Philanthropic Women for Education

Philanthropic WomenMembers of the Philanthropic Women for Education (PWE) group recently agreed to help furnish this classroom in Looney Hall on the Missouri State University-West Plains campus. The project is one of many the group has funded at the university since its formation in 2003. From left are members Andi Vaini, Marty Henry, Elizabeth Grisham, Janice Bowden, Inez Pahlmann, Jeanette Grisham and Brenda Smith, all of West Plains.

Women are becoming the rising tide in philanthropy. Studies show women are emerging as philanthropy decision makers, partially because women are increasingly the major bread winner in the family, and partially because they frequently outlive their spouses and are left with major financial decisions. Today, women view philanthropy not only as giving but also as investing in change, investing in the future and investing in causes that are personally meaningful.

To date we have 18 Philanthropic Women for Education members.

Background and Membership

Philanthropic Women for Education was formed in 2003 as a way to support Missouri State University-West Plains in its mission by expanding the involvement of women as philanthropists. New members are asked to make a gift of $1,000 per year for a five or ten-year period. Those members who have completed at least a five-year pledge may renew their membership annually for $1,000 a year.

A junior membership is available to those under 40. Each junior member is asked to make a gift of $500 annually (or monthly payments of $50) for a minimum three-year period.


The group meets three times a year. Meetings include guest speakers and an opportunity to talk with prospective members. During the final meeting of the year, the group reviews proposals submitted by University faculty and staff and then votes on which projects to recommend be funded with their combined annual gifts. Junior members have one vote, while full membership is permitted two votes.


The Philanthropic Women’s group recently made a five-year pledge to help fund the William and Virginia Darr Endowed Honors Professorship. This impacts about 100 honors students on the West Plains campus each year. Other projects have included funding tutors, equipment purchases and travel to conferences for various student groups. The group also furnished a classroom in Looney Hall, which serves as the new allied health building.

Please contact the development office at (417) 255-7240 if you are interested in joining this important group or would like additional information.

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  • Janice Bowden
  • Regina Gleghorn
  • Amy Grisham
  • Elizabeth Grisham
  • Emily Grisham
  • Jackie Grisham
  • Jeanette Grisham
  • Libby Grisham
  • Connie Henry
  • Ashley Horn
  • Ann Manning
  • Brenda Montgomery
  • Katie Montgomery
  • Inez Pahlmann
  • Kandi Phillips
  • Brenda Smith
  • Jane Streff
  • Mary-Louise Tollenaar
  • Valerie Williams