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MSSU Honors Ron Richard and Senator Roy Blunt in Naming Ceremonies

Curtis Almeter
MSSU Flickr

The Board of Governors at Missouri Southern State University unanimously approved a request to name the new Health Science Innovation Center after former United State Senator Roy Blunt during their meeting on January 19, 2024.


Missouri Southern State University announced plans for the Health Science Innovation Center in 2023, which will incorporate simulated hospital rooms and real-world scenarios students will encounter in a hospital setting, providing the latest immersive learning opportunities.


As a Southwest Missouri native, Senator Blunt’s public service has impacted our region and nation in many significant ways. He led the way in a $4 million allocation of funds for the new building.


“Thousands of Missourians benefitted from his leadership in education, and that commitment and legacy will live on through the creation of this new Health Science Innovation Center.” said Missouri Southern State University President, Dr. Dean Van Galen.


Senator Blunt shows a commitment to education, saying “This facility will make a difference in ways that will keep MSSU and its graduates at the forefront of that revolutionary change.”


Missouri Southern will start construction on the new Health Science Innovation Center on April 11, 2024 where a ceremony will be held in front of the three founding buildings on the MSSU Oval.


Ron Richard Athletic Center (Curtis Almeter)

This announcement comes after the renaming of another prominent building on campus. It was announced in November that the prior North End Zone facility will now be known as the Ron Richard Athletic Center. The idea for the name change was originally circulated in a letter to Missouri Southern State University President, Dr. Dean Van Galen from Dan Stanley, a friend of Richard and a Missouri Southern alumnus.



Ron Richard was a former mayor of Joplin Missouri, serving from 1994-1997. In 2002, Richard was elected as a State Representative for District 129. Richard was appointed to the MSSU Board of Governors in 2019, and served until his death in June of 2023.


Dan Stanley wrote in his letter to Dr. Van Galen, “To look out on the football field and the track facilities and watch the intense competition, personal sacrifice, and total dedication of every athlete and every team is something that Ron would relish. It is the perfect setting to associate with Ron Richard.”

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