Bears in the Know Luncheon Series

Bears in the Know

Presented by
Arvest logo

ProfessorsThe Missouri State University Foundation is excited to host our continuing luncheon series, Bears in the Know. The series is designed to showcase unique areas at Missouri State University and connect personally with our friends and supporters in the community. Thank you to Arvest for supporting this series as the Presenting Sponsor.

The luncheons will be held in the Turner Family Hospitality Room on the first floor of the Kenneth E. Meyer Alumni Center. Complimentary parking is available in the attached garage off of McDaniel Street. Feel free to arrive any time after 11:30 a.m. Lunch will be served at approximately 11:30 a.m., followed by the program at noon.

Register for the entire year of sessions for $50 or individual sessions for $10 each.

2016-17 Series Sessions

September 22, 2016 – Exoplanets

Over 3,000 exoplanets, planets that orbit distant stars, have been discovered in the last 25 years. Dr. Peter Plavchan, Assistant Professor of Astronomy, will talk about the methods used to detect these planets and what we’ve learned and will learn about our Universe from these discoveries. Plavchan will also describe exoplanet research projects at Missouri State.

November 18, 2016 – Electronic Arts Program

The Electronic Arts program is an interdisciplinary program that brings together students from animation, video production, sound design, music composition, audio recording, and multimedia to collaborate on projects. Their work has been wildly successful, garnering hundreds of international and national awards. Mark Biggs, Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, Electronic Arts Coordinator, and Associate Professor; Vonda Yarberry, Interim Department Head of Art and Design, Professor of Animation/Electronic Arts; and Colby Jennings, Assistant Professor of Digital Arts/Animation/Electronic Arts will talk about the program and show teasers of student work.

January 27, 2017 – Veterans in the Criminal Justice System

Veteran’s Treatment Courts (VTC) are the fastest growing specialty court in the United States. VTCs aim to target the underlying causes and correlates of criminal behavior in offenders with a history of military service in an effort to reduce recidivism and future contact with the criminal justice system. Dr. Julie Baldwin, Assistant Professor of Criminology, will give an overview of the development and dissemination of the VTC concept as well as the challenges both these courts and their participants face. Baldwin will include information and results from various original data collection efforts.

March 22, 2017 – “One Missouri”

“One Missouri” is a proposal by the College of Education to address disadvantaged communities in Missouri by reaching out to urban and rural areas throughout Missouri to create communities of support for children and families. Dr. Gilbert Brown, Associate Provost for Diversity and Associate Dean of the College of Education and Dr. Jon Turner, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, Department of Counseling, Leadership and Special Education will share this neighborhood school-based model along with specific data pertaining to rural southwest Missouri community and school needs as compared to other areas of the state.

May 25, 2017 – The eFactory

The eFactory is a technology-focused entrepreneurship center designed to assist startup and growth in new small businesses and continuing education and training in mature organizations.  Allen Kunkel, Associate Vice President, Economic Development and Director of JVIC and Brian Kincaid, Director of The eFactory, will talk about programs of The eFactory, progress of its clients and the impact on our community.

July 12, 2017 – Taylor Health and Wellness Center

For 94 years, Taylor Health and Wellness Center has served the University community. Dr. David Muegge, Director, will give a brief history of Taylor, discuss modern-day operations, as well as review the impact on Missouri State students, faculty and staff. There will also be pictures, floor plans and a construction update for the new 36,000 square foot University health and wellness facility opening January 2, 2018.

If you have any questions about the Bears In The Know luncheon series, email Stephanie Lashley or call 417-836-4143.

Foundation recognized for excellence in fundraising

Council for Advancement and Support of Education gives MSU Overall Performance award

Missouri State University Foundation

As governmental support for higher education continues a tenuous track, the Missouri State University Foundation’s role in garnering financial resources increases. In honor of the success the foundation has had in this vein, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) has awarded an Overall Performance award in educational fundraising.

