Dave Phillippe, Past President of the UMSL Staff Association, announced a new scholarship fund at the retirement party held for John P. Perry on December 15, 1986. The scholarship would be known as the "John P. Perry Scholarship."
Groundwork for plans to honor Perry with an endowed scholarship in his name were quietly begun in 1984 after he spoke at a Staff Association general meeting. Phillippe, then President, and Barbara Couture, then President-elect, consulted with University Relations Director of Development Dennis Verity who advised and helped formulate a plan for raising the scholarship funds.
Phillippe's personal call in November 1984 on Normandy Bank President Robert Levin--a long time friend of Perry's--resulted in a pledge to start the fund. A confidential letter was sent out December 3. Funds began arriving in Phillippee's office by return mail. A goal of $2,500 has been set as that would enable the fund to be endowed.
Part of the plan included "going public" after the surprise presentatioin to Perry. Therefore, the entire UMSL community was invited to contribute to the John P. Perry Scholarship.
"As our highest ranking staff member, it seemed most appropriate to honor Mr. Perry with an endowed scholarship in his name," said Barbara Couture, President of the Staff Council. "We started talking about this during Dave's administration, and we really wanted to keep it quiet and surprise Mr. Perry, so we did not share our idea with many staff members until about 3 weeks ago. Then we needed help getting out letters, and making contacts."