The Missouri State University Foundation announced more than $8 million in gifts and commitments at a news conference today (Dec. 18). The gifts will impact the entire campus community, from student life and recruitment to academic programs and athletics.
A significant gift from Bobby Allison will support the recreational facilities improvements currently underway. In recognition, the facilities will be named for Bobby Allison and his late mother, Betty. These improvements include the field north of Glass Hall, which will be developed into a NCAA regulation soccer field surrounded by a new synthetic track. This facility, to be named the Betty and Bobby Allison South Stadium, will also be used for student recreation.
A new field hockey and lacrosse field will also be constructed north of Hammons Student Center. This regulation field, which will support the field hockey program and student recreation, includes a small grandstand, restrooms and a press box. This area will be named the Betty and Bobby Allison North Stadium.
Finally, the facilities improvements include a pair of sand volleyball courts at the southwest corner of Hammons Student Center, which will include a press box and an informal seating berm along the courts, and be named the Betty and Bobby Allison Sand Volleyball Courts.
The Foundation has also contributed $2.25 million for the new Student Admissions and Success Center, which will undergo construction soon. Another $1 million in gifts were given to complete the Bears and Lady Bears locker rooms in JQH Arena.
“This is a tremendous way to end a very successful 2013,” said Missouri State President Clifton M. Smart III. “Private gifts will continue to be vital to Missouri State as we improve the educational experience for our students. It is notable that these gifts touch all aspects of the college experience, from facilities to financial aid to program support. These gifts will make the university better.”
Additional significant gifts
Other significant gifts include:
- The Jack E. Weimer Family made a gift to the Betty and Bobby Allison South Stadium. In recognition, the press box will be named for the Jack E. Weimer Family.
- A gift from the estate of Rosemary Witt to benefit three funds in the College of Arts and Letters: the Keifer-Young Keyboard Scholarship Fund, the Don S. and Rosemary Witt Scholarship Fund and the Dr. C. William Young Keyboard Recital Series. Rosemary Young Witt was an avid supporter of the arts at Missouri State University, from Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts to scholarships and funds supporting music and keyboard.
- A gift from the estate of Virginia Cox Bussey to benefit the Virginia C. Bussey Scholarship in Music and Musical Theatre. Bussey was a 1939 graduate of Greenwood Lab School and was involved with Missouri State University and the MSU Foundation for many years, serving on the Foundation Board of Trustees for two consecutive terms from 1994-2000.
- A gift from Betty Jeanne Wood Turoff of 157.10 acres of timbered land in Greene County, Mo., to be known as “The Woodlands,” and to benefit the Darr School of Agriculture.
- A gift from Mike and Karen Hanover to endow the Hanover Scholarship for Mathematics. Mike, who is now retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is a 1966 graduate of MSU with a BS in mathematics.
- Several gifts established scholarships, including those from the Missouri Chapter – Public Risk Management Association, Inc., for a new endowed scholarship fund for scholarship awards to full-time juniors or seniors majoring in insurance and risk management in the department of finance and general business; the Estate of Dorothy Ellen Miller to benefit students with financial need; an anonymous donor, who also established student scholarships benefitting students with financial need; and Nita Jane Ayres, in memory and honor of her grandmother, Fern, for the Fern G. Ayres Education Scholarship to benefit non-traditional students from Stone and Taney Counties pursuing an education degree.
- A gift from Vicki Spoonhour, wife of Missouri State men’s basketball coaching legend Charlie Spoonhour, to endow men’s basketball scholarships. Charlie Spoonhour, who passed away Feb. 1, 2012, coached the Bears from 1983-92 and compiled a 197-81 record while leading MSU to five NCAA Tournament appearances. He went on to coaching stops at Saint Louis University (1992-99) and UNLV (2001-04). He was 373-202 in 19 years overall as a Division I head coach.
In addition, Kraft Foods gave a gift-in-kind to benefit the biology department within the College of Natural and Applied Sciences.
“We are grateful for the remarkable support of our many generous donors,” said Brent Dunn, vice president for university advancement. “Improving the educational and recreational facilities for the campus community and advancing the university’s mission would not be possible without that support.”