Walter Cronkite Memorial Endowment

Walter Cronkite Memorial Endowment Fund

1. The Walter Cronkite Memorial on the campus of Missouri Western State University is certainly a source of pride for the University, the St. Joseph community, the region, and beyond.

2. The memorial contains the best collection of one-of-a-kind artifacts provided by members of the Cronkite family and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.

3. The memorial was made possible with funding from private donations and a considerable amount of time and effort on behalf of Missouri Western’s staff.

4. The memorial continues to grow as additional memorabilia is received.

5. In addition to the memorial, two multimedia performances have been added to the experience: “Cronkite” and “Harry & Walter: Missouri’s Native Sons.” In fact, “Harry & Walter” will be performed for President Truman’s May 8, 2016 birthday celebration at the Truman Presidential Library and Museum. Additionally, Missouri Western’s artist-in-residence, Eric Fuson, will have a three-week exhibit at the Truman Library (on the parallel lives of Cronkite and Truman) surrounding this May 8th event.

6. The memorial has become a tourist destination with more than 10,000 visitors coming from states across the country and from as far away as Australia.

7. There is not a current funding source to assist with the expansion and ongoing maintenance of the memorial.

8. An endowment fund has been established with a handful of private gifts but is rather minimal at this time. Our ultimate goal is to raise $1 million or more for the endowment in order to generate approximately $40,000 annually (based on a 4% annual distribution of the sum of the principal and earnings).

9. The endowment has already received the support of Drs. Bob and Laurel Vartabedian, who have committed a future gift of $100,000.

10. The funds may be used to provide for the following purposes:
a) general upkeep and maintenance of the memorial
b) purchase of additional displays
c) payment of a docent/curator
d) travel associated with the memorial and performances
e) promotion/marketing of the memorial and performances
f) purchase of photos, rights, etc.

11. In addition to ensuring Walter Cronkite’s legacy, the endowment will also sustain the legacy of CBS News – providing future generations with knowledge about the critical role both have played in bringing the important news of the day to the general public.