Skip to Sub-menu

Reasons to Give to HES

Our mission touches the heart of humanity: to develop and nurture human potential and to apply knowledge for the betterment of all.Beginning with the basics — food, clothing, shelter, finances, family, and community — we concentrate on providing scientific solutions for contemporary challenges in human lives.Extending from deep land-grant roots, the College of Human Environmental Sciences is unique in Missouri because we offer a complete array of teaching, research and extension programs in the human sciences.
go to Naming Opportunities Booklet


Give to a Specific Fund

Historic Grindstone Donated to CDL Learning Garden

pinking grinding wheelStory by Pete Millier

The pink granite grindstone in the CDL Learning Garden was originally used by a German settlement on the Missouri River near McKittrick, MO in the mid-1800s. This stone was part of the collection in the McKittrick Museum created and owned by the Meyer family. The Meyers had been collecting items for 150 years prior to the closing of the museum. Judy Edwards (nee Meyer) is the grand-daughter of Mr. Meyer, who ran the museum until his death in 1976.

Judy’s late husband, Larry Edwards, purchased the stone in 1976 at the auction (from the poster) intending to use it in his garden as the basis for a fountain. Mr. Edwards was a proud graduate, as was his daughter Kim, of the University of Missouri, and worked at his alma mater for 39 years. Upon Mr. Edwards death several years ago, Judy Edwards decided to donate the grindstone to the University of Missouri for display. Shortly after accepting the stone, the decision to use the grindstone in the CDL Learning Garden was made as this seemed to be the most appropriate, and fitting, location for such a unique artifact. It is doubly fitting as the children who learn valuable lessons about the natural world within this garden, gather around this grindstone that has been part of Missouri’s history for over 150 Years! Mr. Edwards would be very happy to know that the joyful sound of children are heard in this way.

Innovation by Design

Gift Creates Robert and Marlese Gourley Family Studio for Innovative Design and Fabrication in the College of Human Environmental Sciences

Robert and Marlese Gourley have made a gift to create the Robert and Marlese Gourley Family Studio for Innovative Design and Fabrication at the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences. The gift, which was announced by MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright, will have a direct impact on training the next generation of design leaders at Mizzou by enabling access to state-of-the-art digital visualization and fabrication tools in the Department of Architectural Studies. The Gourley’s generous support will allow the Department to make major infrastructure improvements in the Immersive Visualization Lab and the Building Technology Lab – where students are visualizing and realizing projects as they prepare to compete at the highest levels in the architecture and design industry. These technological improvements will have a tremendous impact on the undergraduate and graduate curriculum, as well as interdisciplinary opportunities at Mizzou.”Student success means ensuring that Mizzou students have access to world-class learning opportunities, in and out of the classroom,” said Cartwright. “In particular, hands-on learning experiences are invaluable because they give our students the skills they need to succeed in their careers. We cannot thank Marlese and Bob enough for their generosity and vision in helping us provide students with outstanding learning opportunities while fostering their entrepreneurial spirit.”

Sandy Rikoon, College of Human Environmental Sciences dean said, “With the generous support of the Gourley Family, the Department of Architectural Studies is well-positioned for the future. The technological improvements we will be able to acquire will keep the Department in the standings as one of the nation’s premier architectural studies programs.”

The Gourleys were inspired to make this gift in honor of the stellar faculty, particularly Dr. Ronn Phillips, who made such an impression on their daughter Anne, who graduated from the Department of Architectural Studies in 1995. Phillips’ work with establishing the building technology lab in 2003 offered students the opportunity to build out their ideas using power tools for woodworking. For over 15 years, the lab under the leadership of Professor Phillips instilled creative confidence in the students to implement their ideas in the real world. Our students’ success in their early careers was in large part due to their balance of skills in both digital tools and knowledge of construction. The Gourley’s gift will be an investment for the future of next-generation design leaders from Missouri by enabling access to state-of-the-art digital visualization and fabrication tools in the Architectural Studies Department at Mizzou. This, in turn, will place them on the trajectory to become leaders at design firms once they graduate.

