It’s about access

Business special section: A new Trulaske initiative serves underrepresented students.

portrait of donor couple

Charles “Buddy” Miller and wife Pinney Allen.

Published on Show Me Mizzou August 19, 2021

In any endeavor, finding the right support system is often the difference between success and failure.

That’s why Pinney Allen; her husband, Charles “Buddy” Miller; and her brother, MU Adjunct Professor of Finance W.D Allen, funded the Allen Access Program, a $5 million umbrella initiative to serve under-resourced and underrepresented students in the Trulaske College of Business.

The program’s goal is to build a community of peers who share experiences and backgrounds, while providing the resources they need to succeed. This initiative includes scholarship support, but it was designed to be more comprehensive.

“It’s not just about scholarships,” Miller says. “Sometimes it’s buying a laptop, having the right suit for a job interview or just knowing what is available. Everybody should have a chance.”

The college has pledged to raise an additional $12 million over the next 10 years to build this program, which already includes a $375,000 gift from Ernst & Young LLP.

Part of the funding will go toward outreach in rural Missouri and hard-to-reach areas of St. Louis and Kansas City, where students may grow up not realizing that certain opportunities exist. “A lot of these kids may not have thought of college as an option at all,” Pinney Allen says. “They certainly haven’t considered the state’s flagship university as a possibility.”

The Allens and Miller know that, for some students, attending college improves the chances for lifelong success. “These are qualified students who are at a point where they might go down one path or another,” says W.D Allen, BS BA ’90, PhD ’06, for whom the program is named. “If we can do anything to encourage them down the path that leads to a better life, that would be beneficial to everyone.”

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