The Thomas M. and Mary E. Meyer Endowed Scholarship for Perry County has been established through the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.
The scholarship was created through a $10,000 gift from Thomas M. and Mary E. Meyer.
The renewable scholarship will be awarded to a Southeast student from Perry County and an agriculture major. Second preference will go to a veteran from Perry County, and third preference will go to any veteran. Recipients must have a minimum 2.0 grade point average. The University Scholarship Committee will select the recipient.
The Hugo Joseph Meyer family migrated from Germany to Apple Creek, Missouri, located in Perry County, in the 1830s. The family lived and worked in this area, and later moved to Old Appleton, Missouri, and then to Perryville, Missouri.
Thomas M. Meyer’s grandmother was a Buchheit, and through both families, he has extended cousins throughout Perry County. Both sides of the family were either farmers or merchants, and for a while, were involved in the Old Appleton Brewery and Old Appleton Mill. The family takes great pride in their Perry County roots. Though Tom and his wife Mary reside in Cape Girardeau, they still enjoy making new acquaintances with cousins in Perry County.
Farming was very important to Tom’s relatives, who had large families to feed and support. Tom and Mary feel that this vocation needs to be encouraged and supported in the Perry County area.
The family also has a strong military veteran commitment. They feel that it’s important to support returning Perry County veterans. The Meyer’s extended family has served during the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam, as well as during present global conflicts. The Meyers vow to support Perry County veterans in continuing their education at Southeast Missouri State University.
Tom is the son of the late Thomas L. and Helen M. Meyer. He was born and raised in Cape Girardeau. After serving overseas during the Vietnam War with the U.S. Navy Seabees, he became a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, Seabee Charter Island II and SEMO Vets Corp Alumni. Tom graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and a minor in psychology. Mary E. (Griffith) Meyer is the daughter of the late Art and Ellyne Griffith. She was born in Spokane, Washington, and attended schools in Utah, Arizona, and Missouri. After graduating from Ellington High School, she attend and graduated from Southeast in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science in early elementary education and a minor in library science.
Tom is the president and owner of Thos. L. Meyer Realty Company, Inc., where he has been licensed since 1970 with experience in all aspects of real estate. He is a graduate of the Realtor Institute, and is a certified residential specialist, certified international property specialist, and certified in probate real estate. He served as state president of the Missouri Association of Realtors in 1995 and the 2001 regional vice president of the National Realtors Association. Mary is the librarian at St. Mary’s Cathedral School in Cape Girardeau.
Tom and Mary have both been great ambassadors for Southeast, in both service and generosity. Tom has served as a member of the Southeast Missouri University Alumni Association, serving as president from 2009 to 2011; the Southeast Missouri University Foundation Board of Directors; President’s Council and Copper Dome Society; the Southeast Missouri Redhawks Club; chapter representative of the SEMO Vet Corps Alumni; and advisor to the SEMO Student Veterans Organization. In December 2011, Tom was appointed to the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, serving until his term expired on January 1, 2018.
Tom and Mary have five children, Heather, Jean, Thomas, Catherine and Tara, who are all graduates of Southeast. They strongly believe in Southeast’s strong commitment to providing a quality education for success.