News Releases

What's Happening at MWSU...

Planetarium presents 'Nine Planets and Counting' Nov. 13

The Bushman Planetarium at Missouri Western State University presents a public showing of “Nine Planets and Counting” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13. The planetarium is located inside Agenstein Hall. “Nine Planets and Counting” gives viewers a tour to explore the variety of objects that populate our solar system. Along the way, we’ll examine each planet individually and then step back to look at the big picture: rocky worlds compared to gas giants and more. What is a planet, anyway? The answer may surprise you. The Bushman Planetarium features a Digistar 4 projection system and a dome that is tilted slightly, rather[Read More]

Student art on display, opening reception Nov. 9

The Potter Art Gallery at Missouri Western State University celebrates the sixth Annual MWSU Juried Art Student Exhibition with a public reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9. The exhibition will run November 5-30, with the gallery open for viewing Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and during events in Potter Theater. The reception and exhibition are free and open to the public. The exhibit features a selection of artwork by students currently enrolled in Art Department courses. This year's exhibition was juried by Eric Dodson, director of Kiosk Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri. The following students had artwork[Read More]

Two appointed to Board of Governors

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has appointed Kayla Schoonover of Fairfax, Missouri, and Lee Tieman of St. Joseph to the Missouri Western State University Board of Governors. Schoonover earned a Bachelor of Science in Recreation from Missouri Western. She has worked for the Mound City R-2 School District since 1998 and is currently a special education instructor, head volleyball coach and athletic trainer. Before her teaching career, she worked at Missouri Western as an assistant athletic trainer, head softball coach and assistant women’s basketball coach. She previously served briefly on the board in 2016. Schoonover fills a term that has been vacant[Read More]

Search committee seeks input on next president

The public is invited to a forum with the firm helping coordinate the search for Missouri Western State University’s next president. Dr. Garry Owens and Kimberly Templeton, executive search associates with AGB Search, will be on campus to meet with students, faculty, administrators, alumni and community members to learn more about what Missouri Western is looking for in its next president. The public is invited to an open forum as part of the process at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5, in the Kemper Recital Hall, Spratt Hall room 101. Those who are unable to attend or who would like to provide additional[Read More]

Walk for the Homeless Nov. 2

The seventh annual Walk for the Homeless will be held on Friday, Nov. 2 in Downtown St. Joseph. Check-in begins at 4 p.m. at Sixth and Messanie, with the walk starting at 4:30 p.m. The walk will follow the migration path followed by the homeless to access services downtown. The walk raises awareness and funds for the Downtown Health Center’s Homeless Fund to help the homeless in our area with transportation costs, medical expenses, job searching and miscellaneous needs. Registration is $20, and includes a t-shirt. Participants can register in advance at Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing[Read More]

Convocation features Chris Wallace Nov. 13

The 25th annual R. Dan Boulware Convocation on Critical Issues will feature Chris Wallace, award-winning veteran journalist and broadcast host, at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13 in the Looney Complex Arena on the campus of Missouri Western State University. His topic is “A View from Washington.” The Convocation is free and open to the public. Limited seating is still available for the Convocation Luncheon featuring a moderated question-and-answer session with Wallace. The luncheon will begin at 11:45 a.m. Nov. 13 in the Fulkerson Center. Cost is $40 per person, and reservations can be made at by Nov. 2. Currently the host[Read More]

Center for Franchise Development partners with Auntie Anne's

The Center for Franchise Development in the Steven L. Craig School of Business and Technology at Missouri Western State University will partner with Auntie Anne’s, the pretzel franchise, to allow Missouri Western students and alumni to compete in a class this spring to own and operate their own business. “During the Applied Business Ownership class each spring, students develop the skills and strategies required to own a business by studying a specific franchise opportunity and developing a business plan,” said Pam Klaus, director of the Center for Franchise Development. “This year, for the first time, the franchise opportunity will be provided[Read More]

Center for Franchise Development hosts ribbon-cutting, open house

The Center for Franchise Development in the Steven L. Craig School of Business and Technology at Missouri Western State University will host a ribbon-cutting and open house at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 29 on the second floor of Popplewell Hall. The event is free and open to the public. “As part of the ribbon-cutting, we will have an exciting announcement about the Applied Business Ownership class in the spring,” said Pam Klaus, director of the Center for Franchise Development. The Applied Business Ownership class allows students and alumni to compete for the chance to own and operate their own franchise business. Guests[Read More]

Board receives clean audit, approves search firm contract

The Board of Governors at Missouri Western State University accepted an unmodified, or “clean,” opinion of the University’s financial statements from auditors BKD. There were no findings of material weaknesses or significant deficiencies in the audit. “The audit is a team effort involving units all across campus,” said Dr. Cale Fessler, vice president for financial planning and administration. “Accounting standards are frequently changing and can be pretty complex, especially for federal programs like financial aid. I’m proud of our team’s hard work to make sure we do things the right way, and gratified to see it pay off with a clean[Read More]

Press association honors President Vartabedian

The Northwest Missouri Press Association presented Dr. Robert Vartabedian, Missouri Western State University’s president, with the James C. Kirkpatrick Award recognizing service to the state of Missouri. The award was presented during the association's annual meeting at Missouri Western Oct. 19. “This is one of the highest honors I’ve received in my 40-year career, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it,” Dr. Vartabedian told the members of the association. “Since I’ve been about eight years old, I’ve read the daily newspaper cover to cover every day of my life. That’s how I function, that’s how much I appreciate[Read More]

