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May 7, 2015 Volume 36, No. 30

$6 million gift funds leadership program for MU business students

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Harry M. Cornell's total giving to MU is more than $13 million. Photo by Nicholas Benner.

The Cornell Leadership Program

MU alumnus Harry Cornell has given $6 million to the University of Missouri Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business to fund the Cornell Leadership Program (CLP) in perpetuity, officials announced May 1 in Reynolds Alumni Center to an audience of about 200.

The CLP is a highly selective, nationally recognized four-year program for the top students in the College of Business. The CLP was created in 2006 by a previous gift from Cornell. The new endowment will provide permanent support for the program and bring Cornell’s total giving to MU to more than $13 million. Cornell’s previous gifts supported construction and enhancements of Cornell Hall, the main academic building for the College of Business.

“I hope this gift and the continuation of the leadership program will not only give the Trulaske College of Business an additional tool to recruit the best students in the state and nation, but also will provide educational and career opportunities for MU’s best and brightest students that they may not otherwise be offered,” said Cornell, a resident of Joplin, Missouri.

The CLP accepts only the most qualified incoming freshmen to the MU Trulaske College of Business, although upperclassmen can apply for entry in their junior year. CLP graduates are sought-after by businesses in the state and nation.

“The Cornell Leadership Program is a great example of the high-touch, experiential programs we offer in the Trulaske College of Business,” said Joan Gabel, dean of the College of Business. “The CLP has helped us educate class after class of students who are well-prepared to be leaders in their careers and lives. We are so grateful to Mr. Cornell for his vision and incredible generosity to our college and our bright students.”

Harry M. Cornell is a chairman emeritus of Leggett & Platt Incorporated, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Carthage, Missouri. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from MU in 1950 and became president and CEO of Leggett & Platt in 1960. Cornell was awarded an honorary doctorate of law degree from MU in 2003.