The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 5, 2013

Gifts to Missouri Southern Foundation fund large bronze lion statue

From staff reports

JOPLIN, Mo. — Missouri Southern State University will add a larger-than-life lion statue to its campus, thanks to two significant gifts made to the Missouri Southern Foundation.

The statue will be in front of the Leon C. Billingsly Student Center on the west side of the campus oval. The project is a step forward in the university’s Master Facilities Plan, which calls for new buildings, campus renovations and gateway signage over the next 25 years.

 The bronze statue was made possible by a gift from Bill and Tracy Gipson as well as the MSSU Student Senate.

It will stand 10 feet in height and will be nearly 12 feet in length. The structure will be surrounded by a new 5,400-square-foot plaza, which will feature a winding, graduated wall as well as ground pavers. The area will be accentuated with new seating and lighting, and will be in a location designed to attract students and visitors.

Construction of the plaza will begin this summer, and is scheduled to be completed by the first day of the Fall 2013 semester, when the statue will be publicly unveiled.