WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Officials at Missouri State University-West Plains are more than half way to reaching their $250,000 funding goal for a new student union on campus.
To date, officials have raised gifts, pledges and commitments totaling over $125,000 for the new student lounge and activity space, which will be housed in the university-owned post office building on Garfield Avenue once it’s renovated and expanded.
“We are extremely excited to publicly reveal a campaign to raise $250,000 for the Carol Silvey Student Union and to announce that we are now over half way to achieving this goal,” said Missouri State-West Plains Chancellor Drew Bennett. “We think it is very fitting that a student union be named in honor of Carol Silvey, who served for nearly 38 years on the Missouri State-West Plains campus as a faculty member and our first director of development. Carol worked tirelessly on behalf of our students, and it is very appropriate that the Carol Silvey Student Union be an integral part of the post office renovation.”
Silvey, who retired June 30, 2006, joined the university staff in September 1968 as a history instructor. She remained in the classroom until August 1994 when she was appointed the campus’ first director of development. Through her positions on campus, she taught students the importance of their roots, advised students as they collected over 1,000 hours of oral histories from area residents, grew the campus’ endowment to more than $1 million and established the campus’ development and advisory boards.
Her commitment to community and university service led to numerous awards, including the Business and Professional Women’s Woman of the Year Award, the West Plains Chamber of Commerce’s Volunteer of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Awards, Outstanding Rotarian for Community Service Award, Mountain Grove Chamber of Commerce’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the university’s Staff Community Service Award. She also was the first Missouri State-West Plains employee selected for the Missouri State University Wall of Fame, which recognizes university employees who have made a significant impact to the success of the university and the collegiate experience of its students.
Renovation and expansion plans for the post office building received the green light this summer when Missouri legislators passed the bonding package and Gov. Jay Nixon signed the legislation authorizing approximately $300 million to fund repairs and renovations to public properties around the state. Included in that package was $1.5 million in funding for the post office building, which will soon be vacated by the U.S. Postal Service so that its operations can be relocated to 212 Washington Ave.
University officials anticipate the total cost of the renovation project will be $4.5 to $5 million, which will be covered with a combination of bonding, donor and university reserve funds. Once completed, the facility will house the student union, William and Virginia Darr Honors Program, tutoring services, the admissions office and other classroom and administrative office space.
The $250,000 being raised for the student union will go towards the purchase of furnishings and other activity items, Bennett said, including a coffee bar.
Those wishing to make a donation or pledge toward the Carol Silvey Student Union fundraising campaign or wanting more information about the campaign can contact the Missouri State-West Plains development office at 417-255-7240 or WPDevelopment@MissouriState.edu.