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University of Missouri

Documented Generosity

Reality TV pioneer donates $6.7 million to establish a documentary filmmaking program.

Jon Murray gift to the University of Missouri School of Journalism

Documentary filmmaker Jon Murray talks about his $6.7 million endowment, as journalism school leader Dean Mills looks on. Photo by Rob Hill.

Jon Murray, BJ ’77, the reality TV pioneer behind The Real World and Project Runway, announced Feb. 11, 2014, that he is donating $6.7 million to the School of Journalism to establish a documentary filmmaking program.

“The foundation I got at the School of Journalism allowed me to build this wonderful career,” Murray says.

Other recent gifts to MU include:

• $1 million from Molly Phelps Bean, BJ ’43, of Kansas City, Mo., given Nov. 14, 2013, to create the Molly Phelps Bean Columbia Missourian Endowment ($500,000) and the Molly Phelps Bean Journalism Faculty Enhancement Fund ($500,000);

• $1 million from the late Betty Bennett Francis, given Nov. 5, 2013, to create the Gene S. Bennett Scholarship Fund;

• $4 million estate gift from an anonymous donor, pledged July 10, 2013, for the Chancellor’s Fund for Excellence;

•  $2.3 million estate gift from J. Douglas DeMaire, BS IE, MS ’69, and Barbara DeMaire, BS Ed ’68, of St. Petersburg, Fla., pledged June 6, 2013, to create the DeMaire Scholarship Fund;

• $1.2 million from Jeanne Sinquefield of Westphalia, Mo., pledged March 6, 2013, for the Sinquefield New Music program.