McNeelys Make Lasting Impact on Performing Arts

Photo of Don and Sue McNeely

Don McNeely, former news anchor and meteorologist with KFVS12, and his wife, Sue, recently endowed two scholarships at Southeast Missouri Sate University.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., June 12, 2007 — Don McNeely, former news anchor and meteorologist with KFVS12, and his wife, Sue, recently endowed two scholarships at Southeast Missouri Sate University.

The Don McNeely Acting Scholarship, which is designated for performing arts students with an option in acting/directing or musical theatre, was created in Don’s honor by daughters Donna and Laura.  The surprise was presented to McNeely at a reception on campus honoring his 80th birthday. Donna wrote a skit for the event, which was performed by a group of Southeast’s theatre students.

“I was speechless at first,” said McNeely. “To be honored like that in front of all your friends and your close loved ones, it really was gratifying.” 

The McNeelys were so pleased with the scholarship that they established one in Sue’s name a short time later. The Sue Harbison McNeely Dance Scholarship is Southeast’s first scholarship devoted primarily to performing arts students with an option in dance.

“I enjoyed my years as a student at Southeast so much, and now it is such a privilege to be able to endow the very first scholarship in dance,” said Sue. 

The McNeelys have been involved in the performing arts since they walked the halls of Southeast.  This passion is what first brought the couple together 54 years ago.

“When I was up on the hill, Don was already out of school and working in radio,” said Sue. “I was the dance director for a show and Don came back to direct. That’s how we first met in Academic Hall.”

The McNeelys never lost their passion for the performing arts and when they were told the scholarships would not go into effect until the spring semester of 2008, they added an additional $500 to each scholarship to make it available this fall. 

“Like so many grads of Southeast, we are very excited about the River Campus,” said Don “We are really happy that we can be involved in this way – helping to get some young student off on the right foot, we hope.”

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION

A state-assisted institution, Southeast Missouri State University receives only a portion of its funding from state revenue, tuition and auxiliaries. The remainder is raised by the Southeast Missouri University Foundation in the form of private gifts by alumni and friends who believe in bringing students a high-quality education that ensures students experience success in our global society.

Since its founding in 1983, the University Foundation has worked diligently to raise and manage funds for the betterment of Southeast Missouri State University and its students.  The funds support scholarships, financial aid, faculty advancement, technological upgrades and facility improvements.

For more information on the Foundation and ways to support Southeast, visit http://www.semofoundation.org/