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.

Sam Hamra gift to benefit MSU music students

Sam and June Hamra with President Clif Smart

Sam and June Hamra with President Clif Smart

Sam Hamra, chairman of Hamra Enterprises, has given a significant gift to the Missouri State University Foundation for the purchase of a Steinway grand piano.

The piano will be placed in the recital/lecture room at Ellis Hall, which will soon undergo renovation. The room will be named for his wife, June Hamra, who was a member of the Board of Regents from 1979-85 and is actively involved in the arts community.

“We are so pleased to be able to support the great things happening in the music program at Missouri State,” Hamra said. “June and I hope this gift will help music students achieve the goals they desire in life.”

Every music student who performs a junior degree recital or takes part in a master class will be accompanied by this instrument. MSU music students’ lesson fees have already purchased ten Steinway-way built Boston upright pianos and one Boston seven-foot grand. As the music department continues to replace its piano inventory, both students and faculty will have access to the best quality instruments in achieving their maximum technical and artistic priorities.

“The Missouri State University music department is so excited to receive this wonderful gift from Sam and June Hamra,” said Dr. Julie Combs, head of the music department. “With this gift, we will have the ability to purchase our first new Steinway Grand piano as we move closer to attaining All-Steinway status as a school. Mr. Hamra’s generosity will provide the industry standard in grand pianos for not just our piano majors to perform on, but also will help recruit the very best music and musical theatre students.”

“Our music faculty and students have performed successfully for many years,” said Dr. Gloria Galanes, dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “This gift helps us provide them with the outstanding tools that will match their talents and enhance their already outstanding performances.”

The Founders Club Medallion Reception

Kim and Patrick Harrington are presented the Founders Medallion by President Clif Smart

Kim and Patrick Harrington are presented the Founders Medallion by President Clif Smart

On June 27, 2015 the annual Medallion Reception honored 54 total new medallion recipients, current medallion holders, and new members of the Founders Club!  The evening recognized our new and returning donors and honored their commitment and loyalty to Missouri State University.  A cocktail reception, in the theme of hot air balloons, was held in the grand lobby of Juanita K. Hammons Hall celebrating the occasion.

This year there were 24 Bronze medallions, six Silver medallions, 11 Presidents medallions, three Sterling medallions, three Platinum medallions, and seven Founders medallions.  To see all levels and the complete list of medallion recipients click here.

President Clif Smart, was in attendance and spoke to the importance of giving and the difference our medallion recipients make on Missouri State students and the campus community as a whole.  These gifts and the level of support the University receives from The Founders Club continues to take Missouri State to the next level.  Current and future Bears will accomplish bigger and bolder achievements because of your private support.

MSU Foundation finishes year with second highest total in history

Gift AnnouncementThe Missouri State University Foundation had another strong year. The $19,206,438 raised during Fiscal Year 2015, which ended June 30, easily topped last’s year’s total of $18,377,965 and is second only to the $20,311,218 raised in 2012.

The gifts will help to fund programs, scholarships, equipment and other needs across campus.

“I continue to be amazed by the support of our alumni and friends,” said Missouri State President Clifton M. Smart III. “The numbers speak for themselves and are impressive, but the significance lies in what this allows us to provide for our students, faculty and programs.”

During FY 15, the Missouri State University Foundation received 46,407 gifts from 21,068 donors. Additionally, nearly $2 million in deferred gift commitments were received.

The outright gifts are already being utilized on campus. The deferred gifts will come to the university at a later date through bequests, trusts, annuities, life insurance and other instruments.

The Missouri State University Foundation was established in 1981 as the fund-raising arm of the university. Since then, the Foundation has received $266,402,452.

“We are so thankful that we had such another great year in private gifts, “said Brent Dunn, executive director of the Missouri State University Foundation. “The increase in gifts really reflects on the many great things that are occurring on our campuses. Private support for education will even be more critical in the future as well as today.”

Missouri State uses crowdfunding to raise support for projects

MSU Crowdfunding is a next generation crowdfunding platform for approved Missouri State University causes and projects. The Missouri State University Foundation has a website where project managers can post a project asking for donations from contributors. Project managers and their team members leverage their personal connections through social media (Facebook and Twitter) to reach potential contributors.  Our project managers’ passions become realities with the financial support of contributors from the MSU Crowdfunding community.

The first project on launched in September of 2014.  It quickly went over its initial goal and, since the first project launch, eighteen other projects have been created.  Collectively, these projects have raised more than $51,000 from more than 465 gifts!

concrete canoe

Missouri State Concrete Canoe “Montezuma”

One of those projects was the Missouri State Concrete Canoe Team.  They met their fundraising goal, went to competition and placed second among top schools in the nation!

Hospitality and Restaurant Administration (HRA) is undergoing a move to Pummill Hall and the building is being renovated especially to serve the students majoring in HRA.  They needed help funding student study and collaboration space in Pummill.  Crowdfunding helped them spread the word and they met their goal of $10,000!

These are just a few of the success stories and amazing projects.  To see some of the past and present projects, visit

Missouri State celebrates its 110th birthday


Missouri State University officially turned 110 this year and celebrated the 10 year anniversary of its name change.  The whole campus community was given an opportunity to celebrate, make a difference, and give back during the week of March 17th. Visit the Birthday Bears website to find out more.

Fundraising is how the Fourth District Normal School got its start in Springfield. To this day gifts from our alumni and friends make a huge impact on our campus and our students.  That is why we integrated a giving back portion to the birthday week.

Bears Backing Bears, a week long campaign during the birthday week, encouraged students to donate money to the Emergency Scholarship Fund.  This fund provides assistance to students who have had life altering and unforeseeable events take place.  Over the years, the fund has helped students who were affected by the Joplin tornadoes and by parental loss.  Students who donated to this campaign got the chance to win President Smart’s parking spot for a week. The Bears Backing Bears project, hosted on MSU Crowdfunding, raised student awareness about the importance of giving back while they are still on campus.

The annual Endowed Scholarship Appreciation Dinner was among the celebrations during the birthday week. You can read more about the dinner here.

The campus community also got a chance to step back in time by attending a Living History Luncheon and watching faculty members who, by acting out two of Missouri State’s biggest legends, Dr. Virginia Craig and William Carrington, gave us a glimpse of what it was like in the early days of the University.  They brought Missouri State history to life.

The birthday week was full of events for students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends with maroon and white pride being the centerpiece of it all.  If you would like to show your maroon and white pride by giving back to fellow Bears through the Emergency Scholarship Fund, or other scholarships, please visit the Missouri State University Foundation website.