Missouri State University is saying thank you to the man who helped make the dreams of countless students a reality.
The university will honor John Goodman with the Bronze Bear Award during the fall 2023 commencement ceremony Dec. 15.
“We’re immensely honored to recognize John as a beacon of generosity and commitment to our university,” President Clif Smart said. “His enthusiasm in chairing the Onward Upward campaign and his unwavering support in building the outdoor amphitheatre that bears his name have transformed the university and its students.”
The Board of Governors approved the award today, Oct. 20. It recognizes individuals for special support and achievement at Missouri State.
Goodman helped shape the arts
The John Goodman Amphitheatre in the plaza adjacent to Craig Hall, helped transform the outdoor area into the Judith Enyeart Reynolds Arts Park. The open-air facility is the home of Tent Theatre and includes a permanent stage and tiers for 350 removable seats.
Missouri State helped shape him
Goodman came to Missouri State in the 1970s on a football scholarship. He tore his ACL and never took the field. Instead, he was cast in a small role in a play and became smitten with acting.
He graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. In 2013, the university awarded him an honorary doctorate in humane letters.
Goodman went on to have a successful Hollywood acting career, staring in the likes of “Roseanne” on the small screen and iconic rolls in movies such as “The Big Lebowski” and the voice of Sulley in “Monsters, Inc.”
About the Bronze Bear
The Bronze Bear Award includes a framed resolution and a 45-pound, 18-inch Bronze Bear in an upright position mounted on a base.
Former Missouri State art professor Dr. Jim Hill designed the award in 1998. A 14-foot statue version of the Bronze Bear mounted on a 3-foot concrete base is located just north of Missouri State’s Plaster Student Union.
The university president and administrative council recommends Bronze Bear recipients. The executive committees of the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate and Student Government Association support the nominations. The Board of Governors has final approval.