Centennial: 100 Years of Transforming Lives

This Week In Griffon History

Week of Dec. 20-Dec. 26
December 23, 1971 The planetarium showed “The Nativity.”
December 21, 1949 The annual Christmas Dance, hosted by the Order of the De Molay and Rainbo Club, was held at the Frog Hop Ballroom.
Week of Dec. 13-Dec. 19
December 15, 1924 The first issue of the student newspaper, The Spectator, is produced.
December 16, 1998 Missouri Western holds its first winter Commencement, and almost 200 graduate.
Week of Dec. 6-Dec. 12
December 10-11, 2007 An ice storm closes campus for three days. Finals are rescheduled for the first time in Missouri Western history.
December 6-8, 1955 SJJC hosts its first Junior College Basketball Tournament.
Week of Nov. 29-Dec. 5
December 2, 2009 Madrigal Feasts are brought back; the first “Lights and Tights” is held.
December 5, 1971 Missouri Western beat Iowa State in a judo meet on campus.
Week of Nov. 22-Nov. 28
November 23, 1985 The Department of Art hosts a speaker whose topic is, “Computer Art and Electronic Media.”
Week of Nov. 15-Nov. 21
November 15, 1997 The Glenn E. Marion Memorial Clock Tower is dedicated.
Week of Nov. 8-Nov. 14
November 10, 2010 International Education Day is celebrated on campus.
Week of Nov. 1-Nov. 7
November 4, 2013 The Walter Cronkite Memorial is dedicated in the Spratt Hall atrium.
November 1, 1988 A smoking policy goes into effect, where you can only smoke in certain areas.
November 8, 1994 Amendment 7, known as “Hancock II,” failed to pass in the general election. Passage could have led to decreased funding for Missouri Western.
Week of Oct. 25-Oct. 31
October 27, 1986 A dedication is held for the new wing of the Fine Arts Center (Potter Hall).
Week of Oct. 18-Oct. 24
October 22, 1968 Conditions set out in the four-year bill that was signed in 1965 are deemed met, and Missouri Western officially becomes a four-year college.
October 24, 1993 The Homecoming parade is held on campus for the first and only time.
Week of Oct. 11-Oct. 17
October 12, 1969 A dedication ceremony for the new campus is held. Although it was a rainy day, approximately 1,500 attended.
October 11, 1993 The first R. Dan Boulware Convocation on Critical Issues is held featuring Arthur Schlesinger.
October 17, 2008 The University holds its first presidential inauguration, for Dr. Robert Vartabedian.
Week of Oct. 4-Oct. 10
October 9, 1925 Debating Club is organized. Ralph Stone is the advisor.
October 5, 1995 “Frankenstein” opens in Potter Hall theater.
Week of Sept. 27-Oct. 3
September 28, 2001 A Homecoming King is crowned for the first time – Stan Pearson II.
September 27, 1988 The first Eggs and Issues is held.
October 3, 1994 “Western Weekly,” Missouri Western’s weekly television show, debuts.
Week of Sept. 20-Sept. 26
September 20, 1915 St. Joseph Junior College opens. It is the second public junior college in the state and the eighth in the nation. There are 35 students and eight faculty members. Tuition is $40 per year for residents of St. Joseph and $60 per year for non-residents.
September 21, 1991 The new dormitory, later named Leaverton Hall, opens after a construction delay. Eighty students lived at the Pony Express Motel for six weeks.
Week of Sept. 13-Sept. 19
September 15, 1984 The first Family Day is held (it had previously been called Parent’s Day) and 1,400 attend.
Week of Sept. 6-Sept. 12
September 8, 1979 The first football game is played in the new Spratt Memorial Stadium.
September 12, 1970 The first football game for the four-year college is played.
Week of Aug. 30-Sept. 5
September 4, 1985 The first night game is played in Spratt Memorial Stadium since it received lights.
Week of Aug. 23-Aug. 29
August 28, 2005 Missouri Western earns university designation and becomes Missouri Western State University.
August 27, 2012 A Greek housing unit opens on campus in Juda Hall.
August 27, 2007 Graduate programs begin.
Week of Aug. 16-Aug. 22
August 22, 1967 A groundbreaking ceremony for the new campus east of I-29 is held.
August 22, 1969 The Alumni Association is founded.
Week of Aug. 9-Aug. 15
August 15, 1969 Liz Dotson of Dekalb becomes the first person to register for classes on the new campus.
Week of Aug. 2-Aug. 8
August 2, 1994 Missouri voters pass bond issue; Missouri Western to receive $4.7 million for new classroom building (Spratt Hall).
Week of July 26-Aug. 1
July 30, 2010 Kansas City Chiefs hold their first practice of summer training camp.
July 28, 1915 St. Joseph Commerce Club approaches the St. Joseph School Board and asks them to consider adding a junior college course to the high school.
Week of July 19-July 25
July 23, 1993 Elwood, Kan. is evacuated due to flooding and Missouri Western becomes a command center for the Air Guard.
July 21, 2010 Several book shelves in the library’s second floor collapses; no one is injured.
Week of July 5-July 11
July 10, 1957 Missouri Western opens Melody Mill in the YWCA building every Wednesday evening in June and July.
July 9, 2010 New building signs are installed around Downs Drive.
July 11, 1980 Kansas City Kings open their pre-season training camp at Missouri Western.
Week of June 28-July 4
July 1, 1983 Dr. Janet Gorman Murphy begins her duties as President.
July 1, 2008 Dr. Robert A. Vartabedian begins his duties as President.
