Award presentation at the 12:30 p.m. ceremony on Dec. 12, 2014
In recognition of their long-standing involvement with and support of Missouri State University, the Foster family will receive the 2014 Bronze Bear Award. They will be the 16th recipient of the award, which is presented to those who have exhibited “extraordinary achievement and/or outstanding support” for Missouri State.
The Missouri State University Board of Governors voted to award the Bronze Bear to the Foster family, which will be presented at the fall commencement ceremony at JQH Arena. The Bronze Bear Award includes a framed resolution and a 45-pound, 18-inch Bronze Bear in an upright position mounted on a base. Established in 1998, the Bronze Bear Award was designed by former Missouri State art professor Dr. Jim Hill. A 14-foot statue version of the Bronze Bear mounted on a 3-foot concrete base is located just north of Missouri State’s Plaster Student Union.
“Missouri State is proud to present this recognition to the Fosters,” said Missouri State President Clifton M. Smart III. “Their support has been instrumental in making the university what it is today — a thriving, growing and exciting place to be.”
A history of support
The late Bill R. Foster, his wife, Juanitha, and their children Robert A. (Tony) Foster, John D. Foster, Bill R. Foster, Jr., and Kaye Foster-Gibson, are longtime friends of Missouri State. Bill R. Foster served on the Missouri State Foundation Board of Trustees from 1987-93, serving as president of the Board in 1990-91. Robert A. (Tony) Foster and John D. Foster currently serve on the Missouri State University Foundation Board of Trustees.
The Foster family has been involved with Missouri State University for three decades and has invested in the university with gifts supporting Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts, Ozarks Public Television, JQH Arena, intercollegiate athletics programs and numerous academic scholarship funds.
In 2011, the Missouri State University Foundation received a major charitable gift commitment from the Foster family in support of the $30 million university recreation center, which has a major impact on the lives of students and the entire campus community by contributing to the development of healthy lifestyles and improving the social community of Missouri State.