The Legacy of Donald Parsons:
Difference in Students’ Lives
This photo of Don
Parsons, a 1957 alumnus, appeared in the
March 2012―The wife and son of Truman Hall of Famer Donald
Parsons recently established the Donald Parsons Endowed Athletic Scholarship
through the Truman State University Foundation to benefit student-athletes
attending Truman. Jean (Wells) Parsons, a 1967 Truman alumna, and her son, Devin
Parsons, created the scholarship in honor of the late Don Parsons, a teacher,
coach and administrator, who dedicated his life to education and athletics.
An All-State basketball player for the Ottumwa (Iowa) High School, Don helped
his team finish second in the state tournament in 1953. After graduating from
high school, Don came to Truman to earn a bachelor of science in education, and
he joined the Bulldog basketball team. Collecting All-MIAA honors twice (1955-56
and 1956-57), he was named Most Valuable Player on the All-Conference team in
1956-57. Nearly three decades after he graduated in 1957, he was inducted into
the Truman State University Athletics Hall of Fame.
While serving in the military in Germany, Don played on his command’s basketball
team, and he later tried out for and nearly made the St. Louis Hawks basketball
team. In 1959, he taught and coached all sports at Greentop, Mo., and after
earning a master’s degree from Truman in 1961, he taught science and
coached at Evans Junior High School in Ottumwa. He became an administrator with
the Ottumwa School District and served as the assistant principal at Washington
Junior High School followed by 12 years at Walsh Junior High School. He then
served as principal at Eisenhower Elementary School and handled other
district-wide duties, including directing the staff wellness program and the K-8
physical education and elementary athletic programs. He retired from the Ottumwa
School District in 1994.
Throughout his long and distinguished career, Don inspired countless young
people, and the scholarship established by his wife and son ensures that his legacy
will live on through future generations of Bulldogs.
For more information
Advancement, McClain Hall 205, 100 E. Normal Ave., Kirksville, Mo. 63501-4221;
Telephone: (800) 452-6678 or (660) 785-4133; Fax (660) 785-7519.