Have you been wondering who the people are whose names are on your scholarship? Read on to find out…

Mark Vincent

Attorney Mark Vincent, a Union native, is the person most responsible for the formation of the 30-plus year-old Union R-XI School District Foundation.

While serving on the school district’s board of education in the 1980s, Vincent spearheaded the idea to create a tax-exempt charitable organization that existed solely to support the students, staff, and activities of the district. (Read more…)

Sam Stausing, 1943 – 2019

Sam Stausing was intricately involved in both the founding of the Union R-XI Foundation as well as leading the organization during its first decade of existence. Sam was the unmistakable face and voice of the Foundation as it grew from a great idea into a constant and loyal financial and moral support system for the school district.

During Stausing’s chairmanship from 1985 until 1995, the Foundation began programs that have lasted and grown to this day – classroom grants for teachers and scholarships for graduating seniors.
(Read more…)

Leroy Strubberg, 1936 – 2018

Leroy Strubberg was a founding member of the Union R-XI School District Foundation and served as its official accountant until his son, James, took over in the middle 2000s. Strubberg filled a crucial role in both the formation of the Foundation and, later, its day-to-day operation.

Because public school educational support charities with IRS tax-exempt status were a true rarity in the 1980s and 1990s, the way forward for the fledgling group was considerably unforeseeable. With the same leadership and integrity that he had shown in creating so many other landmark Union service organizations,
(Read more…)

Raymond Arand, 1923 – 2011

Ray Arand, founding member of the R-XI Foundation and the nonprofit’s first treasurer.

Raymond A. Arand was a founding member of the Union R-XI Foundation and served as the group’s treasurer from its incorporation in 1985 until he passed the reins to Dale Schmuke, who was also his successor as the United Bank of Union president.

As the chief financial officer of the Foundation until 2009, Arand was the person primarily responsible for the organization’s early successes financially and he laid a path forward that has meant continual growth and stability for the nonprofit, even in times of national economic uncertainty.
(Read more…)

Fred Beckmann, 1922 – 2007

Fred Beckmann was a member of the Union R-XI Foundation board of directors from 1991 until his passing in 2007. During his long tenure as a Foundation board member, Mr. Beckmann was particularly interested in the annual scholarship program in which graduates of Union High School are awarded money each spring to help defray the costs of their post-secondary educations.

Although Mr. Beckmann began his work with the Foundation at nearly the age of 70, he was remembered by fellow Foundation director and friend, John L. Devos, as, “tireless. He never misses a chance to find more money for another kid to go to college…” (Read more…)

John L. Devos, 1935 – 2012

John L. Devos

John Devos was a founding member of the Union R-XI Foundation and served as the charity’s Secretary from 1991 until 2002.

Recognized as an outstanding educator and civic-minded community leader since joining the Union faculty in 1965, Devos spent the first decade of his tenure at Union High School as a History and Civics teacher. Then, district administrators tasked him with returning to Mizzou for graduate work in order to pilot a ground-breaking vocational rehabilitation program for high school special education students in the mid-1970s. That is the position in which he remained until his retirement in 1995.
(Read more…)

The above articles about these Foundation Founders are the first of several stories on Foundation originators to come.

The idea behind this page is to serve as a reference, especially for UHS graduates and their families, to learn more about some of the folks whose names are on the scholarship awards they receive each May.

Further, we think the Union R-XI Foundation is something really special…

…It represents the best of what Union has to offer its residents as well as the global community.

…It is a model for young Unionians to emulate as they find ways to make their own marks on the world around them.

…And it shows what a huge effect a very small group of like-minded people can have when they collaborate joyfully and charitably.

This all stems from the origin and history of Union as well as the early momentum the Foundation received from its creators. By honoring their work and legacies, we hope to bring honor to the work we are doing now and into the future.

Watch this space. And sign up for our email alerts and newsletters to get the latest scoop.