Monday, December 04, 2006

$2 million gift supports tigers in the wild and on the court

Source: University of Missouri
Date: 29 November 2006

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A $2 million gift to the For All We Call Mizzou campaign at the University of Missouri-Columbia will help save wild tigers and support Mizzou basketball tigers. The gift from MU alumnus Bruce Loewenberg includes $1 million to the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources for the Mizzou Tigers for Tigers program and $1 million that will establish scholarships for men's basketball.

"This gift highlights Mr. Loewenberg's continued enthusiasm for Mizzou student-athletes and the department of intercollegiate athletics, as well as his strong interest in worldwide conservation efforts to preserve wild tigers," said MU Chancellor Brady Deaton. "We are very grateful for his support of the University."

Mizzou Tigers for Tigers (MT4T) was organized in 1999 as the nation's first tiger mascot conservation program to "ensure that there are wild tigers as long as there are Mizzou Tigers." The largest living cat on earth, tiger populations have declined by more than 95 percent in the last century, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Conservation experts estimate that today, only 3,000 to 5,000 tigers remain in the wild due to habitat loss, poaching and loss of prey. MT4T plans to use the Loewenberg gift to work for the survival of tigers by:

- Delivering professional education and training programs to enable people in tiger range countries to preserve the species; and

- Providing opportunities to MU students to participate in tiger research and international conservation.

"Bruce understands that the survival of our world tiger populations rests on education. His generous gift will play a major role in our ability to educate MU graduate students to aid in tiger conservation research efforts," said Tom Payne, vice chancellor and dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR). "Bruce also realizes the people living in the tiger habitats are the first line for education toward tiger conservation. Through training programs, his support will help provide that needed education.

The other half of Loewenberg's gift will fund one or more men's basketball scholarships. This gift will contribute to the Mizzou Department of Intercollegiate Athletics' portion of the For All We Call Mizzou campaign, called the Champions for Life capital campaign, which has raised in excess of $125 million.

"Bruce Loewenberg has been a great supporter of Mizzou Athletics for numerous years," said Mike Alden, MU athletic director. "I would like to thank Bruce for ensuring the future financial stability of our men's basketball program and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics."

Loewenberg has a long history of involvement in the Mizzou community. As a student in 1958, he was student manager of the MU Tigers under Dan Devine, and in 1961, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in forestry. Loewenberg is a charter member of the St. Louis Tiger Club, a life member of the MU Alumni Association and a longtime participant in the CAFNR Unlimited Banquet and Auctions. He also serves on the board of directors and is currently vice president of the Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity National Board of Directors, having previously served a two-year term as a local chapter fraternity president.

Loewenberg has provided annual support to MU since his graduation and is a Jefferson Club member at the diplomat level. He has donated to MU from his personal art collection, including a Bengal Tiger oil painting displayed in the MU Athletic Department and a bronze tiger statue on display in the lobby of the Reynolds Alumni Center. His support for MU has enhanced programs and facilities and provided scholarship opportunities for numerous students.

"The University has been the single most influential force in my life," Loewenberg said. "Whatever I have accomplished in life comes back to my association with Mizzou. The confidence that I gained here as an undergraduate was transferred to my professional career. By being in a position to donate to the University, I believe I am repaying a debt."

Loewenberg grew up in Raytown, Mo., and served in the U.S. Army after graduation from MU. He later joined the IBM Corporation in Dallas, Texas, followed by a position in the U.S. Forest Service in Wyoming. He stayed in Wyoming for six months before returning to executive sales positions, first with IBM and later with Xerox in St. Louis. In 1969, he joined Maritz Motivation Company, where he sold performance improvement products to major U.S. markets for 25 years. That same year, he bought acreage in Pike County, Mo., and later began a cattle business there. Today, he specializes in raising Salers Cattle, a beef breed with French origins.

The For All We Call Mizzou campaign has a goal of raising $1 billion by December 2008. Reaching this goal will enhance MU's ability to compete nationally and internationally for the best students and faculty and will provide broad access for students of all economic backgrounds to Missouri's flagship University. The campaign has raised $727.2 million, which is 72.72 percent of the $1 billion goal.

For more information about Mizzou Tigers for Tigers, please see the MT4T Web site at =News_Headlines&TEMPLATE=/CM/ ContentDisplay.cfm&CONTENTID=3021

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