It was about a year ago that former Missouri Southern instructor Dan Stengel learned that an accounting scholarship had been established in his name.

“I had a past student who was very successful … in spite of me, I guess,” Stengel said with a laugh. “But he thought it was, perhaps to some extent, because of me. He was not an accounting major, but he thought that if people – regardless of what area they’re in – can get some accounting background, they’re going to be more successful. He established the scholarship in my name. I told him it was nice to do that while I was still alive.”

Stengel was on the ground floor when Missouri Southern became a four-year college at its current location. He and his wife, Jeanette, were recent graduates of the University of Nebraska when they came to Joplin in 1967. He began teaching accounting, finance and investment courses in Hearnes Hall.

“About a year later, the Business Department moved over to the mansion, which was pretty exciting,” he said.

The faculty was very close-knit, said Stengel, and Jeanette became a member of the faculty wives association.

In 1975, he joined the Joplin office of BKD after becoming a certified public accountant, and was elected to partnership in 1982. He specialized in income and estate taxes, business succession planning and business consulting, retiring in 2006.

After learning that the scholarship had been created in his name, the couple decided to add to it – creating an endowed scholarship that will benefit an accounting student each year.

“It was pleasing to be able to help add to it,” said Stengel. “We wanted to give someone an opportunity who might not be able to afford a college education, or would have to incur a great deal of debt to get it.”