Steve Johnston named director of external relations

Steve Johnston, director of the Community Alliance of St. Joseph, has been named director of external relations at Missouri Western State University. Johnston will begin his duties at Missouri Western Jan. 1. “Steve has been a great advocate for Missouri Western in his current position, and already has strong relationships with many of our external partners, including legislators and local government leaders,” said Dr. Robert Vartabedian, Missouri Western’s president. “He will truly be able to hit the ground running.” “I have long considered Missouri Western as one of this community’s biggest assets, and I’m honored by this opportunity,” Johnston said. “I look[Read More]

Board selects search firm

The Board of Governors at Missouri Western State University authorized its chairman to negotiate a contract with AGB Search from Washington, D.C. to assist in the search for the next president of the university. The Board heard presentations from four search firms during a special meeting on Oct. 8, including AGB; R. William Funk, of Dallas, Texas; Greenwood/Asher of Miramar Beach, Florida; and Academic Search of Washington, D.C. Once a contract is finalized, AGB will conduct listening sessions on campus to determine what Missouri Western is looking for in its next president, then recruit candidates, assist with the interview process and provide[Read More]

Theatre season opens with 'The Great American Trailer Park Musical'

The 2018-2019 Theatre Season at Missouri Western State University opens with “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” Oct. 12-20 in Potter Hall. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20, with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. on Oct. 14. Tickets are $14 for adults, $8 for students, $12 for Missouri Western faculty and staff and free for Missouri Western students with valid ID. There’s a new tenant at Armadillo Acres, and she’s wreaking havoc all over Florida’s most exclusive trailer park. When Pippi, the stripper on the run, comes between the Dr. Phil-loving, agoraphobic Jeannie and[Read More]

Griffons celebrate Homecoming 'Under the Big Top'

Missouri Western State University students, alumni, faculty, staff and the community will celebrate Homecoming 2018 Oct. 7-13, culminating with the Griffon football game against Central Oklahoma at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 on Craig Field at Spratt Memorial Stadium. The theme this year is “Griffons Under the Big Top.” The annual Homecoming Parade will step off at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 13 at 11th and Faraon in Downtown St. Joseph. It will proceed southwest on Frederick Avenue to Francis, then west on Francis to 4th, south of 4th to Felix, and east on Felix to 10th Street. Homecoming parade entries will be[Read More]

Presidential search committee schedules first meeting

The search committee to select the next president of Missouri Western State University will hold its first meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9 in the Blum Student Union Private Dining Room. The meeting is open to the public. The search committee is comprised of Board of Governors members, students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members. The 23 members include: Board of Governors: Dave Liechti, Al Purcell, Debbie Smith, Student Governor Paul Granberry III Students: Austen Hall Faculty: Dr. Mike Cadden, Dr. Jennifer Hegeman, Dr. Mark Mills, Dr. Dan Shepherd Administrators: Josh Looney, Carey McMillian, Latoya Muhammad, Dr. Bob Willenbrink Staff: Kathy Kelly, Fred Nesslage Community Members:[Read More]

Photography exhibition opens at Potter Art Gallery; Reception Oct. 5

The Potter Art Gallery will celebrate the opening of the exhibition “Kansas City Society of Contemporary Photography: Archive” with an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5 in the gallery, which is inside Potter Hall on the campus of Missouri Western State University. The reception is free and open to the public. The Kansas City Society of Contemporary Photography is a community of regional photographers and collectors presenting and promoting the photographic arts. The “Archive” exhibition provides viewers a glimpse into the creative process of society members, who were asked to search through their archives and find one[Read More]

Court of Appeals convenes at Missouri Western Oct. 2

The Missouri Court of Appeals – Western District will again convene on the campus of Missouri Western State University at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2 in the Kemper Recital Hall, Spratt Hall room 101. The court session, expected to last until approximately noon, is free and open to the public. A three-judge panel consisting of Chief Judge Karen Mitchell, Judge Victor Howard, and Jackson County Circuit Judge George Wolf will hear oral arguments in three cases (click here for a summary of the cases). The cases originated in area circuit courts. The judges will hear oral argument and then take time after[Read More]

Two new St. Joseph companies tapped for startup funding, Bond Incubator space

Two new companies in St. Joseph, Missouri, received project funding thanks to the recent partnership between Innovation Stockyard and Digital Sandbox KC. “Our partnership with Digital Sandbox KC has given us an opportunity to capture the full range of innovative concepts being developed in the St. Joseph area,” said Ronan Molloy, president of Innovation Stockyard. The Sandbox partnered with the Innovation Stockyard in 2017, along with the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce, the City of St. Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri Western State University and other local organizations, to drive new business growth and jobs in St. Joseph and throughout northwest Missouri. “When we[Read More]

Missouri Western Enrollment Increases Again

Missouri Western Enrollment Increases Again St. Joseph, Mo. —Sept. 25, 2018—Missouri Western State University has a total of 5,707 students enrolled as of the official census date Sept. 24, an increase of 2.6 percent over Fall 2017, including 5.5 percent growth in the number of new freshmen and a notable rise in the number of credit hours taken per student. There was a 42 percent jump in the number of students taking 16 credit hours or more. “It’s very exciting to see this kind of growth,” said Dr. Paul Orscheln, associate vice president for enrollment management. “Not only are more students choosing[Read More]

Informational meeting Sept. 27 for Alumni Association trip to Greece in 2019

The Missouri Western Alumni Association invites alumni, parents and community members to an informational meeting about a planned trip to Greece next May. The meeting is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27 in the Enright Community Room, Spratt Hall room 214. Dr. Jimmy Albright, who teaches archaeology at Missouri Western, will lead the trip, which will include 11 days visiting ancient sites such as the Parthenon, the Temple of Delphi and the Temple of Apollo along with three days cruising to Mykonos, Ephesus and Santorini. For additional information, please contact Colleen Kowich at or 816-271-5650. Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive[Read More]
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