75th Anniversary Steering Committee

Missouri Southern State University President Bruce W. Speck announced on Sept. 10, 2010 the formation of a Steering Committee to plan the University’s 75th Anniversary Celebration in 2012-2013.

MSSU was established in the fall of 1937 as Joplin Junior College.

JoAnn Graffam, Vice President for Development and Executive Director of the Missouri Southern Foundation, served as Chair of the Steering Committee.

In addition to Mrs. Graffam, members of the Steering Committee were:

  • Steven Benfield, Director of Campus Recreation;
  • Dr. Sherry Buchanan, Member, MSSU Board of Governors;
  • Malorie Cashel, Director of Student Activities;
  • Darren Fullerton, Vice President for Student Affairs;
  • Jeff Gibson, Director of Budget and Operations;
  • Bob Higgins, 1942 Joplin Junior College graduate and former MSSU Regent;
  • Aaron Lewis, Athletic Facilities and Operations Coordinator;
  • Cassie Mathes, Director of University Relations & Marketing;
  • Dr. Ron Mitchell, Dean of Students;
  • Dr. Brian Nichols, Assistant Professor, Robert W. Plaster School of Business Administration;
  • Lee Elliff Pound, Director, MSSU Alumni Foundation;
  • Dr. Tia Strait, Dean, School of Health Sciences;
  • Kelly Wilson, Director, Advising, Counseling & Testing Services (ACTS);
  • Rob Yust, Vice President for Business Affairs.

“We are looking forward to celebrating the history of the University, its contributions to the quality of life and economic growth in the region and its significance to the many successful graduates who claim MSSU as their alma mater,” stated Dr. Speck.

Events for the 75th Anniversary Celebration took place during the 2012-2013 academic year and concluded at the May Commencement in 2013.

“We have already started an exciting conversation about the many ways we can recognize this important anniversary, honor those who have made the University what it is today and engage the thousands of alumni, friends, supporters and retirees who take great pride in this institution of higher learning,” he said.