News Releases

What's Happening at MWSU...

Art faculty exhibit work at Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art

Faculty members in the Department of Art at Missouri Western State University will display recent work at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, 2818 Frederick Avenue in St. Joseph, Sept. 14-Nov. 4, 2018. The public is invited to meet the artists during an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14. There is no charge to attend the opening. Faculty members exhibiting their art include Peter Britton, Rebecca Foley, David Harris, Teresa Harris, Eric Fuson, Matt Hepworth, Peter Hriso and Kathy Liao. Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree[Read More]

Student media outlets host open house Sept. 14

Missouri Western State University student media outlets will host an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14. The open house will showcase award-winning student publications the Griffon Yearbook, Griffon News, Griffon Update, Reach (formerly Canvas) and Mochila Review. Celebrate the accomplishments of dedicated, hard-working talented students with food, drink and Max the Griffon. The open house will be held in the offices of the publications: Eder Hall, room 221, and Murphy Hall, rooms 204, 206 and 208. Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers[Read More]

Part-Time Job Fair Sept. 19

The Student Employment Program in the Career Development Center at Missouri Western State University will hold its fifth annual Part-Time Job Fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19 in the Fulkerson Center. On-campus and off-campus employers will meet with students to talk about current and future part-time job opportunities. Employers who want to participate can contact the Student Employment Program at 816-271-4292 or email Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and[Read More]

Legal Aid presents family law rights Sept. 20

An attorney from Legal Aid will talk about family law rights at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 20 in Blum Student Union, rooms 222 and 223 on the campus of Missouri Western State University. The presentation is free and open to the public. Divorce, child support and orders of protection against abusive partners are among the topics that will be covered. The program will help anyone with family law problems or who knows someone with these problems. Legal Aid holds office hours on campus every Thursday from noon to 4 p.m. in Blum 213. The presentation and office hours are co-sponsored by the[Read More]

Former Congress members visit MWSU on Constitution Day

Missouri Western State University will host two former members of the U.S. House of Representatives to celebrate Constitution Day 2018 on Monday, Sept. 17. Dan Maffei, a Democrat from New York, and Steven Kuykendall, a Republican from California, will meet with students and give two public presentations as part of the Congress to Campus program of the Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership. The first presentation, “Congress and the Constitution,” is at 10 a.m. Sept. 17 in the Enright Community Room, Spratt Hall rooms 214-216. The second presentation, “Why Congress?” is at 7 p.m. in the Hoff Conference Room, Blum Student Union[Read More]

Program teaches future lawyers to help transgender clients

The Legal Studies Association, a student organization at Missouri Western State University, will host a program on assisting transgender clients with gender marker changes at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, in Agenstein Hall, room 324. The presentation is free and open to the public. The presentation will focus on how attorneys can help transgender clients with ID document changes. The program includes cultural competency training on transgender issues as well as instruction in pursuing name change and gender marker change petitions. Presenters will be Johnda Boyce, a Kansas City based attorney, and Jay-Marie Hill, statewide coordinator of the ACLU-Missouri Transgender Education and[Read More]

Board discusses presidential search

The Board of Governors at Missouri Western State University met in special session to discuss the process for selecting the next president of Missouri Western. The Board voted to appoint a search committee of up to 24 people, chaired by David Liechti, chairman of the Board of Governors. Three other governors will join Liechti on the committee: voting members Al Purcell and Debbie Smith and student representative Paul Granberry III. The remainder of the committee will be comprised of faculty, staff, administrators and members of the community. The search committee will evaluate presidential applicants and help identify finalists to bring to campus[Read More]

Voltmer named MWSU police chief

A St. Joseph native and veteran police officer has been named chief of the Missouri Western State University Police Department. Jill Voltmer has worked for the Missouri Western police since June, 2017. Before that, she spent 24 years in the Patrol and Detective Divisions of the St. Joseph Police Department, including more than 15 years as a sergeant. “I am excited to have someone with Jill’s level of expertise fill this position,” said Dr. Cale Fessler, vice president for financial planning and administration. “Her knowledge and experience will serve the University well.” “I am honored to be chosen for this position and[Read More]

WAC presents comedian Samuel J. Comroe Sept. 6

The Western Activities Council at Missouri Western State University presents comedian Samuel J. Comroe live in concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6 in the Kemper Recital Hall, Spratt Hall room 101. Comroe’s performance, part of his “I Got 99 Problems But a Twitch Ain’t One” tour, is free and open to the public. Comroe was a contestant on America’s Got Talent and has been featured on TBS’s “Conan,” BET’s “Real Husbands of Hollywood with Kevin Hart,” and was recently feature on All Def Digital’s Comedy Originals. He performs at more than 100 clubs and colleges annually and has more than[Read More]

Missouri Western freshman class up 22 percent in two years

As the fall 2018 semester starts at Missouri Western State University, preliminary enrollment data indicates more than 1,050 incoming freshmen are beginning their college career, an increase of approximately 7 percent over last year and more than 22 percent higher than it was in fall 2016. "To see this kind of growth in freshman enrollment in back-to-back years is remarkable," said Dr. Paul Orscheln, associate vice president for enrollment management and student retention. "Following up a double-digit percentage increase last year with a 7 percent increase this year should lead to a more stable enrollment picture in years to come." "In my[Read More]

