$4.4 Million Bequest to Have Lasting Impact on Southeast Education, Psychology Students


ED-StudentTeachingCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Dec. 11, 2014 – The Southeast Missouri University Foundation has received a $4.4 million bequest from the estate of the late Dr. James Drickey to benefit elementary education and psychology students at Southeast.

The bequest will benefit two scholarships Drickey established more than 10 years ago – the Dr. James M. Drickey Elementary Education Scholarship and the Dr. James M. Drickey Psychology Scholarship.

Drickey was professor emeritus of psychology and taught at Southeast from 1956 to 1991 in the Department of Psychology and the College of Education. He was born in Spencer, Nebraska, and attended county schools and Spencer Public Schools during his elementary and high school years. After graduating, he taught elementary school in Crawford, Nebraska, and Harrison County, before joining the U.S. Army.

He was a chaplain’s assistant for more than three years in the U.S. Army and was employed at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver. He completed his doctoral degree in psychology at the University of Denver prior to his employment at Southeast.  During his 35-year tenure at Southeast, he also served as a consultant for Head Start and worked with the Bureau of Disability Determination.

He died Feb. 19, 2013.

“The University Foundation is so grateful for the generosity of Dr. James Drickey,” said Bill Holland, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. “Like so many of our faculty, Dr. Drickey was a wonderful individual who had a deep passion for education.  His long tenure as a professor at Southeast Missouri State University instilled this passion into many generations of Southeast alumni.”

Holland said Drickey’s generosity will have a lasting impact on Southeast students for generations to come.

“Dr. Drickey’s philanthropy will enable many students today and in the future to pursue their careers in education and psychology,” Holland said. “We are deeply appreciative of his gift and legacy.”

The renewable Dr. James M. Drickey Elementary Education Scholarship is awarded to students enrolled in the College of Education, majoring in elementary education with a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

Dr. Diana Rogers-Adkinson, dean of the Southeast College of Education, said the College is deeply appreciative of Dr. Drickey’s bequest, adding elementary education-licensed students are profoundly grateful for the financial assistance it will offer. The bequest will provide $100,000 annually in assistance to elementary education majors, she said.

“It’s completely overwhelming and a testament to their program that he felt they  (the Department of Elementary, Early and Special Education) are worthy of his legacy,” Rogers-Adkinson said.

Thanks to the bequest, more than 100 elementary education students with 3.0 grade point average received $200 each this fall to assist with leasing an iPad as part of the College of Education’s EDvolution.

Beginning with the spring 2015 semester, four elementary education majors with 3.0 grade point averages will benefit from the bequest, including two who will receive $2,000 each for international travel for student teaching assignments in Iquique, Chile, and two who will each receive $1,000 for participation in the University’s annual spring break program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington, D.C., think tank.

In the future, the Drickey bequest will regularly assist elementary education majors pursuing international student teaching assignments and participating in the CSIS experience, along with those with 4.0 grade point averages, those from underrepresented groups pursuing teacher education and those studying at Southeast’s regional campuses, she said.

“It’s such a generous gift from Dr. Drickey,” Rogers-Adkinson said. “The opportunities it can provide to students whose needs we could not have met before are amazing.”

Dr. Frank Barrios, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, added, “I was extremely pleased and grateful when I learned that Dr. Drickey had made such generous provisions in his estate for Southeast and for the Department of Psychology in particular.  As a result of his generosity, the department will be able to provide much needed assistance to students who might have found it impossible to obtain a quality college education.  This is an exciting time for the Department of Psychology, as evidenced by several recent faculty hires, the development of an online Bachelor of Arts degree program, and the addition of a new Master of Arts program in industrial/organizational psychology in 2016.  I believe that the department is heading into a period of great accomplishment, and this generous gift will play a major role in the achievement of the department’s goals.”

The renewable Dr. James M. Drickey Psychology Scholarship is awarded to students enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts majoring in psychology with a minimum 3.0 grade point average. The Department of Psychology Scholarship Committee selects the recipients.

Dr. Leslee Pollina, chair of the Department of Psychology, said Drickey’s bequest will provide scholarships of several levels to many deserving psychology students. The gift also will benefit students in the new graduate program in psychology beginning in fall 2016 at Southeast.

“We are enormously grateful that we will be able to do so much for so many students,” Pollina said. “We just had no idea that anything like this was in store for us. It’s just incredible. So many students are going to benefit from this for a long time to come. It’s just wonderful.”