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(West Plains) – Former history professor and director of development Carol Silvey will give the keynote address at Missouri State University-West Plains’ 2013 commencement ceremony at 10 AM Saturday, May 18, at the West Plains Civic Center arena.

The title of Silvey’s presentation will be “Words to Live By.” Everyone is invited to attend the event.

Chancellor Drew Bennett says that Silvey’s involvement with Missouri State-West Plains started just a few years after the campus was established in 1963, when she was a faculty member and later a member of the administrative staff during her 37-year tenure.

A native of Douglas County and the descendant of a long line of educators, Silvey joined the university staff on September 1, 1968, as a history instructor and history department chair, teaching students the importance of history and giving them a greater appreciation for its impact on the future. In 1991, she was tapped to initiate the campus’ development program, so she began serving as a part-time faculty member and part-time director of development for the next few years. In 1994, the director’s position transitioned to a full-time administrative appointment for Silvey, and she began building the campus’ endowment from nothing to $1 million.

Silvey also is known for her volunteerism and support of community service projects, many of which have benefitted the university and the community. She has served on numerous committees and boards for both government and civic organizations, and she has given her time to many worthwhile causes. In recognition of her efforts, she has received numerous awards through the years, including the Business and Professional Women’s Woman of the Year Award, the West Plains Chamber of Commerce’s Volunteer of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Awards, Outstanding Rotarian for Community Service Award, Mountain Grove Chamber of Commerce’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the university’s Staff Community Service Award.

In 2009, she received the Friend of Education Award from the Missouri Association of School Superintendents; in 2010, she received Missouri State-West Plains’ inaugural Distinguished Faculty/Staff Award, and the Missourian Award, a prestigious award that acknowledges the state’s most accomplished citizens; and in 2012, she became the first employee of the West Plains campus to receive recognition on Missouri State University’s Wall of Fame.

In 2006, Silvey retired from Missouri State-West Plains, but her legacy of giving continues through the endowed scholarship established in her name by friends and colleagues as a lasting tribute to her commitment to help students achieve their goals of a higher education. Donations to the scholarship not only came from the university’s seven-county primary service area, but also from as far away as Massachusetts and California.

For more information about commencement activities, contact the Missouri State-West Plains academic affairs office, 417-255-7272 or visit

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