MSSU Archives & Special Collections Exhibits: - Missouri Southern

Digital exhibits created by the MSSU Archives and Special Collections department.

The news and editorial columns of the papers were used to inform people of the value a four year college could have on the area. Under Hughes’ guidance, Joplin Junior College was separated from the Joplin School system and organized as Missouri Southern College. Mr. Hughes headed a voluntary money campaign which was organized. Three hundred thousand dollars was pledged by local businessmen to purchase a campus site on a two hundred and sixty-five acre estate east of town.

He was one of the original founders of the Missouri Southern State College and served as Chairman of the Citizens Committee, which worked in cooperation with the Missouri Legislature in establishing the school. He was appointed by Governor Warren E. Hearnes was a member of the first Board of Regents of Missouri Southern in 1964 and served as president of both the Board of Trustees and Board of Regents for the school.

In later Years Fred Hughes would be remembered by Missouri Southern students for the Football stadium being named after him.

1965 dedication of land that would hold Missouri Southern (Fred Hughes speaker)

L to R: Dr. Leon Billingsly, Gov. Gene Taylor, Fred Hughes

This is the speech that Fred Hughes gave at the land dedication in 1965. In it Mr. Hughes goes into detail about what the committee wants to gain from having a four year college in Missouri and all of the financial numbers on the cost of constructing the college.
In this pamphlet Fred Hughes and the rest of the Joplin Junior College committee wrote down their thoughts on why Joplin needed a four year college. They write comments by people who were asked in a study why Joplin should have the four year college, many would say that they wanted to have the college so they would not have to go to Columbia to get their college degree. It was also easier on single parents who could not afford the tuition at a bigger school.

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