Last week the Board of Governors recognized Sen. Roy Blunt with the Bronze Bear Award and Sen. Karla Eslinger with the Government Excellence Award.
Blunt selected for Bronze Bear
Sen. Blunt’s support for MSU is unparalleled.
He constantly advocates to get our university and our students, faculty and staff national and international recognition. The greatest example of this is his decision to select our Chorale to perform at the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. This gave our university and our students the limelight on an international stage.
Sen. Blunt has demonstrated significant commitment for our economic development work throughout his career.
The Roy D. Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center would not exist but for an appropriation he secured while in the House of Representatives. Sen. Blunt and his staff have worked and continue to work to identify grant, contract and plus-up opportunities for the important work that occurs in IDEA Commons.
Perhaps the greatest example of Sen. Blunt’s support for MSU came earlier this year when he secured more than $56 million in federal funds to support health, life, and physical science research, teaching and facilities at Missouri State. Fifty million dollars of that is designated to construct a laboratory addition to Temple Hall.
Eslinger awarded Government Excellence Award
Sen. Eslinger is a tireless advocate for higher education, Missouri State University and the West Plains campus (which is located in her Missouri Senate district).
In 2021, Sen. Eslinger led a successful strategy to secure a $1 million appropriation to construct the Pace Industrial Science Center in West Plains. This appropriation — combined with a grant coordinated by Sen. Blunt and a private contribution from the Pace family — made the welding program in West Plains possible.
This year Sen. Eslinger led a successful strategy to secure a $7.5 million appropriation to construct a facility to house the ASCEND program on our campus in West Plains. This program is very important to the communities throughout south central Missouri.
Sen. Elsinger has only served two years in the Senate. I am hopeful that we will get to work with her for many more years.
Sen. Blunt and Sen. Eslinger have made a tremendous difference in the lives of our university community. They are well deserving of these awards.
Celebrating Onward Upward
Last week we also celebrated the success of the Onward Upward campaign. We revealed the total amount of funds raised during the campaign in front of a crowd of around 3,000 people in Great Southern Bank Arena on Saturday night.
I am pleased to report that the campaign raised a total of $274,018,157.
Contributions through the campaign include support for scholarships, faculty, programs and capital.
Specific capital projects include:
- John Goodman Amphitheatre.
- O’Reilly Health Sciences Center.
- Ann Kampeter Health Sciences Hall.
- Robert Gourley Student Success Center at Glass Hall.
- Magers Family Health and Wellness Center.
- Davis-Harrington Welcome Center.
- Bobby Allison Projects — recreation fields and Event Center at Greenwood.
- Naming of The McQueary College of Health and Human Services and Reynolds College of Arts and Letters.
- Many more.
I want to thank and congratulate Brent Dunn and his team at the MSU Foundation for a job well done on this campaign.
I also want to thank all of the members of our university community who contributed to the campaign. Your investment will pay off in the lives changed at Missouri State.
Give to United Way
I also want to take a moment to encourage you to participate in another campaign — United Way.
I am this year’s chair of the United Way of the Ozarks (UWO) Board of Directors. I fervently believe in the role United Way plays in our community.
UWO has adopted a more focused approach to community investment. All funded programs must fall into one of two categories:
- Championing Children.
- Pathways out of poverty.
I challenge you to consider giving to UWO. If we all give, together we can significantly impact southwest Missouri.
All faculty and staff who participate in this year’s United Way campaign are invited to a celebration lunch at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 7 in the PSU Ballroom. It will be a fun event, and you could win a prize!
Details about the United Way campaign and how to participate can be found online.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!