Trogdon Legacy A Tribute to Osage Heritage

William Trogdon, also named William Least Heat-Moon, is a notable Mizzou alumnus, and author of the New York Times bestseller Blue Highways. While his ancestry includes European lineages, it is his Osage heritage that now paves the way for his personal and family legacy through a gift to the University of Missouri School of Health Professions.

Trogdon has recently established the Ralph GraystonTrogdon Osage Tribal Scholarship in honor of his father, and in support of Osage students who want to pursue a health professions education at Mizzou. The $100,000 gift will support one or more annual scholarships for academically excellent SHP students who are acknowledged members of the Osage Tribe.

Trogdon considers the scholarship a gift of gratitude. “The lore and culture of the Osage people, who once lived where I live now, have been important to me from an early age and continuing to today,” he said. “My books would not be what they are without that influence. The scholarship is a small way to thank Osages past and present.”

“My goal is to assist young members of the Osage tribe who need an economic boost to earn a degree in one of the health professions, and, if possible, return to the tribal home in northeast Oklahoma to establish practicesthat make health care more accessible to other members of the tribe,” Trogdon said. The School of Health Professions has a history of returning graduates to rural and underserved areas. “The success of SHP in bringing care to rural areas was instrumental in my selecting that the School to provide education to qualified members from the tribe.”

Trogdon is grateful for the audience his books have garnered, and believes that the scholarship is helping to pay forward what has come to him from his readers. Since Blue Highways in 1982, Trogdon, writing as William Least Heat-Moon, has published eight other titles, including the recent Roads to Quoz: An American Mosey and Here, There and Elsewhere: Stories from the Road.

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