$1.8 million gift ensures Heartland Scholars program continues for future generations

Irl Engelhardt speaking in Cornell Hall

On April 29, 2022, the Trulaske College of Business announced a $1.8 million gift from Sue and Irl Engelhardt to the college’s Heartland Scholars Academy. The gift will provide first-generation, rural students with the tools and skills needed to achieve academic success at Mizzou.

The Heartland Scholars Academy was established in 2018 through a gift from the Englehardts to enhance student achievement by supporting them as they transition to Mizzou and in their pursuit of careers in business. This additional gift will help to establish an endowment for the program to ensure it carries on for generations to come.

“Students are the lifeblood of any great university, and the Engelhardts’ gift has ensured access and opportunity for many future Tigers,” said Mun Y. Choi, University of Missouri president. “Thanks to their generosity, we will be able to provide even greater opportunities to students from rural communities seeking to blaze a trail in business.”

Sue Engelhardt graduated from the College of Business in 1975 and completed her MBA at Mizzou in 1977. Irl Engelhardt grew up on a farm in southern Illinois and received an MBA from Southern Illinois University in 1972. Together, their passions found a way to help an underserved population and impact generations of students and their families.

“We started the Heartland Scholars Program to provide financial and support services for underserved kids in small towns across Missouri and Southern Illinois who might not otherwise have the resources to attend the University of Missouri,’ Sue Engelhardt said. “Having these kids at Mizzou helps the university achieve another level of diversity, which benefits all of us.”

“The first class of Heartland Scholars Academy students will graduate this spring,” said Jackie Lewis, vice chancellor for advancement. “Their paths to higher education started with Sue and Irl – two passionate donors who want our students to reach their highest potential. Mizzou was the perfect place to launch such an important program, and we’re grateful to the Engelhardt family for starting this journey with us and continuing their partnership into the next chapter.”

The Heartland Scholars Academy provides students with program-specific scholarships; laptop computers and business attire for professional events; the opportunity to travel domestically and internationally to learn about business; a dedicated advisor, career coach and supportive Trulaske faculty and staff; and seminars focused on business cases, student success and professional speakers.

“Through the generosity of Sue and Irl Engelhardt, the Heartland Scholars Academy will continue to support first-generation, rural college students who seek an outstanding business education, and will ensure that the Trulaske College of Business continues to be a leader in educational access,” said Christopher Robert, interim dean of the college. “We are grateful for their continued support.”

Story courtesy of Show Me Mizzou news channel


The Heartland Scholars Academy, established in 2018, enhances student achievement by supporting students as they transition to Mizzou and in their pursuit of rewarding careers in business. This program equips first-generation, rural students with the tools and skills needed to achieve academic success at Mizzou and provides them with exposure to the business world through a variety of activities over four years. Learn more