Richard Allman, a 1975 Northwest Missouri State University alumnus, has announced plans to leave more than $500,000 to the school's art department through a deferred estate gift administered by the Northwest Foundation.
The bequest will ultimately be used to establish a fund named for Allman and his late wife, Margaret Peterson, which will directly benefit students pursuing studies in sculpture and ceramics.
"This is a beautiful testamentary gift that recognizes and continues to provide for differentiation within our excellent Department of Fine and Performing Arts," said Northwest President John Jasinski.
The Richard Allman and Margaret Peterson Three Dimensional Art Scholarship will be awarded to full-time art students based on academic merit and financial need.
"I want to make sure Northwest can use this gift to help young art students," Allman said. "This is the best place the money can go."
Allman said he has fond memories of his student days at Northwest, many of which were spent honing his creative skills in the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building.
"I really enjoyed going to plays and spending hours in the studio," he said. "The art department even then had individual studio spaces carved out in the basement. A lot of schools still don’t do that, but we had our own little studio space to just create art."
After graduating, Allman joined the Army before enrolling in the University of Central Missouri’s secondary education program. After earning a second college degree, UCM hired him as an art instructor. It was during his time in Warrensburg that he met Margaret, who was also a member of the art faculty.
Later, Allman began teaching elementary and middle school art for the Kansas City School District. He retired in 2011 in order to care for his wife as she battled the cancer than claimed her life.
While considering the bequest, Allman said he visited Northwest and was impressed with the new Fire Arts Building, which houses the ceramics and sculpture programs.
"When they gave me the tour and I saw the facility, it blew my socks off," Allman said. "It's better than the facilities at a lot of other colleges that have masters of fine arts programs."