Northwest Missouri State alumni Carl and Cheryl Hughes have donated $100,000 in support of the university's Talent Development Center, a program that provides students with a variety of services related to academic achievement.
The couple made the gift through the Hughes Family Foundation. In a release issued by the university, Northwest officials said the money will be used for student staff training, faculty enhancement and to purchase new furnishings.
The TDC's primary role is to support students who are not yet prepared to successfully complete a college-level curriculum. Services include supplemental instruction, peer tutoring, and mentoring.
Carl Hughes came to Northwest on a football scholarship and graduated in 1976 with a degree in business finance. Cheryl Hughes, a former cheerleader, earned a degree in speech therapy from the university in 1978. Both are natives of Lathrop and were the first members of their families to attend college.
"Education has always been very important to us," Carl Hughes said. "We wanted to do something to help Northwest in the most impactful way we could. Northwest’s TDC program fits perfectly the educational objective of our foundation."
Leslie Galbreath, director of academic and library services at Northwest, said the couple's gift would provide "critical foundational training and professional development for the huge cadre of peer educators and mentors who tirelessly work to help their peers be successful students."
Today, the Hugheses reside in Kansas City, where Carl Hughes is senior vice president of Inergy LP, a publicly traded energy company. The couple also oversees the Hughes Family Foundation, which supports educational, humanitarian and healthcare initiatives.
"Touching every student is what meant the most to Carl and Cheryl," said Teresa Gustafson, director of strategic donor development for the Northwest Foundation, the university's fundraising arm.
"After they toured campus it was apparent that talent development was where they wanted to make a difference, and we are grateful for this gift."