March 17, 2023–Dr. James J. Scanlon, president of Missouri Western State University from 2001 to 2008, died in California this week at the age of 79. Dr. Elizabeth Kennedy, current Missouri Western president, sent the following email to campus faculty and staff today:
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of former Missouri Western president Dr. James Scanlon. Dr. Scanlon served as the third president of Missouri Western from 2001-2008. He passed away on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.
During his presidential tenure, Dr. Scanlon helped shape our mission of applied learning through the development of five-year strategic plans in 2002 and 2007. One of his greatest achievements was the designation of Missouri Western as a University in 2005. Dr. Scanlon worked tirelessly to improve the quality of Missouri Western and build a community of passionate faculty, staff, students and alumni who have passed through the halls of Missouri Western. Upon his retirement in 2008, he and his wife Lauren established the Blake K. Scanlon Applied Learning Scholarship (named in honor of their son) to provide grants to Missouri Western students presenting refereed papers or posters or exhibiting juried works or performances in national and international professional venues. Two of our annual awards to faculty and staff are named in his honor–the James J. Scanlon Awards for Service to the Community–and the residence hall that was known as the Living Learning Center was renamed Scanlon Hall to honor his and Lauren’s legacy at Missouri Western.
Dr. Scanlon will be remembered for his warmth, his empathy and his integrity by those who knew him. He will be deeply missed by family, friends, and our University community. We extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Dr. Scanlon during this difficult time. Memorial arrangements are pending.