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University of Missouri

An Exercise in Giving

Professor Frank Booth gives $1 million to support his own exercise research.

Neil Olson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, left, and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, right, present Professor Frank Booth with a framed veterinary medicine collage in honor of his $1 million donation to the university.

Neil Olson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, left, and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, right, present Professor Frank Booth with a framed veterinary medicine collage in honor of his $1 million donation to the university. Photo by Rob Hill.

Growing up, Frank Booth watched his grandmother’s energy slowly dissipate with age. Her body’s “engine” was perpetually downgraded until what had been like a jet’s became like a low-powered motorbike’s.

“I want to know why,” said Booth, a professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine, at an event Nov. 20, 2014, announcing his gift of more than $1 million — $825,000 to support his own research and a $200,000 estate pledge to create graduate student research fellowships.

Booth worries that his grandmother’s experience will happen sooner to today’s youth. “Being a couch potato in youth means you’re trading in your engine earlier in life. We want to keep [people] out of the nursing home and wheelchair longer.”

He will use the funds to investigate why motivation to be active falls with age and how exercise delays aging’s “engine downgrading.”

Other recent gifts to MU include:

$1 million pledged by Walter Potter Jr., MA ’81, announced Nov. 19, 2014, to support the Walter B. Potter Fund for Innovation in Local Journalism

• $1.15 million from the late Edward E. Vincent, BS BA ’42, given July 24, 2014, to support the William C. Vincent Family Endowed Scholarship Fund