BOG announces Foundation to receive two seven-figure gifts


The Robert W. Plaster Foundation continues to give back to Missouri Southern.

At today’s Board of Governors meeting, it was announced that the University would be receiving “two seven-figure gifts,” primarily to begin construction of an on-campus baseball field, a multi-purpose athletic facility near Fred G. Hughes Stadium and renovations to the stadium.

“We feel these projects are important for the well-being of our student-athletes,” Chair of the Board Rod Anderson said. “And these gifts are a critical first step in the funding process.”

Plaster will be recognized for these donations by Southern naming the southeast corner of the campus, where many current athletic facilities already stand, the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex. Also, the football stadium will be renamed to the Robert W. Plaster Stadium when funds for renovation are available.

“Names on facilities sometimes need to change when the facility has reached the end of its useful life,” Mark Parsons, Vice President for Development and Executive Director of the Foundation said. “According to the Stadium Strategic Plan Committee, the stadium has reached that point. We know public funding will not be used for a stadium renovation so private funding must be sought. Mr. Hughes’ name will remain on campus, however, as an alternative naming opportunity will be developed and granted.”

Efforts to keep the Hughes name attached to the University could result in an entrance plaza leading to the football stadium being named for him.

“Efforts to secure a lead gift for these projects have been ongoing for years,” University President Bruce Speck said. “We are thrilled with these contributions in honor of one of our former students and we want to thank the trustees of the Robert W. Plaster Foundation. We are deeply appreciative of their generosity. They have made it possible for us to plan and execute fundraising campaigns for these major projects.”

Athletics Director Jared Bruggeman says the University has already formed a committee to oversee the fundraising for the baseball field, the goal for which is for Southern to play baseball on campus as early as 2013.

The multi-purpose facility will also have a committee formed, and initial plans are for such a building to accommodate track & field, football, baseball and softball.

“The well-being of our student-athletes is a top priority,” Bruggeman said. “These gifts and the fundraising campaigns that follow are going to enable us to make sure the students have the safest and most positive experience possible while representing Missouri Southern.”

The first phase of the project will be construction on the baseball field, followed by the multi-purpose facility, and finally the football stadium renovations.