A memorial was established on the campus of Missouri Southern State University on Friday, Oct. 26 in honor of Cassville High School graduate Sunni Stumpff who died in a traffic crash on June 16 at the age of 26.
The special dedication ceremony took place outside the main entrance of MSSU's Taylor Performing Arts Center where a tree was planted and two permanent benches were placed in Stumpff's honor. A photo of Stumpff will also be placed in the MSSU box office where Stumpff worked while attending the university.
Stumpff graduated from Missouri Southern's theatre department in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in theatre arts.
"Sunni was an immensely talented person who contributed to many important ways to our theatre department," said Dr. Jay Fields, head of the department. "We had worked with her on a daily basis."
"Sunni is greatly missed and we think it is only fitting to pay tribute to her in this way," added Fields.
Stumpff, the daughter of Roger and Gaye (Krepps) Stumpff, was a 1999 top 10 graduate of Cassville High School. During her high school career, Stumpff was active in softball, cheerleading and speech and drama.
While a student at MSSU, Stumpff was involved in a large number of theatre productions. She acted in "Sleeping Beauty," "Wolfie," "Carousel," "The Ice Wolf," "The Magic Riddle" and "The Laramie Project" to name just a few. Stumpff also serve as a make-up assistant and production stage manager for several productions and also directed "Sonny DeRee's Life Flashes Before His Eyes" during An Evening of One-Acts.
Upon graduation from Missouri Southern, Stumpff moved to New York City for nine months and then settled in Fayetteville, Ark., where she graduated from the marketing analysis program at the Shumaker Center and worked as a category analyst for various Wal-Mart suppliers.
At the time of her death, Stumpff was teaching Microsoft Office classes and serving as youth program specialist for the American Red Cross. She was also pursuing her masters degree at the University of Arkansas with plans to become a psychology therapist.
Missouri Southern State University is accepting contributions made in Stumpff's memory. These donations should be made to the MSSU Foundation Theater Department in memory of Sunni Stumpff.