Temple Hall on the Missouri State University campus is now known as Roy Blunt Hall.
At its meeting today (Dec. 15), MSU’s Board of Governors approved renaming the building, home of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences (CNAS).
“This renaming serves as recognition of U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt’s staunch support of higher education and MSU, as well as for research in health and life sciences,” MSU President Clif Smart said.
As the chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, Blunt championed funding increases for STEM and computer science education, apprenticeship programs, TRIO and the Pell Grant program (including year-round Pell).
Through his leadership role in Senate appropriations, Blunt had many accomplishments. They include adding $15 billion to the National Institutes of Health’s budget (an almost 50% increase) and quintupling Alzheimer’s research funding (increasing federal investment by $2.5 billion).
“In Missouri, Sen. Blunt’s legacy includes a strong commitment to help advance MSU,” Smart said.
Throughout his time in public office, he has advocated for significant federal investment in Missouri State’s academic and research missions and economic development operations.
That work culminated last year when Blunt, an MSU alumnus, led efforts to appropriate more than $56 million to support health, life and physical science research, teaching and facilities at MSU. From that $56 million:
- $3 million established an endowment to support CNAS faculty and research.
- $50 million will finance the bulk of the work to expand and upgrade Roy Blunt Hall.
Continuing to honor Allen Temple
Temple Hall was named after Allen Temple. He served as head of the university’s science department for nearly 40 years in the early 1900s. He was a pioneer in the field and an enthusiast for advances in communications technology.
While the building will no longer bear his name, Temple’s legacy will be carried on.
“We’ll continue to honor him with a prominent display in the current building’s atrium and name it the Temple Atrium,” Smart said.
Groundbreaking for building’s expansion
At 4 p.m. Dec. 16, MSU will hold a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the addition and renovation to the newly renamed Roy Blunt Hall (north side of the building). Blunt and Gov. Mike Parson will attend the event.
The expansion project includes two phases: adding 77,000 additional square feet and then renovating portions of the existing 126,000 square feet. Phase one is expected to cost $80 million and should be completed in fall 2024.
The addition will include:
- Modern and well-equipped labs.
- Office suites for departments housed in the building (biology; geography, geology and planning; and chemistry and biochemistry).
- Office space for graduate students.
- Collaboration space for students and faculty.
“This project is a transformational change for the college,” CNAS Dean Dr. Tammy Jahnke said. “It will offer more space and upgraded facilities for everyone to continue working on interdisciplinary new ideas to solve real problems in science for the future.”