“This gift will provide our department with a unique opportunity to connect advanced visualization capabilities in the Immersive Visualization Lab with the latest fabrication tools in our Building Technology Lab,” said Bimal Balakrishnan, chair of the Department of Architectural Studies. “This opportunity will allow our students and faculty to explore innovative workflows for design and construction in architecture and interior design.”

The Gourley family’s relationship with Mizzou spans generations. While Robert Gourley is an entrepreneur who graduated from Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University), Marlese Gourley is a retired educator and an alumna of the MU College of Education. Many members of their immediate and extended family have ties to MU, including their daughter Anne, their son David, and two grandsons, who are both undergraduate students in the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

What some may not realize is that Bob and Marlese Gourley have a philanthropic history with the college. In 2014, the Gourleys provided funding for a Children’s Learning Garden, created in partnership with USDA-Agricultural Research Services and designed by MU Landscape Services. The children from Mizzou’s Child Development Laboratory, which is housed in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, utilize the garden as an outdoor classroom where they learn about agriculture by planting, caring for and harvesting plants and they learn about nutrition by helping to plan and prepare meals using the vegetables that they have grown.

The Gourleys’ gift supports the Mizzou: Our Time to Lead comprehensive campaign. With an overall fundraising goal of $1.3 billion, the campaign will secure the University of Missouri’s status among the nation’s elite public universities.

From left: Bimal Balakrishnan, Ronn Phillips, Marlese and Bob Gourley, Dean Sandy Rikoon

Bob Gourley brings remarks at the announcement

Architectural Studies chair emerita, Ruth Tofle, introduces Marlese Gourley to Brad Eiffert, owner of Boone County Lumber and major contributor of the Building Technology Lab

The children from the MU Child Development Lab present gifts to the Gourleys from the MU Children’s Learning Garden

A banner showcasing the plan for the Robert and Marlese Gourley Family Studio for Innovative Design and Fabrication

Dr. Ruth Brent Tofle Establishes First HES Scholarship for Missouri 4-H Members

Ruth TofleDr. Ruth Brent Tofle has established the Tofle-Brent-Stumpe Family 4-H Scholarship in honor of her own 4-H experience and in memory of her brother Lester Stumpe and parents Clarence and Dorothy Stumpe of Franklin County. The scholarship will support current or former Missouri 4-H members enrolled or planning to enroll in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences, with a preference for students enrolled in Architectural Studies.

“During the Great Depression, my mother won the American Royal Grand Champion Award for her 4-H steer, which allowed her to get a college degree,” said Dr. Tofle. “Her gratitude to 4-H was displayed in starting the first 4-H club in the small Franklin County town of Washington, Mo., and in being a life-long 4-H leader until her passing at 93 years of age.”

“It’s my turn to ‘pay it forward’ to benefit Missouri 4-H’ers with a college scholarship. I’m smiling and so is my mother.” – Dr. Tofle

Dr. Tofle credits her mother’s commitment to 4-H with much of her own success as a member. “At our charter 4-H meeting, I was elected vice president. Our local newspaper published this photo of officers and I’m the short kid in the center. I was 10 years old,” she said, sharing a photo published at the time in the local newspaper.

After earning her BS from MU in the College of Human Environmental Sciences and completing her graduate work at the University of Minnesota, she returned to MU as a faculty member at the age of 29. Once again, she was a leader at a young age. Three years later she began service as a University of Missouri department chairperson and served on the Missouri 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees for many years. This year, Dr. Tofle will conclude 34 continuous years as department chair of Architectural Studies. She explains, “It’s my turn to ‘pay it forward’ to benefit Missouri 4-H’ers with a college scholarship. I’m smiling and so is my mother.”

“This generous gift is a testament to Dr. Tofle’s commitment to helping young people in Missouri prepare for and succeed in college and their careers,” said Rachel Augustine, Missouri 4-H Foundation director. “As the cost of higher education continues to climb, college scholarships are becoming essential to the majority of students. We are so grateful to Dr. Tofle for giving back to 4-H in this way.”

This is the first scholarship at MU to support 4-H members in HES. It is also the first Missouri 4-H Foundation scholarship that will be available to students pursuing graduate education. It is one of nearly 70 college scholarships that the Missouri 4-H Foundation awards each year to current or former 4-H youth throughout the state.

If you have questions, please contact the HES Advancement Office at (573) 882-6869 or e-mail