(West Plains) – In the spirit of those who established Missouri State University-West Plains 50 years ago, campus officials presented local businessman and former university board member Jerry Hall and his wife, Sue, with the prestigious Granvil Vaughan Founder’s Award during Missouri State-West Plains commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 18 at the West Plains Civic Center.
The award, named in honor of the campus’ founder, the late Missouri State Rep. Granvil Vaughan, was presented to the Halls by Missouri State-West Plains Chancellor Drew Bennett. The award is given annually at commencement to recognize individuals who have made a significant impact upon the mission of Missouri State-West Plains.
During Jerry Hall’s six-year term on the university’s then Board of Regents, West Plains campus enrollment increased 60%; the campus was given an expanded mission statement and the authority to offer associate degrees by the Missouri General Assembly; a board resolution was passed allowing campus officials to develop a separate Faculty Senate and adopt its own mission statement, objectives and philosophy; and the campus received separate accreditation from the North Central Association to offer the Associate of Arts in General Studies and Associate of Science in Nursing degrees.
It was also during Hall’s tenure on the board that the campus established the Garnett Library (1991), the Grizzly Athletics Program (1993), the Drago College Store (1993), renovation of the Putnam Student Center (1993), and construction of the Grizzly House residence hall (1994).
In addition to his service on the Board of Regents, Jerry Hall has served on the campus’ Development Board (1991-96) and Advisory Board (1989-1995). In addition to being charter members of the Grizzly Booster Club, Jerry is a charter member of the Grizzly Booster Club’s executive board, a position he continues to hold 20 years later.