Student Hopes Guest Speaker Will Make Huge “M-PACT”


ST. LOUIS — When Samantha Timmermann received an M-PACT Scholarship to attend Maryville University, she wanted to create an event or program that would leave a lasting impact on the entire campus. Now a junior, Timmermann of Breese, Ill., majoring in marketing, thinks she’s found just such an event. She has invited motivational speaker John Foppe to campus at noon, Wednesday, Feb. 27, to deliver a talk in the Maryville Auditorium. A book signing and dessert reception will follow Foppe’s talk. All events are free and open to the public.

“My mom suggested contacting John Foppe since he is from my hometown and has been so successful,” Timmermann said. “We both agreed John would have a great message not only for the students but the whole Maryville community.” Born in 1970 with seven major birth defects, including no arms, and not expected to live, Foppe not only has beat the odds but has gone on to lead a remarkable life. For 19 years, he has traveled around the world advising businesses on how to translate visions into outcomes. In 2002, Foppe wrote a book, What’s Your Excuse? Making the Most of What You Have, which has been printed in six languages.

Today, Foppe serves as CEO of Visionary Velocity Worldwide, which offers a gamut of professional services, including speaking, coaching, facilitating and training. He holds a master’s degree in social service from Saint Louis University. He has snow skied, climbed the Eiffel Tower and snorkeled in the Caribbean. His story has inspired millions of people, Timmermann said. “My main goal for this event is for everyone who attends to walk out with a new passion and outlook on life and their personal goals.,” she said.

Maryville established the M-PACT Scholarship in 2003 to reward students for their high school accomplishments and for their ongoing efforts in contributing to Maryville’s campus life atmosphere. The University awards about 20 M-PACT scholarships annually. For more information on John Foppe’s February 27 talk at Maryville University, contact Timmermann at His appearance at Maryville is sponsored by the University’s John E. Simon School of Business, M-PACT, the Maryville University Student Occupational Therapy Association, the School of Health Professions and the Rehabilitation Counseling Speakers Series.

Maryville University is a private institution offering approximately 50 undergraduate, seven master’s and two doctoral degree programs to 3,422 students. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges, Maryville University prepares its students for successful and meaningful careers. Among Maryville’s most recent graduates, 94 percent are employed or attending graduate school. Approximately 15,000 alumni work and live in the St. Louis region.