President Vartabedian plans to retire in July 2019

Dr. Robert A. Vartabedian, president of Missouri Western State University, has announced his plans to retire effective July 1, 2019. David Liechti, chairman of Missouri Western’s Board of Governors, said that Dr. Vartabedian informed the Board of his plans during a closed session yesterday, and he announced his intentions to campus in an e-mail this morning. “I have been truly honored to serve as Missouri Western’s president for over a decade,” Dr. Vartabedian said. “These have been by far the most gratifying years of my long career in higher education. For a first-generation college student like myself to have this kind[Read More]

Missouri Western offers STEM activities at Sound of Speed air show

Faculty and staff from Missouri Western State University’s various STEM programs will be on site at the Sound of Speed Airshow Aug. 25 and 26 with experiments and hands-on activities related to science, technology, engineering and math. Exhibits that connect flight and aviation to nature and biology include "The Nature of Flight," which demonstrates wing structure-function, airflow dynamics and flight mechanics in nature. Guests can examine wing structures under microscopes or observe airflow around various types of stationary and mobile wing structure models. Other displays illustrate the environmental and conservation aspects of airstrips and how structures in the plant world spread seeds[Read More]

Family Weekend set Sept. 21 and 22

Missouri Western has announced the schedule and activities for its annual Family Weekend events, which will be held Sept 21 and 22, 2018. Events kick off at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, with Midwest Dueling Pianos, an audience-participating experience featuring a mix of classics and new music. The performance will be in the Kemper Recital Hall, Spratt Hall room 101. Admission is free and open to the public. Family Day festivities resume Saturday, Sept. 22, with the President’s Pasta Extravaganza from noon to 1 p.m. in the Remington Atrium on campus. Students, staff and the St. Joseph community are invited to join[Read More]

Board renews employee health insurance, refunds bonds

The Board of Governors at Missouri Western State University renewed employee health insurance coverage with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City. The renewal includes no cost increase for the University, and no plan design changes. “We began working on this renewal shortly after the first of the year, when our utilization trends indicated our premium costs were likely to go up,” said Dr. Cale Fessler, vice president for financial planning and administration. “Working with our insurance advisor, Truss, we explored several new plan designs and options, and thanks at least in part to those efforts Blue Cross came back[Read More]

Public invited to help kick off new school year

Missouri Western State University invites the local community to several events to help welcome new and returning students to campus for the beginning of the fall semester. Missouri Western will welcome approximately 1,000 incoming freshmen during its annual Griffon Edge orientation program. The schedule includes two events that are open to the public: Movie Night, 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24, Craig Field at Spratt Memorial Stadium “Monsters University” will be shown on the video board at Spratt Stadium, and families are welcome to join our new students. Admission is free. Park in Lot I. New Student Convocation, 7:30 p.m. Sunday,[Read More]

Dixon appointed to Board of Governors

Jennifer Dixon of St. Joseph, Missouri, has been appointed by Gov. Mike Parson to the Board of Governors at Missouri Western State University. Dixon’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Missouri Senate. “I have had the privilege of serving on the MWSU Foundation Board for the past few years and am honored and excited to now serve on the Board of Governors,” Dixon Said. “Great things are happening on this campus, and I look forward to being involved and assisting wherever I can to contribute to Missouri Western’s continued success.” Dixon graduated from Missouri Western in 1989 with a Bachelor of[Read More]

Granberry appointed student governor

Paul Granberry III of St. Louis, Missouri, has been appointed by Gov. Mike Parson to serve as student governor on the Board of Governors at Missouri Western State University. Granberry’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Missouri Senate. “I would like to thank Governor Parson and his staff for the amazing opportunity,” Granberry said. “I look forward to serving on the Board of Governors on behalf of the student body.” Granberry is a junior majoring in political science, and has been a residential assistant on campus since 2016. Last school year, he served as assistant director of external relations for the[Read More]

Western Warm-Up introduces students to St. Joseph community

Local businesses and organizations will again have a chance to introduce themselves to Missouri Western State University’s students on the first day of class. Western Warm-Up presents an opportunity to display goods, services and employment opportunities from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27. Registration for businesses is $25 by Aug. 10, or $35 by Aug. 17. Not-for-profit organizations can reserve space for $10 and Missouri Western departments, clubs and organizations are free if received by Aug. 10. More than 1,000 students and 50 businesses or organizations typically participate each year. To register, visit For more information, call 816-271-4159 or[Read More]

Shields takes new position; search for replacement begins

Brandt Shields, director of external relations for Missouri Western State University, has taken a new position as the Kansas City District Director for U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, effective Aug. 20. His last day at Missouri Western will be Aug. 17. “Brandt has been an important part of the Missouri Western family in his time here and will certainly be missed,” said Dr. Robert Vartabedian, Missouri Western’s president. “I thank him for his service and wish him the best in his new position.” “It has been an honor to advocate on behalf of the students, faculty and staff of Missouri Western,” Shields said.[Read More]

'SHOUT! The Mod Musical' opens Aug. 10

The School of Fine Arts, the Department of Theatre, Cinema and Dance and the Department of Music at Missouri Western State University present “SHOUT! The Mod Musical” on two weekends: Aug. 10-12 and Sept. 7-9 in the Potter Hall Theater. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, Aug. 10 and 11 and Sept. 7 and 8, and 2 p.m. on Sundays, Aug. 12 and Sept. 9. “Shout!” brings back the beautiful birds and smashing sounds that made England swing in the 1960s. Created by Phillip George and David Lowenstein, SHOUT! features terrific new arrangements of such classic tunes as “To[Read More]
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