Missouri State is one of five public comprehensive institutions in the country to win this award this year. Missouri State previously won national awards in fundraising in 2009, 2011 and 2013. In 2013, Missouri State also won the Sustained Excellence in Fundraising award.

“This is really a great honor that we didn’t apply for,” said Brent Dunn, vice president for university advancement. “Everyone at the university is involved in fundraising so this makes a great statement about our university compared to other schools like us.”

About the award

This award recognizes overall performance in educational fundraising programs for FY15 based on data submitted to the Council for Aid to Education’s Voluntary Support of Education survey. An expert panel of volunteer judges selects winners based on a number of factors, including:

  • Pattern of growth in total support (or adjusted total support if appropriate)
  • Evaluation of what contributed to the total support figure
  • Overall breadth in program areas
  • Pattern of growth in each program area
  • Pattern of donor growth among alumni donors and other individual donors
  • Impact of the 12 largest gifts on total support
  • Total support in relation to the alumni base
  • Type of institution

The other institutions receiving this recognition are Angelo State University (Texas), California State University-Long Beach, California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo and Texas State University-San Marcos.

For more information, contact Dunn at 417-836-6666.

MSU Foundation tops $18 million third year in a row

FountainsThe Missouri State University Foundation raised a total of $18,010,206 in gifts during Fiscal Year 2016, which ended June 30. This was the third year running where the Foundation received in excess of $18 million.

“The generous support we receive from our alumni and friends astounds me,” said Missouri State President Clifton M. Smart III. “As we plan for how Missouri State can make a greater impact in the community and nation, this private support is more crucial to us than ever before.”

The funding, noted Brent Dunn, executive director of the Missouri State University Foundation, helps grow programs, purchase equipment, build and renovate facilities, meet student needs through scholarships and provide faculty support.

These gifts were given by 21,570 donors – an increase of 502 donors compared to the previous fiscal year.

On top of these gifts, the Foundation also received $1.2 million in planned gifts.

Endowed Scholarship Appreciation Dinner 2016

Rachael Davis

Rachael Davis

The annual Endowed Scholarship Appreciation Dinner brings together donors, scholarship recipients, and University staff.  This event recognizes our outstanding endowed scholarship recipients and the donors that have funded those awards.  Bringing the donors back to campus, especially the last few years, allows us to show the physical growth and changes that have happened here at Missouri State University.  Events like this one are sometimes our donors only opportunity to put a face and name to our student population and connect with them.

At this year’s dinner, we heard an update from scholarship recipient Rachael Davis.  She received two Foundation scholarships, the Grace Gardener Endowed Scholarship for Study Abroad and the V. A. Dobyns Scholarship Award for the 2015-2016 academic year.  Rachael had recently returned from studying abroad. During her time abroad, we spoke to her on Skype to see how it was going.

On the night of the scholarship dinner, Rachael was in traditional Korean dress.  She shared her experiences with President Smart on stage and explained the impact the trip had on her academic and future career.  Graduating in December with her degree in Criminology and Cybersecurity and a Korean minor, Rachael hopes to pursue a career in criminal justice.  The privately funded scholarships that Rachael received allowed her to follow her dream of traveling abroad to Korea.

Rachael’s story played out in a Skype video and on stage for the other attendees to see, but it also happened time and time again around the room. Each table had a mix of students and donors. The students talked about what their scholarship did for them. Donors talked about their love for the University and gave advice to students about the future. Both students and their donors have a story to tell about how private giving has impacted their lives. At this event, they get the opportunity to share it with one another.

Top 5 Reasons to Attend the MarooNation Ball Springfield

MarooNation Ball

  1. Because “all-inclusive” means all the fun. Tickets and sponsorships include a three course meal, open bar and dancing all night.
  2. Swag on Swag. All guests will receive one of a kind MarooNation Ball items to commemorate the night when you had the most fun of your life.
  3. We’re raising the dough so they can go – to Missouri State that is. All sponsorship and ticket sale proceeds go towards scholarship support for Missouri State students in need.
  4. The Patrick Lentz Band, all the way from KC, really is all that. The award winning and top party band in KC, so good you’ll forget where your seat is!
  5. Because your dancing shoes and your dancing moves deserve a night out. (And it’s for a good cause!) Awkward, yet enthusiastic dancing is appreciated and encouraged. Dance first, think later. Always.

