John Goodman, 1975 alumnus
I’m going to start off by saying thank you. I can’t say it enough.
I’ve been given so much in this world, and it all started because I was in the right place at the right time at Missouri State.
I came here in the 1970s to play football. It didn’t work out.
Instead, I got cast in a small role in a play. I was smitten. I lost myself in a passion I didn’t know I had.
I was so fortunate to find that passion at Missouri State, where there were great, caring people to teach me. They opened doors for me. They guided me to use my eyes and ears. I learned to observe life honestly so I could apply it to my craft and, later, my life.
I grew up without a father. I found a father figure in the late Howard R. Orms, my theatre professor. He had a lot of answers to a lot of questions I had. If he didn’t have the answers, we’d look into it together.
I’m also grateful for the friends I made. These were friendships forged out of hours of rehearsals, study and work — except it really didn’t feel like hard work, because we were having so much fun. We were growing and learning.
The nights in Springfield, in the summer doing Tent Theatre, for me are unmatched anywhere else on Earth.
So why am I so grateful for what happened to me here? Because this is where I found what I wanted to do, and the people to support me. If I weren’t an actor, I’d be sunk. I don’t know what else I would be doing.
When I went to New York City after my time on campus, all I wanted in the world was to make a living by doing what I love. One day, I looked around and I realized that’s exactly what happened. I got what I wanted. I was a successful actor. And it wasn’t good enough. I wanted more. I went through a troubled time in my life.
I finally realized what I needed to do was be thankful for the small blessings we are given every day. Life is so much easier when you’re grateful.
I stay connected to Missouri State because it’s one of my blessings. It’s great when I come back and discover campus all over again. I just love it here. It’s such a great place. It really is.
I owe this school so very much. That’s why I am the chair of this campaign.
I often wonder what’s next for Missouri State. How can we, together, help today’s students — our Citizen Bears — reach their wildest dreams? How can we help them make a better world for tomorrow? How can we build the best future for this place that matters to all of us?
I want to be a part of what’s next for Missouri State, and I encourage you to join me.
My name is John Goodman. I’m a Citizen Actor.
And this is Onward, Upward: The Campaign for Missouri State University.