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Missouri State University announces seven-figure donation to help fund $20 million 'advancement center'

Missouri State University president Clif Smart talks with key university officials on Friday, April 12, before the announcement of a seven-figure donation toward a new $20 million advancement center to be built on National Avenue by summer 2026.
Gregory Holman/KSMU
Missouri State University president Clif Smart talks with key university officials on Friday, April 12, before the announcement of a seven-figure donation toward a new $20 million advancement center to be built on National Avenue by summer 2026.

Officials say constructing the Clifton M. Smart III Advancement Center will be funded in part by a big monetary gift from an anonymous donor. The center will serve as home base for the Missouri State University foundation, alumni association and university advancement offices.

University president Clif Smart is set to retire from Missouri State on June 30 after 13 years on the job. On Friday, with hands trembling and voice sometimes choked with emotion, Smart shared his gratitude for the donation that will help pay for the building carrying his name.

“All parts of this university have become so important to us," Smart said, referencing himself and his family members. "And its continued success is so important to us and I’m so pleased that my name will be associated with the university for the rest of our lives.”

The 28,000-square-foot building will be on National Avenue near the Davis-Harrington Welcome Center along Bear Boulevard.

Construction is expected early next year, and officials say the new advancement center is likely to be complete in summer 2026.

Gregory Holman is a KSMU reporter and editor focusing on public affairs.