Sheldon, Mo. family gives estate $4.5 million gift to Missouri State University, Community Foundation of the Ozarks

Hale family photo (courtesy Missouri State University)

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Edited News Release) -- Missouri State University and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) have each received $2.25 million from the estate of Linda K. Hale. The $4.5 million gift is the first part of what is expected to be a $12 million gift to benefit Missouri State students.

It is estimated Missouri State and the CFO will each receive about $6 million by the time the estate is fully settled.

Linda Hale and her late husband, Larry, graduated from Missouri State. The Hales were in the real estate business for over 40 years. They also farmed and raised cattle all of their lives.

“Linda chose to leave the bulk of her estate to scholarships for MSU students because she and Larry were both grateful for the education they received at MSU. They credited their education for their success in life,” said George Nichols, trustee for Linda Hale’s estate. “She was passionate about helping students attend Missouri State and obtain a college degree.”

Both gifts will be used to create scholarships for students from Barton and Vernon counties in Missouri.

Missouri State gift will fund agriculture scholarships:

The gift to Missouri State will fund agriculture scholarships for students from Barton and Vernon counties. The gift is part of Onward, Upward: The Campaign for Missouri State University.

“Scholarships are an essential part of making college affordable for students,” Missouri State President Clif Smart said. “We are grateful to Larry and Linda Hale and George Nichols. This gift will help students from Barton and Vernon counties afford a college education for generations to come.”

Dr. Ronald Del Vecchio is dean of the Darr College of Agriculture.

“This gift provides a great opportunity to recruit and retain students, as well as financially assist numerous students throughout their college career,” Del Vecchio said. “We are extremely grateful for Linda’s thoughtfulness and kindness.”

Community Foundation gift is designated for MSU students from Barton, Vernon counties:

Half of the total gift is to the CFO. Scholarships established with the gift will be open to students from Barton and Vernon counties who will attend Missouri State.

“The Hales truly lived the American dream, leaving their small community to seek an education, and returning to put that gift of learning to build a life,” CFO President Brian Fogle said. “This tremendous gift will provide that same opportunity for other students in their home area – to better themselves through the quality education provided by Missouri State University. It’s a legacy that will go on forever.”