A Message From President Clif Smart

President Clif SmartThe time is right to move Onward, Upward

There has never been a better time to be a Bear. 

In the last decade, Missouri State University has celebrated some major milestones.

We have had record enrollments. 

We’ve updated buildings and changed the look and feel of campus. 

Thanks to your support, we have set several records for private contributions to the Missouri State University Foundation

Our national reputation is on the rise, and you can feel optimism and energy.

But we do face challenges. 

Our student body continues to change.

We have increased the number of graduate, international and dual-credit students who attend MSU. Meanwhile, the number of first-year, new-in-college students and transfer students have both declined. That’s because there are fewer college-age people in the U.S., and because community college enrollment has declined significantly.

MSU is well-positioned to compete in this new reality. We are expanding high-demand programs, including nursing, criminology and hospitality. Your support will grow and strengthen our academic offerings, helping us recruit even more Bears.

We have been able to build or renovate many facilities in recent years. However, we still have buildings that have waited years for improvements.

Modernizing these facilities is a critical ingredient in our growth. It will help us remain competitive with other universities. It will also give students and faculty members the tools, technologies and state-of-the-art classrooms they need and deserve.

Though Missouri State offers a great value, some students still can’t pay for school.

Nothing is more important to us than student success. It’s why we exist. That’s why we have kept costs low while universities throughout the country have raised tuition. We vow to keep education affordable so students can enter and stay in college.

We’re Bears, so we will never let challenges like these get in the way of progress. We’re moving ONWARD, UPWARD with the help of this new comprehensive campaign. 

If we meet our goals, the impressive thing won’t be the numbers. It will be the impact your gifts will have.

When you give, you:

  • Change students’ lives, removing financial barriers and allowing the best and brightest to attend college. 
  • Create more leaders who are Missouri State graduates, from teachers to scientists, health care providers to business owners, artists to not-for-profit CEOs. 
  • Help us educate the next generation of good citizens, strengthening our community and building the future of our state and nation. 

If you haven’t been back in a while, come visit. We know you will be proud of our friendly, hard-working students, our campus and our progress. 

You will also see for yourself the next steps we need to take to keep our momentum going.

I’d like to give my heartfelt thanks as you champion higher education. 

Thanks to your support, we will be able to show prospective Bears that we have prestigious academic programs, top-quality faculty members and second-to-none student experiences and campus life. 

We cannot thank you enough for your investment in Missouri State University!