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Former MSU president dies

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Marshall Gordon, former president of Missouri State University, died May 17 at age 81.

Gordon, who served as president from 1983 to 1992, is credited with growing the university’s enrollment and expanding facilities on campus, according to a news release issued yesterday by the school.

“President Gordon had an aspirational vision for the university,” MSU President Clif Smart said in the release. “He was the first president to seek a name change to Missouri State University. He challenged the university to stretch for higher levels of achievement.”

Gordon became MSU’s seventh president after he served 18 years as an administrator and organic chemist at Murray State University in Kentucky, according to MissouriState.edu.

During his nine-year tenure, Gordon oversaw an economic impact to southwest Missouri of more than $1 million daily after enrollment exceeded 20,000 students for the first time, according to the release. He also expanded a scholarship program that attracted qualified students to the university, resulting in a reconstruction of the honors program.

Gordon’s efforts to restructure MSU’s — then Southwest Missouri State University — academic departments resulted in the establishment of six colleges comprising 37 academic departments. MSU’s College of Business also gained accreditation by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business.

Facilities such as the Professional Building, Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex, David D. Glass Hall, Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts, Kentwood Hall and New Hall, or Hutchens House, also were added under a capital expansion program during his role as president, according to the release.

Gordon’s memorial services are scheduled for 1 p.m. on Friday at Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home, 1947 E. Seminole St., according to his online obituary.

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