MU business school renamed in honor of donor

Monday, October 22, 2007 | 4:44 p.m. CDT; updated 3:34 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — The MU College of Business has a new name.

The school will be renamed in honor of the late Robert J. Trulaske Sr., a 1940 school graduate. The naming decision came on Friday after his widow, Geraldine Trulaske, donated an undisclosed amount of money to the school.

Laura Harris, the school’s media relations coordinator, said the family asked to keep the amount of the donation confidential.

The Robert J. Trulaske Sr. College of Business becomes only the second school on campus to bear a name. The other is the Sinclair School of Nursing, named after Boone County residents and school supporters Charles and Josie Smith Sinclair.

The Trulaske family lives in St. Louis. After returning from World War II, Trulaske started True Manufacturing with his father and brother. True Manufacturing operates in Missouri as well as internationally, making and distributing commercial refrigeration products.

Trulaske’s support for the business school began in 1997, when he created an endowment to fund scholarships and a scholarship coordinator.

He died in 2004 at the age of 86.

Two years ago, Geraldine Trulaske donated money to endow six faculty positions at the business school and a campuswide scholarship program.

Currently, 36 students have Trulaske scholarships.

Harris said a name will enhance the school’s national reputation. About 75 percent of business schools listed in rankings provided by The Wall Street Journal or the U.S. News and World Report are named, according to the school’s press release.

“Mrs. Trulaske’s very generous gift, combined with a measure of flexibility in applying the new funding, is beneficial to the College of Business at an unprecedented level,” Business School Dean Bruce Walker said in the release. “I am confident that we will fulfill our vision of being a top-twenty public business school.”

In addition, the school has already surpassed its goals for the “For All We Call Mizzou” campaign with contributions now totaling $72 million.

The business school was founded in 1914 and enrolls nearly 4,000 undergraduates and 345 graduate students.

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