A large contingent of administrators, faculty, staff and community members gathered Friday morning, Sept. 9, at Kellett Hall to recognize former Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP) campus dean Marvin Green for his many accomplishments on behalf of the university, including his efforts in establishing the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree program.
Green, who served as dean of MSU-WP from 1966 to 1986, helped guide the campus from its earliest days as a residence center at West Plains High School to establishing its first permanent home in Kellett Hall then gaining permanent status as a campus of Southwest Missouri State College, as the university was known then.
Nursing program a highlight of Green’s tenure
Green accomplished many milestones during his tenure as dean, including creation of a campus library and the acquisition, planning and funding of renovations to the Central complex, now known as Looney Hall.
But one of his most significant accomplishments was working with community leaders and legislators to establish a nursing school to address the critical shortage of nurses in south-central Missouri. Their successful efforts greatly impacted the quality of health care for the area, university officials noted.
“In many, many hospitals, long-term care centers, clinics and doctors’ offices, both in our area and around the country, thousands of Missouri State-West Plains nursing graduates are today taking care of us and our loved ones. Dean Green had the foresight and the leadership to make that happen,” said MSU-WP Chancellor Dennis Lancaster.
“In many people’s estimation, without Marvin Green at the head of the still fledgling West Plains Residence Center, what is now one of the best associate degree nursing programs in the nation would have never happened,” he added.
During Friday’s celebration, Lancaster presented a plaque to Green paying tribute to his many accomplishments, including the nursing school, and noted the plaque will be hung in Looney Hall. The facility houses the nursing program and currently is being renovated again to provide additional learning and laboratory space to accommodate potential expansion of the program.
A grateful heart
Green said he was humbled and full of gratitude for the university’s generous recognition of his tenure. “Words cannot express how much it means to me,” he said in prepared remarks. “I also want to say thanks to the ardent supporters through the area who have worked diligently on behalf of this campus. The teamwork exhibited has meant the difference.
“It is gratifying, indeed, to take note of the tremendous development and growth that has occurred since (the campus’s) inception in 1963,” he added. “A classic example is the nursing program. It has been heartwarming to see it become all I envisioned it to be so many years ago. Thanks again for your support during my tenure as dean and for all you have done in my behalf.”
MSU-WP was approved to begin offering the ASN in 1982 by the Missouri State Board of Nursing and the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education. Two years later, the Missouri State Board of Nursing granted the program full accreditation with a five-year site approval.
The Associate of Science in Nursing Degree Program continues to be fully approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing and has continued accreditation through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Honors from family
In addition to the plaque’s presentation, university officials announced a significant gift from members of Green’s family to the university and the naming of the conference room in Kellett Hall the Dean Marvin Green Conference Room.
“The naming of the conference room represents a heartwarming story that started with a grandson wanting to honor his grandfather,” said Rachel Peterson, director of development and annual giving at MSU-WP. “The family, and the campus community, hold the highest respect for a man who truly shaped our campus. His work here was transformative, and it will be remembered for years to come.”