Week of June 21-June 27
June 23, 1977 The Junior College Board of Trustees transfers all assets to Missouri Western State College since the State Legislature approved full funding for all four years.
Week of June 7-June 13
June 7, 1965 Voters approve the Missouri Western Junior College District, and the college’s name changed to Missouri Western Junior College. Residents of five counties now fund the Junior College: Andrew, Buchanan, Clay, Clinton and Platte.
June 7, 2007 The University Plaza with the 10-ft. bronze Griffon is dedicated.
Week of May 31-June 6
June 1, 1967 Dr. M.O. Looney begins his duties as President.
June 1, 1949 The annual Spring Dance is held at the United American Society Hall at 10th and Edmond.
Week of May 24-May 30
May 29, 1970 The first Commencement ceremony for the four-year college is held.
Week of May 17-May 23
May 21, 1997 In a ceremony on this day, the residence halls, known as the 100s, 200s and 400s, were named Logan, Beshears and Juda.
May 18, 1988 First intersession held: 184 students enroll in eight classes.
Week of May 10-May 16
May 10, 1965 A bond issue passes to construct new buildings for a new campus.
May 10, 1995 First induction ceremony for Omicron Psi, an honor society for nontraditional students.
May 15, 2008 Missouri Western announces that Steven L. Craig has given the University its largest gift in history – $5.5 million.
Week of May 3-May 9
May 7, 1941 Annual Prowl Day is held at Lake Contrary.
May 6, 1957 Nelle Blum retires as dean and is replaced by Marion Gibbins.
Week of Apr. 26-May 2
May 1, 1995 The college kicks off its week-long 25th anniversary celebration.
April 30, 1988 The first and only Missouri Western 100K bicycle race is held on campus.
Week of Apr. 19-Apr. 25
April 24, 2000 A week-long 30th anniversary celebration kicks off with a presidents dinner.
April 23, 1965 A golden anniversary banquet is held at Hotel Robidoux to celebrate the St. Joseph Junior College’s 50 anniversary.
Week of Apr. 12-Apr. 18
April 15, 1983 Missouri Western hosts “Dr. Frances Flanagan writes a foreword for her book, “Missouri Western State College A History 1915-83.
Week of Apr. 5-Apr. 11
April 9, 2005 Missouri Western hosts “Experience Western: Discover the Treasure,” and more than 1,000 turn out for the daylong event.
Week of Mar. 29-Apr. 4
April 1, 1990 The College kicks off its week-long 20th anniversary celebration.
Week of Mar. 22-Mar. 28
March 27, 1970 The baseball team plays its first game. The game was held on a cold, snow-swept field at Hyde Park in St. Joseph. Subsequent home games were played at Phil Welch Stadium.
March 22, 1941 The track and field team has a meet at Kemper in Boonville, Mo.
Week of Mar. 15-Mar. 21
March 16, 1989 The Missouri Western Dance Company presents A Festival of Dance.
Week of Mar. 8-Mar. 14
March 12, 2007 The MWSU Foundation announces that it would provide full scholarships and room and board to the Jacobo family of Kansas City who were featured on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Students also worked on the home during spring break.
March 11, 1972 The first high school forensic tournament hosted by MWC is held – the Pony Express High School Invitational.
March 11, 1992 Community meets with Board of Regents to discuss possible closing of Agriculture Program.
Week of Mar. 1-Mar. 7
March 1, 1987 A bond burning ceremony is held because the bonds for the original campus buildings and Eder Hall are paid off.
Week of Feb. 15-Feb. 21
February 18, 1957 Brotherhood Week kicks off. On Feb. 20, Fred Gee, a JC student and ordained minister, was one of the guest speakers at a special convocation.
Week of Feb. 22-Feb. 28
February 28, 2001 Dr. James Scanlon begins his duties as President.
Week of Feb. 15-Feb. 21
February 18, 1957 Brotherhood Week kicks off. On Feb. 20, Fred Gee, a JC student and ordained minister, was one of the guest speakers at a special convocation.
Week of Feb. 8-Feb. 14
February 11, 1991 New campus policy goes into effect – no smoking in campus buildings. (Residence halls are exempt.)
Week of Feb. 1-Feb. 7
February 5, 1937 Carl Sandburg visits the Junior College and recites his poetry.
Week of Jan. 25-Jan. 31
January 26, 1970 Norman Knight, designer of the Griffon, explains why he chose this symbol to represent the school in 1918. In an issue of Missouri Western College Alumni Newsletter, Knight wrote that he chose the “mythical guardian of buried treasure” because “education is a buried treasure obtainable only through hard ‘digging.’”
Week of Jan. 18-Jan. 24
January 18, 1965 Sen. John Downs and Sen. Richard M. Webster introduced a bill in the State Legislature that would establish a senior college program in both St. Joseph and Joplin.
January 19, 1965 The issue passes on the ballot to establish the Missouri Western Junior College District. A Board of Trustees is established for the Junior College District. The members of the first Board of Trustees include Dr. Thompson E. Potter, William F. Enright Jr., Stanley I. Dale, and Thomas V. Teare, all from St. Joseph. The trustees in the outlying districts are Loren Schneider, Gower, Mo.; and John Newhart, Savannah, Mo.
Week of Jan. 4-Jan. 10
January 5, 1949 Initiation of new members of the JC Natural Science Club was held.
January 7, 1938 A committee is appointed to ask people to refrain from smoking inside the Central gym at JC basketball games.
Week of Dec. 28-Jan. 3
January 2, 1991 Stan McGarvey begins as head Griffon football coach.