Kenneth McCaleb graduated from Joplin Junior College, the forerunner of Missouri Southern State University, in 1941. During his two years at the junior college, he established a newspaper and named it The Chart. The newspaper continues to this date.
After graduation Kenneth was drafted into the United States Army just five days before the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He became a navigator aboard a B-17 flying bombing missions over Germany during World War II. On his nineteenth mission, Kenneth McCaleb was shot down. It was October 14, 1943. He spent the next 19 months in German prisoner of war camps before being released on April 29, 1945. He was 25 years old. War devastated his young life and in 1998 he took steps to help other young people avoid that kind of devastation.
Kenneth McCaleb and his wife Margaret Baughman McCaleb established the McCaleb Initiative for Peace at Missouri Southern State University for the purpose of examining the causes of war and discussing ways by which war can be prevented.
The focus of this Initiative is on Missouri Southern student journalists who, on assignments for The Chart, will, over the lifetime of the Initiative, visit sites of former wars and perhaps present conflicts. They will visit monuments to past victories and defeats and visit with survivors of wars, and they will write and publish their observations. These reporters will compile memories of veterans of battles, of prisoner of war camps, of concentration camps, of resettlement camps, of refugee centers, and of those who worked or officiated at such centers. They will detail in their reporting the devastation wreaked by war. They will visit institutes where the study of war and the promotion of peace are principal concerns, and they shall report upon their findings.
In so doing, The Chart will strive to become an instrument for peace and create for its readers, particularly for the students of Missouri Southern State University, vivid notions of the horrors of war.
The Initiative is part of and administered by the Missouri Southern Foundation which assigns funds to the Missouri Southern Institute of International Studies. The Institute's director has the responsibility for allocating these funds and other funds from the Institute itself to The Chart. The Adviser to The Chart shall be responsible for developing the thrust of the stories and the investigations and research which shall be the primary work of this Initiative. The Director and the Adviser working together shall work on the development of itineraries and sources for stories, but The Chart shall be solely responsible for the content of stories.
It shall also be the task of the Institute of International Studies to seek additional funding for the expansion of the work of the Initiative and a long-range goal will be the establishment of an Academy for Peace. That Academy shall prepare coursework, classes, and seminars in conflict avoidance, mediation, negotiation, maintaining cease-fires and armistice agreements, negotiation and peacekeeping. It shall become a training center for those individuals who wish to prevent hostilities.
Kenneth McCaleb after the war graduated as a mechanical engineer from the University of Oklahoma and worked in the nation's atomic energy program at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and then for 22 years at the Marshall Space Center, Huntsville, Alabama. He retired in 1982. He married Margaret Baughman immediately after the war. She graduated from Joplin Junior College in 1940.