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Sharing the Value of Higher Education

12-11-2013

UM System President Tim Wolfe visited Laura Speed Elliot Middle School in Boonville today as part of his Show Me Value tour, a statewide effort to share the lifelong value of higher education with Missouri’s junior and high school students.

Wolfe was asked to speak by Mark Ficken, superintendent of the Boonville R-1 school district, after the two met at the Midwest Region Leadership Conference. Wolfe provided closing remarks at the conference where he spoke about sharing the value of higher education.

“Whether it is measured by income, health or overall quality of life, there is no greater investment an individual can make in him or herself than higher education,” Wolfe said. “By encouraging more students early in their secondary education to seek college degrees, we are ultimately preparing the workforce of the future.” 

This message caught Ficken’s attention.  According to Ficken, “(Wolfe’s) message was very powerful and all students in Missouri should hear it.”

To help in that effort, Boonville R-1 looked beyond its own school district and worked with surrounding districts to bring in students from Prairie Home, Pilot Grove and New Franklin, as well as students from St. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Boonville.   

"We felt that as a district, it's very important for all of our kids to hear the message about going to college, pursuing their dreams, and not giving up on education," Shelli Adams, Boonville R-1 assistant superintendent, said. 

In total, more than 350 students representing grades six through eight attended to hear Wolfe’s message.

“As a son of two college professors, a college graduate myself, university president and – most importantly, the father of two college freshmen – I urge each of you to think about the value of earning a college degree when you consider your future,” Wolfe said. “Whatever your life ambition, a college education can truly help make your dreams a reality.”

"On behalf of the middle school, I just think it was a wonderful opportunity to have the University of Missouri in our presence to give our kids a goal, a focus or a vision for their future,“ Fred Smith, LSE Middle School principal said.  “To me, that was vital for our kids to hear."