Bill R. Foster and Family Recreation Center to be dedicated

Ceremony includes dedication of the Michael T. Nietzel Plaza

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Homecoming week at Missouri State University will include the dedication ceremony for two new campus features: the Bill R. Foster and Family Recreation Center and the Michael T. Nietzel Plaza. The dedication ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 26 at the Bobby and Betty Allison Courts in the Foster Recreation Center.

The ceremony will include remarks by university officials and the Foster family, along with the unveiling of the commemorative plaques.

“I am so pleased that this facility has the Foster name attached to it because the Fosters have been supporters of the university for many decades and have always had the wellbeing of students as a priority,” said Brent Dunn, vice president for university advancement. “I also appreciate the other donors, like Bobby Allison, who have been generous with their gifts to make this facility a reality.”

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, supporting intercollegiate athletics programs, and serving in leadership positions on the Missouri State Foundation Board of Trustees and The Bears Fund.

The Foster Recreation Center is a 100,000-square-foot, $30 million facility. The project was initiated in 2006 by student leaders, designed with the help of students, and funded through a dedicated student fee and private contributions. The center contains three gyms, a climbing wall, an aquatics area, an indoor track, a cardio-fitness center, locker rooms and multipurpose rooms for fitness assessment, dance and other related activities.

“The Recreation Center is another great example of how donors like Mr. Foster and the Foster Family can have a positive impact on students,” said Missouri State President Clifton M. Smart III. “This facility will provide incredible opportunities for many generations of Missouri State students. It is an honor to have the Foster Family name on this facility.

“It also is an honor to have the new plaza named for President Mike Nietzel. Dr. Nietzel had a positive impact on the university during his five years, and he certainly had a great influence on me personally. I am extremely pleased we could honor him in this way, especially given the way in which he guided the Foster Recreation Center from a dream to a reality.”

The Michael T. Nietzel Plaza recognizes Nietzel’s five years of service to Missouri State as the university’s ninth president. Located adjacent to the Foster Recreation Center, the plaza commemorates his role in guiding the facility through the planning stages and into the construction phase.

The tradition of honoring past presidents in this manner began during the Centennial Celebration in 2004-05. Other locations named after presidents include: Carrington Hall, Hill Hall, Ellis Hall, the Duane G. Meyer Library, the Traywick Parliamentary Room, the Arthur L. Mallory Plaza, the Marshall Gordon Plaza and the John H. Keiser Plaza and Amphitheater.

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