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No. 12 Name change for Missouri State University

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Missouri State University has had several name changes since it began in 1905 as the Fourth District Normal School. In 1972, the school, then known as Southwest Missouri State College, became Southwest Missouri State University.

It was the school’s latest name change – dropping the Southwest to become Missouri State University – that was perhaps the most contentious, pitting the school against the Missouri Legislature in a filibuster-filled battle.

Talks of renaming the school Missouri State University were already under way in Jefferson City as early as 1976, and in 2002, a measure changing the university’s name failed to pass, squashed by a filibuster in the Missouri Senate. Proponents of the name change kept up the fight, and the proposal gained Senate approval in February 2005 after a 14-hour filibuster.

Approval came only after the university agreed not to offer engineering programs and doctorate programs, unless they were in cooperation with the University of Missouri-Columbia. The bill also said the school could not receive additional funds specifically because of the change.

The name change, infamously fought against by state Sen. Ken Jacob, took effect Aug. 28, 2005.

See the full list of pivotal points chosen by the Springfield Business Journal here.
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