Heather Riley ’95 wants to contribute to Missouri Western because she believes the University is an indispensable asset in St. Joseph and the region, and she wants it to continue to grow.
Riley, who is a member of the President’s Circle in the Western League for Excellence and a contributor to the Centennial Capital Campaign, said she was happy to support her alma mater.
“As Missouri Western grows, the community and region grow, and I want a strong and vibrant community of St. Joseph,” she said. “That is important to me.”
Joining the League appealed to her because gifts to that giving society are undesignated, and she liked that it allows the MWSU Foundation to use the money where it is needed most.
“Missouri Western needs gifts to remain competitive. Donations provide scholarships, facilities improvements, programs and operating funds. Those are important pieces needed to attract students, faculty and staff.”
Riley graduated from Missouri Western with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, and said her professors taught her how to put theories into practice and how to be a better chemist. She noted that the lab component was very helpful to her, also, especially in graduate school and throughout her career.
She went on from Missouri Western to earn a master’s in inorganic chemistry from Iowa State University in Ames and worked in the chemistry research field for several years before joining Tifec LLC in Leawood, Kansas five years ago.
Although her position there isn’t related to chemistry, Riley said she still appreciates her Missouri Western education, because she uses skills every day that she learned, such as problem solving and critical thinking.
“It is important that Missouri Western grow and continue to provide a great education,” she said. “As an alumna, I have a great interest in seeing Missouri Western succeed.”