SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The United State Congress passed and, today, President Biden has signed legislation which will fund the federal budget for Fiscal Year 2022. It includes more than $56 million for Missouri State University. U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt led the effort to secure the funds.
“Sen. Roy Blunt was the driving force behind getting this done for Missouri State,” said President Clif Smart. “He has been a leading advocate for MSU and for southwest Missouri. Without Sen. Blunt, these appropriations for MSU would not be in the budget. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude.”
The omnibus budget includes the following appropriations for MSU:
- $50 million for the renovation of and addition to Temple Hall.
- $3 million for a faculty endowment in health and life sciences on the Springfield campus.
- $2.5 million for a hospital simulation lab on the West Plains campus.
- $525,000 for equipment and technology upgrades to support STEM research and teaching on the West Plains campus.
The budget also includes more than $28 million for projects with university partners at the Roy D. Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center.
Center for Transformational Education for Life, Physical and Health Sciences
The funding included in this budget will provide substantial support for the first phase of the Center for Transformational Education for Life, Physical, and Health Sciences.
“With the money now allocated to Temple Hall, we can overhaul our STEM facilities,” Smart said. “Temple, the home of our College of Natural and Applied Sciences, was built in 1971 and has not been substantially remodeled since then.”
The project includes constructing an addition to Temple and renovating existing space in the building, transforming it into the Ozarks Health and Life Science Center.
The center will house the university’s biology, chemistry and biochemistry, and geography, geology and planning departments. Large lectures in other STEM areas — such as astronomy and physics — will also occur in the center. The center will facilitate research by faculty and students and allow collaboration across STEM and healthcare departments.
Blunt’s history with Missouri State
Blunt’s relationship with Missouri State University goes back to at least the early 1970s. He earned a master’s degree in history from the university in 1972.
He entered politics in 1973, when he was appointed county clerk and chief election official of Greene County. Since then, he has served as Missouri’s Secretary of State and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, among many other roles.
In 2010, he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He is not seeking re-election when his current term ends.
“It’s no exaggeration to say Sen. Blunt has helped bring national exposure and millions of dollars to MSU during his time in office,” Smart said. “This campus would look a lot different if it weren’t for him.”
Other examples of Blunt’s advocacy for Missouri State and higher education:
- Blunt helped the university secure grants, external contracts and an appropriation to construct the Roy D. Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center.
- He invited the Missouri State Chorale to perform at the 2017 presidential inauguration.
- Blunt led the charge for changes to the Pell Grant system to allow students to attend school year-round.