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2019 Year in Review No. 4: MSU, Drury go big for next generations

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SPRINGFIELD—Two Springfield colleges announced massive expansions and initiatives this year.

On Oct. 26, Missouri State University unveiled its $250 million Onward Upward capital campaign led by actor and alumnus John Goodman. The largest fundraising campaign in MSU’s history, officials said the total reached $165 million as of Dec. 10.

“I owe Missouri State – not that I can feel compelled particularly to give anything back, but it gives me great pleasure to do so,” Goodman said in an interview with Springfield Business Journal, prior to the announcement. “My life started here.”

Funding secured by the MSU Foundation is earmarked for facilities, programs, faculty and scholarships. The campaign includes a mix of new and previously announced projects, such as the expansion of IDEA Commons, construction of a permanent Tent Theatre, three new buildings, a student-managed investment fund and over 200 new student scholarships.

The campaign cabinet, led by Goodman, will be tasked with putting out the word to their networks. The actor’s fame is key to the campaign, MSU executive Brent Dunn said.

“Obviously, he is our most recognizable alum in the world,” he said.

North of MSU’s campus, Drury University is looking to boost its campus profile in the college town with a 25-year master plan.

The first major physical step toward Drury’s campus overhaul began with an April razing of a cluster of businesses on a 1.5-acre corner lot at Benton Avenue and Chestnut Expressway. David Hinson, the Drury administrator over staff and operations, said the move will boost Drury’s presence on Chestnut as the corner is slated for construction of an academic building, likely an expansion of health sciences from the adjacent Trustee Science Center.

On Nov. 13, Drury officially announced plans to construct the 54,770-square-foot Enterprise Center. It will replace surface parking off Central Street and Drury Lane. The three-story building will be the new home for the university’s Breech School of Business Administration, among other planned uses.

Nabholz Corp. was hired as general contractor for the project. University officials say the total project cost is $20 million-$25 million.

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