In recognition of his long-standing involvement with and support of Missouri State University, Bobby Allison will receive the 2016 Bronze Bear Award. He will be the 18th recipient of the award, which is presented to those who have exhibited “extraordinary achievement and/or outstanding support” for Missouri State.
The Missouri State Board of Governors voted today (Oct. 14) to award the Bronze Bear to Allison, which will be presented at a Dec. 16 commencement ceremony at JQH Arena.
“Bobby Allison is a great friend of Missouri State and we are proud to recognize him with the Bronze Bear Award,” said Missouri State President Clifton M. Smart III. “His gifts and contributions to the university have enhanced our profile and provided our students with tremendous on-campus recreation opportunities.”
A look at Allison’s contributions
A significant gift from Allison in 2013 supported recreational facilities improvements for student recreation and intercollegiate athletics programs. In recognition, the facilities were named for him and his late mother, Betty. These improvements included:
- The Betty and Bobby Allison South Stadium, home to MSU’s men’s and women’s soccer teams and women’s track and field
- The Betty and Bobby Allison North Stadium, home to MSU’s field hockey team
- The Betty and Bobby Allison Sand Volleyball courts
A longtime supporter of numerous projects in the Ozarks, Allison also contributed funds to support construction of the Bill R. Foster and Family Recreation Center, a portion of which was endowed to help support intramural programs at Missouri State. As a result, two sand volleyball courts, two multipurpose turf fields and an open area for other activities are called the Betty and Bobby Allison Recreation Fields.
Prior Bronze Bear recipients
- 1998 – John Q. Hammons, international developer and philanthropist
- 1999 – David D. Glass, former president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., of Bentonville, Arkansas, and owner of the Kansas City Royals baseball team
- 2000 – Dr. Duane G. Meyer, president emeritus of Missouri State
- 2003 – Virginia and William H. “Bill” Darr, founder and owner of American Dehydrated Foods and related companies, and Springfield philanthropists
- 2004 – Jane and Ken Meyer, owners of Meyer Communications, Inc., and Springfield philanthropists
- 2005 – Dr. John H. Keiser, president emeritus of Missouri State
- 2006 – Thomas G. Strong, nationally-known attorney
- 2007 – The McQueary Family, former owners of a wholesale drug company
- 2008 – The Turner Family, Great Southern Bank
- 2009 – The Pinegar Family, Pinegar Chevrolet
- 2009 – Dr. Michael T. Nietzel, former president of Missouri State
- 2010 – James P. Ferguson, president of the Heart of America Beverage Company
- 2011 – Robert W. Plaster Foundation and the Plaster Family, developers and philanthropists
- 2012 – The Journagan Family, Journagan Construction Company
- 2013 – Dr. Arthur Mallory, former president of Missouri State
- 2014 – The Foster Family, donors and members of the Missouri State Foundation Board of Trustees
- 2015 – Dr. Norm Shealy, longtime friend and contributor
About the Bronze Bear Award
The Bronze Bear Award includes a framed resolution and a 45-pound, 18-inch Bronze Bear in an upright position mounted on a base.
Established in 1998, the Bronze Bear Award was designed by former Missouri State art professor Dr. Jim Hill. A 14-foot statue version of the Bronze Bear mounted on a 3-foot concrete base is located just north of Missouri State’s Plaster Student Union.
Recipients of the Bronze Bear are recommended by the university president and administrative council, and supported by the executive committees of the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate and Student Government Association, prior to going before the Board of Governors for approval.
For more information, contact Smart at 417-836-8500.