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Legendary MU Basketball Coach Norm Stewart Announces New $1.2 Million Endowed Chair in Mathematics Education

Oct. 15, 2007

Story Contact:  Megan Ryder, (573) 884-1718,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Norm Stewart served as this year’s distinguished speaker for the sixth annual University of Missouri–Columbia’s College of Education Grace Bibb Society dinner. At the event, he announced a newly funded, endowed chair in mathematics education. 

“Richard Miller has generously supported the Department of Mathematics within the College of Arts and Science,” Stewart said of the new endowed chair’s donor, who also has supported Tiger athletics and funded endowed chairs in literature and writing, cognitive neuroscience and business. “Richard has turned his attention to help solve a problem larger than what most people are willing to tackle.”

Stewart, a two-time College of Education alum, explained that Miller aims to address the shortage of mathematics teachers by donating $1.2 million to create an endowed faculty position in the college.

“An endowed chair in mathematics is exactly what we need to remain competitive,” said MU Provost Brian Foster. “Across the nation, the need for math teachers is at a critical point. Without effective math teachers, we are unlikely to see successful math students. Without successful math students, we are unlikely to nurture new math teachers. This cycle has unfortunate repercussions beyond the classroom. Increases in economic development and technology are directly tied to a labor force educated in mathematics.”

The funds also enhance opportunities for research, travel and scholarly collaboration with peers, which enable faculty to better meet the needs of students, according to Foster.

College of Education Dean Carolyn Herrington holds mathematics and science education as the college’s top priorities.

“Our experts shape the way mathematics is taught nationwide,” Herrington said. “This chair allows us to enhance our program, which helps all learners understand complex, real world mathematics.”

“This generous contribution gives Dean Herrington a competitive advantage — ensuring MU will remain one of the top math education programs in the nation,” Stewart said.