Donor Jim Pace, left and Rhonda Gibler stand for a photo at the end of a press conference Friday

{div}Donor Jim Pace, left and Rhonda Gibler stand for a photo at the end of a press conference Friday for a $1.5 million donation to MU to improve university business practices.{/div}{/div}

MU received $1.5 million for business practice improvements from a university alumnus and descendent of one of its founding families.

Jim Pace, a graduate of both Hickman High School and MU, is a direct descendent of the Pace family who contributed money and support for the foundation of MU in 1839.

He earned a degree in business and eventually became the owner and CEO of manufacturing company ROM Corporation in 1973. 

"The foundation that I received from the university gave me the courage and skills to follow my dream of owning my own business," Pace said.

After selling the company in 2004, Pace said he had the resources to give back to the university that believed in him. His intention was to improve university business practices.

Rhonda Gibler, vice chancellor for finance and MU's chief financial officer, worked closely with Pace to accomplish his goals for the university.

The $1.5 million has gone toward:

  • Creating a training program that standardizes the university's financial processes for more than 4,500 participants.
  • Designing and launching more secure and user-friendly websites for MU's divisions of finance and cashiers.
  • Implementing a contract portal to help MU get the best rates for services and products.
  • Ensuring best use of campus resources.

Supervising editor is Kaleigh Feldkamp. 

  • I am a fall 2019 state government reporter. I am studying data journalism. Reach me at or at 816-244-7488 with story tips and ideas.

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