Former Missouri State President Dr. Marshall Gordon Dies

Dr. Marshall Gordon, who served as President of Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State), has died at the age of 81.

Gordon served as President from 1983 to 1992. During his tenure, the school passed 20,000 in enrollment for the first time.

“President Gordon had an aspirational vision for the university,” current President Clif Smart said in a statement. “He was the first president to seek a name change to Missouri State University. He challenged the university to stretch for higher levels of achievement.”

Gordon worked to re-establish the honors program at SMSU and restructured the academics into six colleges with 37 departments. The College of Business obtained accreditation from the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business under Gordon’s leadership.

Several new facilities were added to campus during Gordon’s tenure, including:

  • David D. Glass Hall
  • Professional Building
  • Kentwood Hall
  • Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex
  • Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts
  • Hammons House
  • Hutchens House

Also during Gordon’s tenure, athletics joined the Missouri Valley Conference and both men’s and women’s basketball made the NCAA Division I post-season tournament. Bears baseball also made the first appearance in the Division I tournament.