Richard and Kathleen Larsen Black Endowed Scholarship Established

dempsterhallphotoCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Jan. 9, 2014 – The Richard and Kathleen Larsen Black Endowed Scholarship has been established through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

Richard Black of Farmington, Mo., made a $10,000 gift to establish the scholarship. His gift will be matched with an additional $10,000 match through a University matching gift program. The matching gift program is part of the Honoring Tradition – Inspiring Success Comprehensive Campaign through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. This program allows donors to make a minimum commitment of $5,000 to a maximum commitment of $10,000 through donation or pledge by March 1, 2014, that will qualify for a $1-for-$1 match. The goal of the Campaign is to raise $40 million for student scholarships, academic programs and renovations that benefit students both today and tomorrow.

The Black family has also funded the Warren and Pauline Black Endowed Scholarship, awarded to students in the College of Education.

The renewable Richard and Kathleen Larsen Black Endowed Scholarship will be awarded alternately to a Southeast student in the Donald L. Harrison College of Business and the College of Education. College of Business students must demonstrate an interest and capability in entrepreneurship. Recipients must have a minimum 2.75 grade point average. The University Scholarship Committee will select the recipient. The criteria for this scholarship are based upon the lifetime pursuit of entrepreneurship by Kathleen Larsen Black, who died Feb. 20, 2007. Kathleen, without formal education beyond high school, became an extremely capable entrepreneur, establishing successful small businesses in both Missouri and California.

Richard Black is the son of Warren Black, a successful educator and a 1948 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University. Richard was born in Ironton, Mo., and attended primary and secondary schools in Irondale, Hillsboro, Desoto, Herculaneum and Cape Girardeau, Mo. He graduated from Cape Central High School, entered Southeast Missouri State in 1962 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1966. While at Southeast, he was a member of Cardinal Key and was student body president in 1965-1966. Richard is also a 1997 recipient of the Alumni Merit Award.

Richard taught mathematics at Ritenour Senior High School in St. Louis County from 1966-1969 when he was drafted into the U.S. Army. In 1971, he entered graduate school at the University of Missouri-Columbia where he earned a master’s degree and completed advanced graduate work in higher education administration.

In 1973, Richard joined the administrative staff of the Meramec campus of St. Louis Community College in Kirkwood, Mo. Advancing through a 26-year career at Meramec, he served as associate dean for continuing education and dean of instruction. In 1992, he was named president of the Meramec campus, retiring in 1999.

A current Farmington, Mo., resident, Richard has two children, both of whom are teachers in St. Louis County Schools.

Kathleen Larsen Black was born in Tacoma, Wash., and finished her high school education there. She married and moved to the Los Angeles, Calif., area where she raised both her own two children and four brothers and sisters. Kathleen and her siblings lost both parents while in their youth.

She became single and, with the need to raise her children and siblings, she took a job in the medical collections business where she was very successful, even without formal post high school education. She later formed her own medical collections business which eventually employed a number of people and again was successful. While in California, she served on the Advisory Board of the California Medical Association.

Kathleen eventually sold her business and moved to Missouri in 1985. In about 1995, she formed a new small business in real estate property development and rental. She married Richard Black in 2002. Kathleen operated the successful real estate property development and rental business until her death in 2007. Richard operated the business until it sold in 2013.

Kathleen was a consummate entrepreneur and, through her life, demonstrated the willingness to take risks, work hard and to develop successful small businesses. For additional information on the matching gift program, please contact the Southeast Missouri University Foundation at (573) 651-2203 or foundation@semo.edu.