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Gay Burns Makes Impactful Gift to the Lions Forward Campaign

Published: December 14, 2023 | Categories: Press Release
Gay Burns Makes Impactful Gift to the Lions Forward Campaign

Gay Burns, a 1989 graduate of Missouri Southern State University (MSSU), earned her degree in Business Administration from the school of business. She attributes her career path to many personal characteristics, but also to the influence of her former professor, Terry Marion. Gay recalls a pivotal moment during her time at MSSU. “One of my professors at Missouri Southern pulled me aside one day and suggested I consider a career in HR, as the course seemed to come so natural to me. I had never considered human resources as a possible career path, but that moment drove me to consider a field that I have loved for over 30 years.” Gay spent her career at Fortune 250 global organizations. She has lived in Munich, Germany, and Zurich, Switzerland in addition to working with wonderful people on six continents. After retiring from Reinsurance Group of America, Inc. in 2022 as their EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer, she started consulting with NuBrick Partners and The TAI Group bringing over 30 years of experience in her field.

Gay has recently made a significant contribution to her alma mater, Missouri Southern, by including the university in her estate plans. Her generous support is dedicated to the Gay Burns Mathematics and Data Analytics Endowed Scholarship, which she initiated with a current gift. This scholarship is designed to assist students from Missouri and Kansas, including refugees who now call the Missouri/Kansas region home and who possess a deep-seated passion for utilizing their knowledge to address global or industry challenges. In Gay's own words, "I give because I can," recognizing that not everyone possesses the same capacity to give back.

The Lions Forward Campaign is dedicated to fostering a bright future on campus for our students. The overarching goal of the campaign is to elevate student success opportunities through three strategic areas: Enhancing the student experience, fostering academic excellence, and building the campus of the future.

This campaign will provide a plethora of new student opportunities that will enrich their academic experience and consequently, attract new students to our university for years to come. Funds will be invested heavily into new student scholarships, new student-focused spaces, and the construction of a new Health Science Innovation Center.

“The impact of a successful campaign will be nothing short of transformational. New student scholarships, facilities, and programs that support student success will lead to higher levels of student achievement.” - Dr. Dean Van Galen, Missouri Southern President

To learn more about how you can support Missouri Southern State University through the Lions Forward campaign, you can either call (417) 625-3153 or send an email to