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Missouri Southern State University

Region: Missouri Country: USA

Missouri Southern State University is a public, state university located in Joplin, Missouri. Missouri Southern State University was formerly Missouri Southern State College and is also known as Missouri Southern, MSSU, or MoSo for short. Established in 1937 as Joplin Junior College, Missouri Southern became a four-year college in 1968. In 2003, the Missouri General Assembly authorized the renaming of the college to Missouri Southern State University - Joplin, and in 2005 the university dropped Joplin from its name.

Barack Obama on the campus on May 29, 2011 during a memorial service to the 2011 tornado

Missouri Southern State University was founded in 1937 as Joplin Junior College.At its conception, Joplin Junior College had 114 students and only 9 faculty members. In 1964, residents of Jasper County, MO approved a $2.5 million bond issue to begin construction on a new campus, where the university is currently located. The new campus opened in the fall of 1967 with 2,399 students and 95 faculty members. In 1977, the school was renamed Missouri Southern State College and officially became a state-assisted four-year college and part of the state of Missouri's higher education system. In 2003, the Missouri General Assembly authorized the renaming of the college to Missouri Southern State University - Joplin; in 2005 the university dropped Joplin from its name.

In 1967, the campus was home to six buildings. The Taylor Performing Arts center was completed in 1973 and the Richard M. Webster Communications and Social Science Building opened in August 1992.

Missouri Southern recently finished construction on a health sciences building. The building, which had its groundbreaking on May 19, 2008, was built with money secured by MOHELA and distributed to MSSU by the state of Missouri. The Missouri General Assembly had entertained the addition of the Joplin Regional Center, owned by the Missouri Department of Mental Health, to Missouri Southern's campus in spring of 2009.

The school is about 30 blocks northeast of the worst of the devastation of the 2011 Joplin tornado which destroyed much of southern Joplin on May 22, 2011 one day after the school's graduation. Joplin High School had just completed its school graduation on the campus shortly before the tornado. The Leggett and Platt Athletic Center was used as an emergency shelter for victims. Billingsly Student Center was the headquarters for volunteer efforts run by Americorps St. Louis and was the coordination area for identifying victims and survivors. On May 29, 2011, Barack Obama, who was inspecting the damage, spoke at the Taylor Performing Arts Center.

The campus of Missouri Southern is cross divided by Duquesne Road (running north-south) and Newman Road (running east-west). The main portion of the campus is located west of Duquesne and includes the following buildings: Billingsly Student Center, Beimdiek Recreation Center, Webster Hall, Spiva Library, Hearnes Hall, Kuhn Hall, Reynolds Hall, Thomas E. Taylor Performing Arts Center, Plaster Hall (formerly Matthews Hall), Mills Anderson Justice Center, and Gene Taylor Hall. Billingsly serves as the student union and houses a small food court and the student book shop are located. Webster Hall is the primary location for the offices and classes of the Social Sciences. Hearnes Hall is the location of administrative services. Science and Mathematics classes are located in Reynolds Hall; Business, Economics, and Information Technology is located in Plaster Hall; Criminal Justice classes are held in the Mills Anderson Justice Center; Gene Taylor Hall is home to the School of Education; and Psychology and Dental Hygiene.

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Missouri Southern State University

Contact Details

Address: 3950 Newman Road, Joplin, MO 64801-1595


(417) 625-9300

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