UM System President Tim Wolfe launched his "Show Me Value" tour in Moberly, Mo., on March 8 as part of his effort to promote the value of higher education and counter growing sentiment that a college degree is not as valuable as it once was.
Wolfe began the tour at Moberly High School where he met with more than 300 eighth and ninth grade students. Wolfe spoke with students about the benefits of a college degree such as higher lifetime earnings and lower unemployment, as well as more career opportunity and options.
“Higher education also gives you something intangible—a sense of pride; a sense of accomplishment. It is something that, once earned, no one can ever take away from you."
Moberly School District Superintendent Gena McCluskey said Wolfe’s visit reinforced the message that students need to start early when considering plans for college. Moberly eighth grade students recently completed a five-year academic plan to align with their future educational and career goals.
Following his student visits, Wolfe met with education, business, civic and political leaders about barriers to college attainment and about the reach of the UM System in region—Randolph County is home to 637 UM alumni, 132 current students and 243 employees.
Wolfe also toured Orscheln Products, LLC, a global manufacturer and supplier of motion control systems. As a leading employer in the area, the company partners with the university on everything from serving as mentors to engineering students for their senior projects to supporting academic scholarships. As a result of these collaborations, six of the last seven engineers hired by the company have been graduates of the university system.
Wolfe plans to visit St. Joseph, Mo., for his next community visit on March 22.
“I continue to firmly believe that a college education is a person’s greatest opportunity to a successful life,” Wolfe said. “By any measure—income, prosperity, health—a college education has a profound impact on an individual, which in turn can have a tremendous boost to communities, culture and our state as a whole. There is simply no greater investment you can make in yourself than higher education.”