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Missouri State University

Missouri State University is a public university located in Springfield, Missouri, United States and founded in 1905. It is the state's second largest university, with an official enrollment of 21,059 in the Fall 2012 semester.


901 S National Ave
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Additional Information

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Campus Housing
Boomer The Bear
White Maroon
Missouri Valley

College History


Missouri State University was founded as the Fourth District Normal School, by legislative action on March 17, 1905. Like other normal schools of the day, the school's primary purpose was the preparation of teachers for the public school system. Carrington Hall The first class, totaling 543 students, started classes on June 11, 1906, in an off-campus facility. The first permanent campus building was Academic Hall. Its cornerstone was laid on August 10, 1907 and construction was completed in January 1909. The building is now known as Carrington Hall, named after William T. Carrington, the first president of the State Normal School. It serves as the University's administrative center. The Fourth District Normal School became Southwest Missouri State Teacher's College in 1919 to reflect its regional and academic emphasis. Throughout the interwar period, the College's programs expanded to include liberal arts and sciences in the curriculum, thus facilitating a name change to Southwest Missouri State College in 1945. A burgeoning student population throughout the 1950s and 1960s resulted in the establishment of residence halls, accompanied by a growth in post-graduate studies. This led to a third name change in 1972, to Southwest Missouri State University. In 1973, enrollment surpassed 10,000 students for the first time. By 1985, SMSU had grown into the second-largest public university in the state, leading administrators to support a bill to change the name to Missouri State University, which eventually died in committee in the Missouri General Assembly. In 1990, enrollment surpassed 20,000 students for the first time, but further attempts to rename the school throughout the 1990s and early 2000s also failed. However, the state legislature did grant the university a statewide mission in Public Affairs in 1995. In 2004, with the election of Springfield native Matt Blunt to the governorship and the approaching centennial of the university's founding, new support developed for the name change. It was opposed by the University of Missouri System (which operates the four campuses of the University of Missouri), which feared that the name change would lead to duplication of academic programs and ongoing battles for students and state funding. In 2005 the name-change bill was passed, following a late-night compromise between University of Missouri System President Elson Floyd and then-Southwest Missouri State President John Keiser, stating that Missouri State University would not duplicate certain professional programs offered by the University of Missouri. The bill to rename the University finally passed the Missouri Senate (25�7). On March 1, 2005, after more than seven hours of debate, the bill passed the Missouri House (120�35). Governor Blunt signed it into law on March 17, 2005�the centennial anniversary of the University�at the Plaster Student Union where several student leaders and state leaders were present.

College Specialty


Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive metropolitan system with a statewide mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons. The University's identity is distinguished by its public affairs mission, which entails a campus-wide commitment to foster expertise and responsibility in ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement. The academic experience is grounded in a general education curriculum which draws heavily from the liberal arts and sciences. This foundation provides the basis for mastery of disciplinary and professional studies. It also provides essential forums in which students develop the capacity to make well-informed, independent critical judgments about the cultures, values and institutions in society.



Blake Ahearn, current NBA D-League player, played in 15 NBA Games Scott Bailes, former MLB player Mark Bailey, former MLB player Ross Detwiler, current MLB player Winston Garland, former NBA player Clay Harbor, current NFL player Ryan Howard, current MLB player, Shaun Marcum, current MLB player Bill Mueller, former MLB player Matt Palmer, current MLB player Curtis Perry, former NBA player Matt Pickens, current MLS player John Rheinecker, current MLB player Brad St. Louis, current NFL player Jackie Stiles, former WNBA player, NCAA All-Time Leading Scorer Jason Whittle, former NFL player Brad Ziegler, current MLB player



Urban, 225 acres (91.1 ha)