The Be a Bear T-shirt project was introduced on March 17, 2016 by R.E.A.L. Bears, the Missouri State Alumni Association, and the Missouri State Bookstore. The shirt sold for $19.05 to commemorate the university’s founding. To support the university’s public affairs mission, proceeds from the Be a Bear T-shirt were donated to the MSU Student Emergency Scholarship Fund to support students who encounter unforeseen, life-altering experiences that inhibit them from continuing their education. Each year, a new design will be released on the university’s birthday (March 17) and be retired at Homecoming. Sales for this year’s t-shirt ended on Homecoming weekend, October 15. Missouri State students and alumni raised almost $10,000 for the Emergency Scholarship Fund!
A design contest is currently open for the 2017 Be a Bear shirt. Students are submitting their creative designs, so they could see their design walking around campus; there is also a chance to win great prizes. Once the contest closes, a panel of Missouri State staff, alumni, and students will choose the winning design. The winner will be notified in January and the new design will debut on March 17 for all to purchase. Be sure to get your Be a Bear shirt next year before they retire at Homecoming!