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Donor Recognition 

Welcome to the Giving Department

We love our Donors!

Donor wall

The generous support of all of our donors is what allows the University to continue to ensure excellence at Missouri Southern State University. The Foundation honors and recognizes its donors through two giving societies. We appreciate your generosity. Thank you!

Southern Lantern Society

The Southern Lantern Society recognizes individuals, corporations, foundations, and organizations that have contributed private resources to improve educational opportunities for students at Missouri Southern State University.

The Legacy Club

The Legacy Club honors individuals who have chosen to make a deferred or planned gift to the Missouri Southern Foundation

Spirit of Philanthropy Awards


Spirit of Philanthropy awards were presented to an individual and a corporation at Missouri Southern Foundation’s annual Lantern Society event held Saturday, September 26, 2015 at Hallbrook Stables Guest House and Grounds.

More than 140 donors and guests gathered to be recognized for their support of the University.  Donors were recognized for their leadership gifts and two Spirit of Philanthropy awards were given.  The Individual award went to John O. (Pat) and Carolyn Phelps of Carthage and the business award went to Roper Automotive Group of Joplin.

Pat and Carolyn Phelps and their family have a long history of support for Missouri Southern.  Carolyn’s father, George Beimdiek was a benefactor to our institution in many ways including funding for the Student Recreation Center. The Phelps family has also supported their community for multiple generations.  Pat and Carolyn have given generously of their time, talent and treasure to make sure others have opportunities.

Pat and Carolyn have donated funds for scholarships, supported athletics and the International Piano Competition among others.

They provided funds for the naming of the Julio S. Leόn Health Sciences Center.  For their generosity, the Interdisciplinary Simulation Lab in that building was named in their honor.

These two also provided funds for the Phelps Theatre, which is housed in the bottom floor of Billingsly Student Center.

In addition to their financial support, their service to our University is commendable.  Both Pat and Carolyn served as members of the Board of Regents (now the Board of Governors).  Carolyn also served on the Missouri Southern Foundation Board.The business to be honored this year was Roper Automotive Group

Cynthia Schwab The Roper family starting with Gil Roper, a former Board of Regents member, and his wife, Wilma, have supported Missouri Southern since its early years. (If Wilma comes as planned, introduce her, she just turned 101!!)

Roper Automotive, under the guidance of Hal Roper, Gil and Wilma’s son, has continued that generosity and belief in what we are about.

Roper Automotive through Hal Roper, the heart of Roper Automotive, has provided support for our Athletics Department for many years by providing courtesy cars for coaches as they recruit and host potential players and their parents while they are in town. 

They donated the scoreboard for our new baseball stadium as well as promotional materials and prizes for game sponsorships.

The generosity of Roper Automotive Group and Hal Roper is felt in many areas of this community and we salute them for that as well.

Representing Roper Automotive Group in addition to Hal were Randy Roper and Randy Harris.

For information about the Missouri Southern Foundation and its Lantern Society, call 417-625-9396