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Three new members have been appointed to the Southeast Missouri University Foundation Board.
They are Jason LeGrand of Concord, California, senior director of principal gifts and strategic initiatives at the University of California, Berkeley; Patricia Reinhart of St. Louis, Missouri, retired corporate sales executive; and Dr. Ron Wagner of Ferguson, Missouri, CEO of Relearnit, Inc. They will serve three-year terms on the Board.
“With additions to our Foundation Board membership, we seek out alumni and friends who are not only supportive of the University but who also bring a diversity of backgrounds and expertise,” said Dr. Trudy Lee, vice president for University Advancement and executive director of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation. “We are extremely pleased to have Jason, Tricia and Ron join us in this capacity. They bring a wealth of experience to the Board and we look forward to them joining us.”
The University Foundation, founded in 1983, furthers the causes and mission of Southeast Missouri State University. The Foundation obtains and manages resources that allow the University to enhance the quality and extend the range of services provided to its students and the region.
“The Foundation recognizes special opportunities for the University and undertakes and supports fundraising activities that provide resources to enable the University to capitalize on these opportunities,” Lee said. “The Foundation recognizes donors and provides strength for the continually improving growth, visibility, and excellence of the University.”
The volunteer Foundation Board of Directors includes many Southeast alumni, regional business leaders, and supporters of the University. Board members comes from not only the southeast Missouri region and the St. Louis area but also from across the country. In addition, the Board includes University administrators, faculty representatives and two student representatives. Last year, the Board also welcomed its first international alumnus.
The Board of Directors is responsible for establishing a continuous development operation to support scholarships and other strategic initiatives of Southeast; to encourage voluntary contributions regularly from alumni, friends, corporations, foundations, and other organizations; and to oversee and recommend procedures relating to the investment of foundation assets.
About the newest Foundation Board members:
LeGrand graduated from Southeast in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication and has spent more than 20 years in the field of university development and alumni relations.
He started his fundraising career at Cornell University in 1999 and currently serves UC Berkeley as a senior strategist on transformational gifts of $10 million - $100 million. The school is in a $6 billion capital campaign and raised more than $1 billion during the fiscal year that ended June 30. Now in his fifth year with the University of California, he previously served as senior director of development for the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where he raised money for initiatives including cancer research, regenerative medicine, global programs, and the rescue and rehabilitation of animals injured during the California fires. Earlier in his career he led fundraising programs at the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Denver.
As a student, LeGrand worked in the Office of the President during the Stroup and Nitzschke administrations. He was a member of the All-University Judicial Board and spent a semester working in the Missouri House of Representatives as a legislative intern. He was active in Lambda Chi Alpha and after graduation served a two-year appointment on the international fraternity headquarters staff.
LeGrand is a 2010 recipient of the Southeast Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Merit Award and a member of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation President’s Council and Horizon Club. He has supported areas including Kent Library’s Special Collections and Archives, KRCU, the new Veterans Plaza, and undergraduate scholarships. In 2019 he established the Jason J. LeGrand and Neal E. Boyd Endowment through the University Foundation to honor his late friend and fraternity brother.
Reinhart, who graduated from Southeast in 1981 with Bachelor of Science in home economics, clothing and textiles option, and a minor in marketing, is a retired sales executive having led sales teams with Brown Shoe, Nestle Purina, Stride Rite and Procter & Gamble.
In addition to being active in the Tri Delta Sorority and on Student Government, she earned 100% of the cost of her education through scholarships and campus employment. Reinhart was frequently encouraged and mentored by faculty members to continue pursuing her education despite financial strains. Because of her appreciation and recognition that through scholarships she earned a degree, Reinhart is a member of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation President’s Council, giving back to Southeast through two scholarships she has established to ease students’ financial burdens.
The mentorship and guidance Reinhart received from Southeast faculty made a serious impact on her, instilling a “pay it forward” attitude that has resonated throughout her life. She regularly mentors Southeast students and has worked with more than 70 others in guiding them in career development. Reinhart was Southeast’s 2018 Power of Women Luncheon keynote speaker in which she focused on planting “seeds of intention” in the lives of others to impact their growth and success. In 2019, she was the recipient of the Southeast Alumni Association’s Alumni Merit Award.
She is the parent of a son, Chase, and daughters Kim and Allie. She has six grandchildren.
Dr. Ron Wagner is a 1998 graduate of Southeast with a Bachelor of Science in health management, athletic training option. After graduating from Southeast, Wagner earned a Master of Science in Physical Education from Eastern Kentucky University; a Master of Science in Instructional Technology from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology from the University of Arkansas.
Wagner has served as a faculty member at Eastern Kentucky University, University of Arkansas and University of Tennessee at Martin. In his current associate professor position at California University of Pennsylvania, he combines his passion for exercise science and educational technology by teaching in the online exercise science graduate program.
In 2008, his passion for student success led him to establish a company that would bring his vision for the future of higher education to life. Relearnit develops and manages online education programs for colleges and universities across the United States. Relearnit is driven by educators and focuses on academic excellence, creating an environment that is not exclusively about enrollment, but rather about supporting the success of students once they complete their coursework. This approach creates a formula for long-term financial sustainability for the institutions the firm serves.
In 2015, he established the Dr. Ronald Wagner Endowed Scholarship to support students interested in athletic training. In addition, through his non-profit organization, Athleticare Sports Health Foundation, Inc., he leads high school students interested in athletic training on trips to Southeast, allowing them to learn about the University’s athletic training program and experience the campus environment. In 2018, he was honored with the Southeast Alumni Association’s Alumni Merit Award.
He and his wife L’Erin are parents to a son, Ronald Jr.