College of Education to get big gift

Tuesday, January 27, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 8:37 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Today, MU’s College of Education will announce its largest gift ever, campus officials said Monday.

Although MU officials declined to release the donor’s name, he is Harold Hook of Houston, an MU graduate and former chief executive officer of insurance giant American General Corp.

Reached after delivering a lecture at MU on Monday afternoon, Hook said his gift will be an “endowment for a dean’s chair,” but he would not elaborate.

However, he also said that a Hook Center would be established as a center for education.

Hook, who is scheduled to appear at the press conference this morning at the Reynolds Alumni Center, spoke at Townsend Hall to an educational leadership and policy analysis class. The class is taught by Margaret Grogan, chairwoman of the educational leadership department.

Hook, raised in Lee’s Summit, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from MU. The CEO of American General for 19 years, Hook now runs Main Event Management Corp., a management consulting firm he founded in 1971.

Main Event’s crown jewel is Model-Netics, a tool Hook designed to help managers find easy solutions to their organizations’ problems. Model-Netics is used by some education institutions, including the Houston Independent School District, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and the University of Tennessee.

On the company’s Web site,, MU is listed as using Model-Netics.

Hook said Monday that there are “no strings attached” as to whether MU uses Model-Netics.

MU News Bureau and Main Event Management officials declined to comment on the gift and said details would be released at the news conference. MU Chancellor Richard Wallace and College of Education Dean Richard Andrews will be there.

In 1979, Hook received the MU Faculty/Alumni Award. In 1983, he was awarded an honorary doctor of law degree. Hook is national president of the Boy Scouts of America and is a member of the For All We Call Mizzou fund-raising committee, which is trying to raise $600 million by the end of 2005.

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