Dance, don’t walk, all the way to secure your spot. It’ll be bright lights, big city, bigger party, all night long. It’s everything you didn’t know a Missouri State party could be.

Buy your tickets online.

Event details

Saturday, June 25, 2016
The Old Glass Place
Cocktail Reception at 7:00 p.m. Dinner at 8:00 p.m. and followed by dancing. The dress is black-tie optional, the fun is not.

Greg Onstot Outstanding Achievement Award

Greg Onstot

Greg Onstot

Nominations are now being accepted for the ninth annual Greg Onstot Outstanding Achievement Award.  The recipient of the 2016 Onstot Award will be presented at the Missouri State Alumni Association Awards Dinner on Friday, June 10.  The recipient will receive a plaque and a cash award of $1,200.

Complete the Greg Onstot Outstanding Achievement Award online nomination form. The nomination deadline is 5:00 p.m., Friday, May 13, 2016. 

Any full-time faculty or staff member may be nominated for the award by colleagues, students, alumni, donors, or the community.  Letters of recommendation and supporting materials are encouraged and may be emailed to the Missouri State Foundation or delivered to the Meyer Alumni Center, Suite 505, 300 S. Jefferson Ave., Springfield, Missouri.

Selection Criteria

The criteria for selection will include, but not be limited to, the following:  work ethic, attitude, and significant achievements during the year.  Examples of exceptional achievements might include:  having a lead role in securing a major gift, initiating or having a lead role in a new project, finding a new donor through new and/or persistent data mining, having a lead role in a major successful event, increasing the contact with alumni and donors of a particular unit, completing extraordinary travel to meet alumni and donors, receiving consistent and significant positive feedback from donors as a result of work completed, etc.


The selection committee shall consist of two members of the Missouri State University Foundation Board of Trustees, two members of the Missouri State University Alumni Association Board of Directors, a member of the R.E.A.L. Bears (Recruiting Emerging Alumni Leaders) student association, and the Vice President for University Advancement.


This award is named for Greg Onstot, who served Missouri State University for 25 years and retired in 2007 as Vice President for University Advancement.  He demonstrated a great work ethic and worked tirelessly in making Missouri State University a better place.  This annual award allows Missouri State to recognize a faculty or staff member who has made significant contributions to its development and alumni relations programs.  Previous award recipients are Dr. Anson Elliott, Julie Ebersold, Jerry Hoover, Dr. Don Aripoli, Jon Leamy, the Theatre & Dance Department, Dr. David Meinert and Dr. George Connor.

Feel free to call 417-836-6666 if you have any questions.

MSU Foundation Announces Ben Crenshaw Event in Springfield

Golfing legend coming to Springfield for MSU fundraiser at Bass Pro April 17

Ben Crenshaw

Ben Crenshaw, two-time Master’s champion, World Golf Hall of Famer and winner of the prestigious Payne Stewart Award.

The Missouri State University Foundation is proud to present an opportunity for Bears supporters and golf fans to meet golfing legend Ben Crenshaw on Sunday, April 17 as part of a unique fundraiser at America’s Wildlife Museum and Aquarium at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield.

A two-time Master’s champion, World Golf Hall of Famer and winner of the prestigious Payne Stewart Award, Crenshaw will share stories of his prestigious career as one of the sport’s top ambassadors and enjoy dinner with the MSU family at the event. Participants may also embark on self-guided tours of Johnny Morris’ breathtaking new facility, starting at 5 p.m. All attendees will enjoy a pre-dinner reception at 6 p.m. with other Missouri State University supporters, followed by the dinner event which kicks off at 7 p.m.

