In the spirit of those who established Missouri State University-West Plains more than 55 years ago, campus officials have presented long-time West Plains residents and community leaders Danny and Florence James with the prestigious Granvil Vaughan Founder’s Award.
The announcement of this year’s recipients was made during Saturday’s commencement ceremonies at the West Plains Civic Center. The award was presented to the Jameses by Missouri State-West Plains Chancellor Shirley Lawler.
Named in honor of the campus’ founder, the late Missouri State Rep. Granvil Vaughan, the award is given annually at commencement to recognize individuals who have made a significant impact upon the mission of Missouri State-West Plains.
“Danny and Florence James have been active and engaged supporters of Missouri State University-West Plains for many years,” Lawler said. “They are Missouri State-West Plains alumni, and they both received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Missouri State University. They also have given countless hours and resources to help support multiple programs and activities at the university.”
Showing support through many roles, activities
The Jameses have supported Missouri State-West Plains through a variety of roles and activities.
They’ve been long-time members of the Grizzly Booster Club. They joined at the Plainsman level in fall 1994 and have been members at the Red Grizzly Club level since 2003.
They’ve attended numerous Annual Auctions over the years, successfully bidding on items and supporting the event with in-kind donations through their business, The Kloz Klozet.
They’ve contributed to the university’s Annual Fund campaign, beginning with the 2007-08 academic year, and have attended events that have helped raise money for the fund.
Danny was an active member of the university’s Development Board from 2012 through 2018 and served as the board’s president during the 2017-18 academic year.
Florence’s involvement with the Friends of the Garnett Library goes back many years. As owner of The Kloz Klozet, she has co-sponsored the organization’s annual spring and fall fashion shows since 2004, helping raise more than $34,000 for the Garnett Library.
The couple also has made numerous personal donations to the Garnett Library since 1992.
Both attended classes at the West Plains campus, as well, and Florence worked on the campus as a student worker.
“Missouri State University-West Plains is successful because of the strong support of this community, and Danny and Florence James are outstanding examples of Missouri State-West Plains alumni and university supporters,” Lawler said.