b'MENTORING CONNECTIONS Celebrating 25 years of Vasey Academy: A REFLECTION ON CORPORATEMENTORSHIP & SCHOLARSHIPDaryl Smith, BS BA 83 Associate Teaching Professor Trulaske College of Business Columbia, MissouriHow did you become involved with the Vasey Academy? I have known of the Vasey Academy for over 20 years. When ICOMMENCEMENT CEREMONY FOR ONE: decided to join the Davenport Society and support the Trulaske College of Business, I was very clear about where I wantedCOAST GUARD VETERANmy money to go. I wanted to support students in the Vasey Academy. RECEIVES HIS BSBA AT AGE 98Roger and Sandy Vasey obviously had a tremendous impact on getting the program started and for creating the initial vision. BY KEVIN REAPE Can you talk about their role in creating this program? BY CASEY BAKERThe Vasey Academy at the Trulaske College of Business recentlyRoger and Sandy are such impressive people, and their commit- On November 11, 2022fittingly, Veterans DaytheAfter his discharge from the Coast Guard in the celebrated its 25th anniversary, marking a quarter-century ofment shows through their leadership and financial supportUniversity of Missouri awarded a bachelors degreesummer of 1946, he returned to Missouri. He enriching the lives of students from underrepresented groups.to the Vasey Academy. They want to make a difference andto United States Coast Guard veteran Robert L.attended Northeast Missouri State Teachers College Established in 1997, the Vasey Academy is the colleges oldestare passionate about supporting underrepresented minorityDeason, who last attended classes on campus in(now known as Truman State University) in Kirksville Program of Distinction, providing corporate mentorship and expo- students. They choose to give back in this way, offering schol- 1951. for three years. Then in 1949, two things happened: sure to executives, career coaching and scholarship opportunities. arships and supporting the programming that helps ensurehe transferred to the University of Missouri-Co-Vasey Academy Scholars have access to a variety of resourcescollege success for underrepresented minority students. In late October, one of Deasons children reachedlumbia and he met his wife, a student at Hannibal to assist them with their academic goals and career readiness,Can you touch on the importance of mentorship?out to the university, asking if it would be possible toLaGrange College, on a blind date. After his marriage including a seminar course to build networking strategies, financialMentorship used to be more informal but has become moreconsider him for an honorary degree, as he left thein the fall of 1950, he attended classes while his wife literacy, exposure to corporate executives and public speakingstructured with trust agreements and objectives. When lookinguniversity just a couple of classes shy of graduation. worked as a mail clerk in Jesse Hall.skills through experiential learning. Since its inception, the Vaseyfor a job, it is important to find someone already in that positionA thorough review of Deasons transcript by univer- By the spring of 1950, the Deasons were expecting Academy has enriched over 900 students with opportunities towho can provide coaching and mentorship. This can help notsity and Trulaske College of Business administratorstheir first child. Deason left the university just shy develop their careers and achieve their academic goals. only with career advancement but also with personal growth.resulted in a surprising outcome: Deason was notof completing his degree so he could go to work.The Vasey Academy was established with a gift from Roger Vasey,For students, having a mentor can greatly enhance their class- eligible for an honorary degree, but instead for the BS BA 58, and his wife, Sandy, demonstrating their commitmentroom experience and prepare them for life after college. Mentorsactual degree itself, when past courses that metRobert L. Deasons career kept him in central and to making a positive impact on the lives of minority students. Itcan break down barriers and provide valuable coaching andcurrent academic requirements and his militarynorthern Missouri. He moved to and remained in was designed as a selective program, offering members a seminaradvice that can be applied throughout a lifetime. education were factored in. Mexico as a barber for 20 yearsowning the Mexico course, mentorship by corporate executives, and a one-timeWhat advice do you have for students interested in pursuingLike many of his generation, Deason had an oft-in- Barbershop. In 1977, he sold the shop to his business $1,000 scholarship. education at Trulaske and/or with the Vasey Academy?terrupted path to graduation. partner and began working at A.B. Chance Co. in The Vasey Academy tries to give students different experiences,Centralia, Mo., until his retirement in 1991.For more insight into the Vasey Academy and its impact, wewhether it is the coursework or the experiential elements of theIn 1943, he was drafted during his senior year of highReceiving his degree was a meaningful experi-spoke with Professor Daryl Smith, BS BA 83, who served as theprogram. These all contribute to student success and profes- school before graduation, thanks to World War II.ence, even though decades had passed since he program director from 2013-2018, to provide his perspective onsional development, and it prepares them for their careers. (His alma mater, Hannibal High School, awarded himlast attended classes at Mizzou. He always valued the importance of mentorship in the program.a diploma in 1944.) As a member of the Coast Guard,education, son Robert Deason said. He spent he was sent to the receiving center in San Francisco,most of his life mentoring youth, whether through attended training in Florida and then served aboardscouting, as a father figure to fatherless boys or the Admiral Lee W. Ebberly in Korea and Japan. teaching golf to kids in his later years.16 MANAGEMENT MATTERSMANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT 2023 ANNUAL REPORT 17'