Reserved tables and individual tickets are available by calling (417) 836-4143. Packages are as follows:

* Individual tickets $125
* Reserved table (for 10) $1,250
* VIP individual ticket $250
* VIP reserved table (for 10) $2,250

VIP attendees will attend a private, pre-dinner reception with Crenshaw, starting at 6 p.m., which includes a souvenir photo taken with the golfing legend.

Individuals interested in playing the annual MSU Pro-Am at the Top of the Rock course earlier that day may call (417) 836-4523 to reserve a spot. MSU Pro-Am participants will receive a VIP-Access reserved table to the Sunday evening event with Crenshaw, in addition to VIP access to the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge in the Branson area.

Proceeds from the events will benefit the Missouri State University men’s and women’s golf programs.

Public Affairs Conference keynote features Jillian Michaels

Presentation free, open to public; sponsorship opportunities available to meet Michaels

Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels

Strength trainer and life coach Jillian Michaels is the keynote speaker for Missouri State University’s Public Affairs Conference. Her presentation, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. April 5 in JQH Arena, is sponsored by the Missouri State University Foundation with presenting sponsor Arvest.

“Once again we are pleased to provide a nationally known speaker to be a part of the Public Affairs Conference and have the event free and open to the public and university community,” said Brent Dunn, executive director of the Missouri State University Foundation. “Jillian Michaels has dedicated much of her life to helping people meet their health goals. We’re thrilled to hear her thoughts and advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”

About Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels is a bestselling author, Daytime Emmy nominated television personality, entrepreneur and a leading health and wellness expert. She is a New York Times bestselling author of numerous books. Some of her most recent titles include:

“Master Your Metabolism”
“Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life”
“Slim for Life: My Insider Secrets to Simple, Fast and Lasting Weight Loss”

Michaels has been a fitness expert and wellness coach for more than 20 years. In addition, she owned and operated a sports medicine facility, where she worked as a physical therapy aid under the rehabilitation physicians, physical therapists and chiropractors. Her passion for fitness training originates from 17 years of martial arts practice in Muay Thai and Akarui-Do, in which she holds a black belt.

Michaels, who was a trainer, wellness expert and life coach on The Biggest Loser for 10 years, makes regular TV appearances, has an active online community and has numerous apps, books, DVDs and videos related to meeting and maintaining health and fitness goals.

About Michael’s appearances

The 7:30 p.m. keynote presentation by Michaels is free and open to the public, and no ticket is required.

The Missouri State Foundation will offer sponsorship opportunities to attend a VIP dinner and reception. A private dinner will take place at 5:30 p.m. for $300 per person, it includes a signed book, the opportunity for a personal visit and photo with Michaels, as well as entrance into the VIP meet and greet reception, along with VIP reserved seating at the keynote. For those interested in only the VIP meet and greet reception, it will take place at 6:30 p.m. for $150 per person and includes a photo with Michaels, hors d’oeuvres and refreshments, as well as reserved seating at the keynote. Register online or contact the Foundation at (417) 836-4143 for more information.

Public Affairs Conference

The 2016 Public Affairs Conference theme is Building Health Communities: Body, Mind and Spirit. The conference is April 5-8 in the Plaster Student Union and will explore what it means to build healthy communities from a holistic perspective. The full conference schedule will be posted online by Dec. 9.

For more information about the public affairs conference, contact Mary Ann Wood, director of public affairs support, at (417) 836-5073 or

Gift from Robert Gourley family funds expansion of Glass Hall

Glass Hall

Additional space for business students will be named Robert Gourley Student Success Center

SPRINGFIELD — The College of Business at Missouri State University will soon have a 37,000 square foot addition thanks in part to a significant gift from the Robert Gourley family. This gift was announced at the groundbreaking ceremony today (Oct. 15) for the Robert Gourley Student Success Center at David D. Glass Hall.

