Missouri Colleges Fund (MCF) President Mike Backer is retiring from the organization next month after 16 years at its helm with former Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO) President and CEO Susan Stegeman on his side. succeed.

Backer will complete his term at the end of this month after raising more than $8.7 million in scholarships for students attending private institutions, according to the organization. Kris Lensmeyer, chairman of the MCF board, praised Backer’s contributions to the nonprofit and the impact of his leadership on students.

“We want to thank Mike for his incredible commitment and service to our mission,” Lensmeyer said in a statement. “His legacy has formulated educational opportunities that have impacted the lives of many students and their families.”

Backer worked as a chief financial officer and director of administration for the Missouri Department of Revenue before joining MCF in 2005.

Stegeman will take over from Backer on February 1 after more than 30 years with SOMO. She left SOMO in late December after more than two years at its helm, having led the Jefferson City-based nonprofit in the wake of the 2019 tornado and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sport.

Stegeman was involved in a myriad of SOMO activities before taking over as head of the organization, helping to develop the Missouri Law Enforcement Torch Run, coordinating various fundraisers, and campaigning for the Training for Campus campus. Life in Jefferson City.

“We are thrilled to find someone with such experience and personal qualifications to continue supporting higher education in Missouri,” Lensmeyer said.

MCF is a coalition of 18 independent private colleges and universities across the state. Member institutions serve more than 85,000 students each year, but receive about 3.5% of state student financial aid funds, according to the MCF website.

MCF accepts donations on behalf of its member institutions and offers programs focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education for future teachers and support for first-generation students and minorities.

Print title: Backer retires from Missouri Colleges Fund; Stegeman takes over