Larry and Donna Marler Named Friends of the University
Southeast Missouri State University President Kenneth W. Dobbins says the University is truly appreciative of the support, dedication and gifts that the 2012 Friends of the University Larry and Donna Marler have given to their alma mater and what those gifts have meant to students.
“They have been outstanding friends of the University, not only in their financial support, but also with their presence at many of our campus events and activities. Their support has given many students the opportunity to pursue their academic dreams. And their generous spirits have not only benefited Southeast, but I know they’ve also been generous with their time and talents to the community of Ste. Genevieve,” Dobbins says.
The Friend of the University award, which recognizes those who support and who are closely associated with the mission, purposes, plans and programs of the University, is the highest honor bestowed by the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.
Mr. Marler, a native of Normandy, Mo., is retired as president of Marler Business Systems in St. Louis County. He is a 1957 Southeast graduate with a Bachelor of Science with majors in earth science and marketing. He currently serves on the Southeast Missouri University Foundation Board of Directors.
Mrs. Marler, a Ste. Genevieve, Mo., native, is a graduate of Fontebonne College. She studied for two years at Southeast before embarking on a teaching career that spanned 24 years.
The Marlers have endowed two scholarships for Southeast students. The Lawrence and Donna Marler Endowed Scholarship is open to historic preservation majors.
The Marlers also have endowed the Marler Tourism Scholarship, awarded to applicants who demonstrate high academic achievement, and show potential leadership in the profession.
In March 2001, the Marlers’ involvement in rehabbing old homes in the former French settlement of Ste. Genevieve led them to fund the Larry and Donna Marler Endowed Chair in Historic Preservation, the first ever endowed chair at Southeast. The mission is to expand community development in small communities in the University’s primary service area through the protection of significant historic buildings and landscapes, by raising awareness of community heritage and through the promotion of this heritage.
“My wife and I are both the first generation high school and college graduates. That’s why Southeast Missouri State University is so important to us,” Mr. Marler says. “If I hadn’t had the encouragement of my parents, a college education would have never happened. I look at it as though it’s time to give back.
“It’s an honor to receive the Friend of the University Award,” Mr. Marler says. “And we’re not finished yet.”