Missouri State University - West Plains
Dakota Bates

Dakota Bates

  • Member Communications Specialist
  • West Plains, Missouri
  • AS, Business- Missouri State University- West Plains

Dakota Bates

"Hard work and giving back are the real keys to success."

Dakota Bates chose to attend Missouri State-West Plains for a reason most students can understand: It provided him with a quality education at an affordable price. After graduating high school, his A+ scholarship covered his tuition for two years, and he was able to live at home and not incur any housing expenses. In order to fully graduate debt free, he worked hard to obtain other scholarships which covered his books and other expenses.

While a student at Missouri State-West Plains, Bates confessed to having had many great experiences, on and off campus. "I was fortunate that I was able to serve as the Student Government Association president during the campus’ 50th anniversary. Serving as the Student Government Association president, I was able to travel to China to visit Missouri State-West Plains’ sister campus in Dalian, Peoples Republic of China," Bates said. "Also, during my term as president, I was able to lead the student body in an initiative known as ‘Operation 50K’.”

Operation 50K asked students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the university to volunteer a total of 50,000 hours within a year’s time in honor of the university’s 50th anniversary. "It was very special to be a part of giving back more than 50,000 volunteer service hours to our communities," he said.

"These experiences helped me realize the value of giving back and leading by example," Bates added. "I enjoyed working hard, and I certainly enjoy giving back to this community that I call home."

"Every experience that I had at Missouri State-West Plains was unbelievable."


Bates credits Missouri State-West Plains with helping him accomplish his goal of getting a quality education. "I wouldn’t be where I am today without the education that I received from Missouri State-West Plains. I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in the classroom from the wonderful faculty members," he said.

He also credits the numerous opportunities to network with business and community leaders while at Missouri State-West Plains as a factor in his successes, as well. This in turn has allowed him to gain a position as Member Communications Specialist at Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative.

"I would sum up my experience at Missouri State-West Plains in one word: Unbelievable! From the faculty and staff, the administration, fellow students and classmates, to the wonderful campus atmosphere," Bates said. "Every experience that I had at Missouri State-West Plains was unbelievable."

As for future and current students, he also wants them to get involved on campus and in the community. "I know for some people it can be difficult to put yourself out there, but I promise it will make a difference in your college experience, and it will benefit you in the future," he said.