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Missouri State University-West Plains

Missouri State University�West Plains is one of three branch campuses of the Missouri State University System located in West Plains, Missouri, United States. The official fall 2012 enrollment was 2,102 students.


128 Garfield Avenue
West Plains


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Additional Information

College Type
Religious Affiliation
Campus Housing
Blue Silver And Red
Great Lakes Valley

College History


1963 July 5, Southwest Missouri State College (SMS) establishes Residence Center in West Plains. The Center opens September 16 with 111 students. 1965 North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (NCA) grants joint accreditation between SMS and Residence Center. 1973 Southwest Missouri State University (SMSU) Residence Center receives first state funding ($50,000 for operating expenses). 1976 Enrollment quadrupled since campus' inception with 450 students. 1977 Name changed to the West Plains Campus of SMSU (SMSU-WP) Coordinating Board of Higher Education (CBHE) authorizes awarding of Associates of Arts Degree in General Studies. 1982 The State Board of Nursing and CBHE approve awarding of Associate of Science in Nursing. 1988 SMSU-WP Nursing students ranked first in Missouri and fourth in nation by National Council Licensure Examination Summary Profiles. Nursing program accredited by National League of Nursing SMSU-WP celebrates 25th anniversary with enrollment of 700 students. 1992 Grizzly Booster Club formed to raise scholarship funds for athletic program including men's basketball and women's basketball. Grizzly Cheer Team also formed. 1993 Enrollment tops 1,000 mark with 1,016 students enrolled. 1995 Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees established. SMSU-WP Mountain Grove Extended Campus opens serving 60 students. 1998 SMSU begins offering bachelor's and master's degrees on the West Plains Campus 2000 SMSU-WP opens China branch at Liaoning Teachers University (LTU) in Dalian. SMSU-WP offers first online courses. Enrollment tops 1,500 mark with 1,525 students. In addition, 193 students were enrolled SMSU bachelor's and master's degree programs. 2001 After the Grizzly Volleyball team's several appearances in the NJCAA Division I National Volleyball Tournament, the SMSU-WP Grizzly Booster Club are awarded the three-year bid to host the tournament. SMSU-WP's first study abroad program established with three students spending the fall semester at the SMSU-WP's LTU campus in Dalian, China. 2005 With system name change from Southwest Missouri State University to Missouri State University campus changes to Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP). 2007 Beginning in fall 2007, the course schedule was restructured to offer most classes on Monday/Wednesday and Tuesday/Thursday. This new format, along with the many online and distance learning opportunities available, gave many students the opportunity to take a full load of courses while only coming to campus two days a week. 2008 The Corps of Opportunity Program was implemented in summer 2008 when six students were selected and started work in campus positions in June. The program combines scholarships and work opportunities on campus for qualified students with substantial unmet financial need. 2009 Enrollment tops the 2,000 mark with 2,162 students. 2011 Missouri State University-West Plains established its first endowed professorship in June 2011 with more than $250,000 being raised to create the Donna Jones Endowed Professorship of Nursing. The professorship was named in honor of Jones, who has spent 23 years teaching in the nursing program. More than 300 students were candidates for graduation from Missouri State-West Plains during the May 14 commencement ceremony. This is the largest graduating class in Missouri State-West Plains history. 2012 Missouri State University-West Plains� students received the largest gift in the campus� history � a $4 million gift that endowed and expanded the Corps of Opportunity Program and two athletics scholarships. The gift to the Missouri State University Foundation was from the Lorene Thompson Brooks estate. In recognition, the Corps of Opportunity Program was renamed the Ed and Lorene Thompson Brooks Corps of Opportunity Program. It is the largest scholarship gift in the Foundation�s history and was announced at a press conference on Feb. 23. Missouri State University-West Plains established its second endowed professorship in May 2012 with more than $250,000 being raised to create the William and Virginia Darr Endowed Honors Professorship. The announcement fulfilled a promise made in 2008 when members of the Philanthropic Women for Education organization pledged an annual gift for five years toward the professorship while university officials sought to fully endow the position.

College Specialty


Missouri State University-West Plains is a teaching and learning institution providing quality post-secondary educational opportunities to the communities we serve.



Small Town Setting