MSU Foundation announces gifts for Darr College of Agriculture

Donations include endowment funds, land


Several Missouri State University alumni have made major gifts to the William H. Darr College of Agriculture.

The Darr Family gift

Continuing their support for MSU, William H. (class of 1957) and Virginia (class of 1954) Darr have created two new endowed funds:

  • The Darr Family Facilities Endowment to support the day-to-day operations of the college’s facilities
  • The Family Agriculture Graduate Student Support Endowment to assist graduate students with their research pursuits, including materials, stipends and travel expenses

The couple gave these gifts to recognize the recent name change from Darr School of Agriculture to Darr College of Agriculture.

The George and Paula Kindrick Hartsfield gift

George Hartsfield and Rev. Dr. Paula Kindrick Hartsfield (class of 1976) gave their 80-acre farm located near the Springfield-Branson National Airport to the college.

Named “The Kindrick Family Farm at Missouri State University,” about 65 acres of cultivated land will be used for crop production. Other uses include horticulture and plant science research and education.

“These gifts will allow us to continue moving forward in training new leaders in the field of agriculture who will be making a positive impact around the world,” said Dean Dr. Ronald Del Vecchio, of MSU’s Darr College of Agriculture.

Donate to the Darr College of Agriculture

For more information, contact Del Vecchio at 417-836-5638.

Bears in the Know Luncheon Series

Bears in the Know

Presented by

Arvest logo
The Missouri State University Foundation hosts the Bears in the Know luncheon series which is designed to showcase unique areas at Missouri State University, and connect personally with our friends and supporters in the community.

Bears in the Know luncheons are designed to provide a variety of topics to the public ranging from space to veterans, the arts, technology, and even essential issues that Missourians and Missouri State University affiliates care deeply about. Each luncheon presents experts from different areas covering a new topic that provides interesting and important information, with no two luncheons covering the same topic.

Invitations for each Bears in the Know luncheon events are given to Founders Club members, supporters, alumni, friends and other MSU community members. The luncheons are held every month 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. Lunch is served at approximately 11:30 a.m., followed by the program topic at noon. Tickets are $10 per person per luncheon.

Visit the Bears in the Know website for more information and to purchase your tickets.

Thank you to Arvest, Presenting Sponsor of this luncheon series.

MarooNation Ball St. Louis

MarooNation Ball

The MarooNation Ball galas have become signature Missouri State University events in St. Louis, Kansas City, and now Springfield. These galas help raise scholarship support for current Missouri State students from those respective areas who exemplify the university’s mission in Public Affairs.

The MarooNation Ball galas are all-inclusive comprised of a three course meal, an open bar and dancing all night long. Every guest receives one of a kind MarooNation Ball items to commemorate the night. Along with enjoying the captivating live entertainment, dining and dancing, and mingling with alumni, donors, and friends, you will also have the benefit of knowing that all sponsorship and ticket sale proceeds for MarooNation Ball galas go towards scholarship support for Missouri State students in need.

The 4th Annual Missouri State University MarooNation Ball will be held in St. Louis at the Palladium Saint Louis on January 21, 2017. Tickets are on sale, and sponsorship opportunities are also available. The MarooNation Ball will also be held in Kansas City (April 22nd) and in Springfield (June 2nd). To view photos from last year’s gala or to inquire about tickets and/or sponsorship information, please visit the MarooNation Ball St. Louis website.

St. Louis MarooNation Ball Scholarship Campaign

New this year, anyone can help raise money for the MarooNation St. Louis Student Scholarship and earn free tickets to the MarooNation Ball St. Louis! The scholarship is funded by all MarooNation Ball St. Louis events and gifts from Missouri State supporters. Visit the St. Louis MarooNation Ball Scholarship crowdfunding campaign to make a gift, become an advocate, or create a matching gift or challenge. Your support makes an impact!

Annual Report 2016

Foundation Annual Report 2016With the conclusion of every fiscal year at Missouri State University, following the Foundation Board of Trustees meeting, the Missouri State University Foundation releases its Annual Report to help inform the campus community about alumni, friends, students, and donors making a significant impact at Missouri State University through contributions to the Foundation.

The Foundation Annual Report includes stories about unique gifts, contributions and commitments made by donors, student stories of how donor contributions have impacted their education, information and examples on the multiple ways in which members of the campus community can give, highlights of benefits and events held for donors, and financial highlights from the Foundation.

View the 2016 Annual Report online.

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.