sure I would have had the same experience without the scholarship," said Davis. "The scholarship opened so many doors. It allowed me to attend a school states away from home. Learning to live on my own away from everyone I know was an adjustment and an important aspect of growing up-I'm not sure the same opportunity would have presented itself without this scholarship."

The Bruce K. Edwards Scholarship is open to students who participate in a sport while majoring in a business field. Financial need is also a consideration when selecting a potential recipient.

"The scholarship has provided me with the opportunity to receive a solid education to prepare for the future," said Davis. "My volleyball scholarship has also enabled me to continue to play the game I love. I have learned a lot about myself through the whole experience and scholarship process. I've gained the knowledge and understanding that if I set my mind to something, I can achieve it."

Stories like Davis' demonstrate the impact that donors can have on the lives of Southeast students. To encourage others to give to endowments for student athletes, the Southeast Missouri University Foundation has teamed up with the Athletic Department to create Redhawks Legacy, working with alumni to provide full and permanent income to secure the future of Redhawks Athletics. This is a long term project to provide funds to enhance the opportunities available-on and off the court-for student athletes like Molly Davis.

For more information on Redhawks Legacy contact Trudy G. Lee, Ed.D. at 573.651.5935 or 888.812.3769 or

eBrochure Request Form

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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.

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