“Students within the College of Business at Missouri State will be amazed at the transformation planned for Glass Hall,” said Missouri State University President Clifton M. Smart III said. “This gift, along with so many others, allows us to give our business students a place to sharpen their skills, collaborate on projects and become prepared for successful careers.”

Gifts for Glass Hall exceed $5 million

The Missouri State University Foundation announced gifts and pledges totaling more than $5.4 million for the building and another significant gift from David D. Glass.

“We are so pleased with the numbers of alumni and friends that have made major gifts to this project,” said Brent Dunn, vice president for university advancement and executive director of the Missouri State Foundation. “Our fundraising will continue and we anticipate more people will make investments in this important project.”

The addition of the Robert Gourley Student Success Center and renovation of Glass Hall will allow the College of Business to better serve its current student community while also providing space for growth and unique educational opportunities. The state-of-the-art teaching facilities will prepare students for global careers in business, as well as provide space for business, community and alumni events.

Other significant donors

Other donors to the project include:

•    O’Reilly Auto Parts
•    American National Insurance
•    BKD, LLP and BKD Wealth Advisors, LLC
•    Central Bank of the Ozarks
•    Marlin Network
•    James K. and Patricia A. Jones
•    Jack and Stacey Thurman
•    Jeffrey E. and Lisa Allen (and the Allen Family)
•    Kevin and Marla Elliott
•    Brian and Kim Hammons
•    Dwain and Donna Hammons
•    William D. and Heather Perry
•    Scott and Jennifer Huff
•    Richard and Teresa Ollis and family
•    Gifts in honor of Dr. Vincel Bixler
•    Jon and Jo Baker
•    Scott and Allison Salmon
•    James H. (Jim) Wilson
•    Nancy and Randy Allen
•    Richard L. Bullock and family
•    Dr. Stephanie and Gary Bryant
•    Dr. Steve and Jane Parker
•    James and Robin Robeson
•    Bradley Thomas
•    John E. and Lori K. Wanamaker

Addition, renovation include many new features

Features within the new Student Success Center and renovated spaces of Glass Hall include:
•    A state-of-the art finance and trading lab, simulating the New York Stock Exchange trading floor
•    Entrepreneurship and sales labs
•    Dedicated career placement and business advisement centers
•    Corporate interview rooms
•    A corporate recruiter touch-down space
•    An advertising agency lab, which will function as a working advertising agency
•    A production studio
•    Collaboration and team meeting spaces
•    A full-service café

The renovations to Glass Hall are expected to be completed by fall 2017.

About Bob Gourley

Mr. Gourley was born in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in Mountain Grove, Missouri. He graduated from the business organization and management program at Missouri State University in 1960 while working full-time to pay for his tuition.

“Practical experience and solid instruction in the disciplines of business at Missouri State made me ready for the business world,” said Mr. Gourley. “I feel it is important to give back to your community, those in need and those who helped me along the way.”

After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Second Lt. Infantry Officer, worked in sales and started an entrepreneurial venture. He later moved into ownership of several different businesses, including a beverage distributorship, photo-developing, and camera stores and a startup bank in Kansas City.

In 2010, he published a book about creating, launching and growing an enterprise, “Make Money for Bob: The Bottom Line on Entrepreneurship.”


O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center Dedicated

O'Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center dedication

Missouri State University dedicated the O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center at 1:30 p.m. today.

The O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center is located at the corner of Cherry Street and Holland Avenue. This facility includes a multi-disciplinary health clinic, skills laboratories, offices, classrooms and group study spaces for the occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, nursing and nurse anesthesia programs. The building design is intended to provide a strong first impression for prospective College of Health and Human Services students and faculty and to encourage multi-disciplinary interaction.

The O’Reilly family (Charlie and Mary Beth O’Reilly, Larry O’Reilly, David O’Reilly, Rosalie Wooten and the Charles H. (Chub) O’Reilly Trust) are long-time supporters of Missouri State University and have provided significant philanthropic support to many areas in southwest Missouri.

Read more about the O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center.