Veteran Salutes Missouri Western for Lighting the Way
Since he was 5 years old, Lt. Col. Ret. Kevin West ’89 knew he wanted to be in law enforcement or the military. When the Kearney, Missouri, native enrolled at Missouri Western State University, it was no surprise that he majored in criminal justice and joined ROTC.
Kevin was commissioned into the U.S. Army at the end of his junior year in college and joined a National Guard unit at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. After graduating from Missouri Western, he went on active duty and served in the Army for 20 years, retiring in 2009.
His military service as a field artillery officer spanned several countries, including deployments to Kosovo, Bosnia, Desert Storm and Iraq. His last position before retiring was commanding an artillery battalion at Fort Riley, Kansas.
Kevin, a member of the Western League for Excellence, recently notified the Missouri Western State University Foundation that it was a beneficiary in his estate plan, making him and his wife, Alyn, members of the Clock Tower Society.
“I think it’s important to contribute to the places that were important to you when you were young,” he said, adding that he also understands the need for private giving due to decreasing state allocations and rising costs for colleges and universities.
Kevin, a first-generation college student, said he knew in high school that Missouri Western was a good fit for him because of the smaller class sizes and good value. “The student-faculty ratio was also important to me,” he said. “I needed a little more accountability.”
Kevin added that he also liked the number of nontraditional students on campus. He enjoyed visiting with them and hearing about their experiences and perspectives.
Today, he is a civilian employee for the Army at Fort Riley, serving as the Chief of Force Integration for the 1st Infantry Division. Alyn, who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art history, owns and operates the Strecker Nelson West Gallery in Manhattan, Kansas.
As Kevin shows, one way to show your thanks for the places important to you as a youth is through a planned gift. To learn how you too can give back to Missouri Western State University, please contact Kim Weddle at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out by phone at 816-271-5648.