Meeting the needs and demands of future students requires keeping up with needed renovations and expansions of facilities.
In March 2022, Sen. Roy Blunt led the charge that resulted in $56 million in federal funds being allocated to Missouri State University to make many long-awaited changes a reality.
Today, the Board of Governors voted to honor Blunt with the Bronze Bear Award at MSU’s fall 2022 commencement ceremony.
The Bronze Bear recognizes individuals for special support and achievement at Missouri State.
“Sen. Roy Blunt has been an incredible champion for the university, and the Bronze Bear is a small token of our thanks,” MSU President Clif Smart said. “As a public servant, he has helped bring national exposure and millions of dollars to Missouri State, watching out for our students’ best interests.
“With the funding that passed this spring, our STEM facilities will be absolutely transformed.”
Blunt’s advocacy for education
After receiving his master’s degree in history from Missouri State in 1972, Blunt began a career in politics.
In 1973, he was appointed as the county clerk and chief election official of Greene County.
Since then, he served in many capacities, including Missouri’s Secretary of State and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2010, he was elected to the U.S. Senate.
Other examples of Blunt’s advocacy for Missouri State and higher education include:
- Helping the university secure grants, external contracts and an appropriation to construct the Roy D. Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center.
- Inviting the Missouri State Chorale to perform at the 2017 presidential inauguration.
- Leading the charge for changes to the Pell Grant system to allow students to attend school year-round.
About the Bronze Bear
The Bronze Bear Award includes a framed resolution and a 45-pound, 18-inch Bronze Bear in an upright position mounted on a base.
Former Missouri State art professor Dr. Jim Hill designed the award in 1998. 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.
The university president and administrative council recommends Bronze Bear recipients. The executive committees of the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate and Student Government Association support the nominations. The Board of Governors has final approval.