The Missouri State University faculty, staff and students, past and present, join the Springfield community in mourning the loss of Mr. John Q. Hammons, who passed away on Memorial Day 2013 at age 94.
Since the mid-1970s, Mr. Hammons, a Missouri State alumnus, was instrumental in investing in Missouri State University’s growth and development. Several campus facilities are named in honor of Mr. Hammons and/or his wife, Juanita: Hammons Fountains, Hammons Student Center, Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts, Hammons House, and JQH Arena. The Bears baseball team also plays at Hammons Field.
“It is hard to measure the significant impact Mr. Hammons had on Missouri State University,” said Missouri State University President Clifton M. Smart III. “Most people think of his generosity and the facilities that are named for he and his wife, Juanita. But just as important was his constant optimism and his relentless push for Missouri State to set its sights higher and achieve more. His legacy at Missouri State will be as much for this entrepreneurial spirit as the structures he helped fund. The university, and the entire Springfield community, has lost an icon.”
“To say we are saddened by Mr. Hammons’ passing is an understatement,” said Missouri State Director of Athletics Kyle Moats. “The impact he has made on our campus, specifically with his commitment to athletics, is monumental. He had a passion for Missouri State University which drove him. He truly didn’t sit on the sidelines: he was driven to provide us with first-rate facilities and opportunities. The way he touched people’s lives, truly made us a better community. His vision, passion and love for Springfield and Missouri State will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Hammons and all those who are grieving with us today.”
“From a personal standpoint, he has been a loyal and true friend,” said Bill Rowe, who was athletics director at MSU from 1982 to 2009 and an associate of Mr. Hammons for more than 50 years. “His commitment to Missouri State University is unparalleled and touched every aspect of his life. There are just so many things that he has made possible for the University. He meant so much to me and so many other people — not just in this community and around the state, but around the country.”