Bill R. Foster and Family’s gift supports university recreation center

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Facility to be named Bill R. Foster and Family Recreation Center

When students enter the university recreation center for the first time this spring, they will find a new place on campus to enjoy a variety of wellness and recreational activities. In addition, thanks to a major gift commitment from Bill R. Foster and the Foster Family, they will find the building already has a name: the Bill R. Foster and Family Recreation Center.

“We are very excited about helping to provide this great facility to faculty, students and staff,” said Bill R. Foster. “We appreciate the opportunity to be part of a beautiful facility that will serve Missouri State University, especially the present and future students.”

Bill Foster is a Springfield businessperson with a lifelong commitment to healthcare. He and his family have a long history with Missouri State University. Over the past 30 years, they have been integral to the university’s growth and development by establishing scholarships, giving to capital projects such as Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts and JQH Arena, and supporting intercollegiate athletics programs.

In addition, Bill Foster served on the Missouri State Foundation Board from 1987-93, including a year as its president in 1990-91. His son, Tony Foster, is currently serving on the Foundation Board of Trustees; another son, John Foster, served as co-chair of The Bears Fund.

“We very much appreciate this generous support from the Foster Family,” said Missouri State Interim President Clif Smart, “and we are pleased and honored to have the Foster name forever associated with Missouri State through the naming of this building. The Bill R. Foster and Family Recreation Center will serve many generations of Missouri State students.”

The Foster Family is pictured from left to right: Tony and Lyn Foster; Bill and Juanitha Foster; John and Susan Foster; and Kaye Foster-Gibson

The recreation center is a 100,000-square-foot, $30 million facility currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed in March 2012. The project was initiated in 2006 by student leaders, designed with the help of students, and is being funded through a dedicated student fee and private contributions. The center will contain three gyms, a climbing wall, an aquatics area, an indoor track, a cardio-fitness center, locker rooms and multi-purpose rooms for fitness assessment, dance and other related activities.

“This is such a great testament to students about how much the community cares about the success of Missouri State,” said Scott Turk, Student Government Association president. “The recreation center will have an extreme impact on both the health and social environments on campus. We could not be more thankful for all of the amazing support that we receive and are excited now more than ever for the opening of the facility.”

With a modern LEED certified design, the center will meet and exceed the recreation, wellness and social needs of students for generations. Although not completed, the center has already received two design awards, one through the American Institute of Architects (AIA) St. Louis Chapter; the other is from AIA Central Region. Recognition by the AIA is one of the top honors for a designer since the recognition comes from a jury of design peers. Doug Sampson, university architect and director of campus planning, has led the design efforts.

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