BOLIVAR, Mo. — Southwest Baptist University will honor the legacy of businessman Robert W. Plaster with the naming of the Robert W. Plaster College of Business and Computer Science.
A seven-figure gift from the Robert W. Plaster Foundation in Lebanon, Mo., will help fund renovation and expansion of the Gene Taylor National Free Enterprise Center, which houses offices and classrooms primarily for the College of Business and Computer Science.
“It is a great honor to name our outstanding College of Business and Computer Science after an outstanding businessman who was passionate about free enterprise,” said C. Pat Taylor, Ed.D., SBU president. “The building renovation and expansion will enhance the college experience for our accounting, business administration and computer science students. We are so grateful for the generosity of the Plaster Foundation to SBU throughout the past few decades.”
About Robert W. Plaster
Plaster was a successful businessman who also was a co-founder and active supporter of Enactus (formerly Students in Free Enterprise), which started on the SBU campus before moving to headquarters in Springfield. SBU awarded him an honorary doctorate of business administration in November of 1982.
The Robert W. Plaster Foundation exists to expand the educational opportunities for students in the Midwest through named capital projects. These grants help provide state-of-the-art facilities to students and faculty that position them to have an effective learning environment. This enables educational institutions to keep their tuition lower for their students. The funding of these capital projects positions the Robert W. Plaster Foundation to make sustainable and lasting investments into the future of our nation and promote free enterprise for all.
The Plaster Foundation was formed in 1983 to help students by funding projects for colleges and universities. At SBU, the foundation has made significant contributions toward the construction of:
• Robert W. Plaster Stadium, original construction as well as the recent installation of artificial turf on the football field;
• Robert W. Plaster Athletic Center;
• Plaster Lodge, a women’s dormitory; and
• Jean Plaster (wife of Robert W. Plaster) Conference Room in the University Success Center.
“Southwest Baptist University is a wonderful institution that Dad supported for many years,” said Dr. Dolly Plaster Clement, daughter of Robert W. Plaster. “I know he would be very proud to help the students at SBU in their efforts to learn about our free enterprise system and how to achieve their goals within that system. We are excited to see the renovation and expansion of the Gene Taylor National Free Enterprise Center and the benefits it will bring to the students at SBU.”
About the College of Business and Computer Science
SBU’s College of Business and Computer Science is accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs and offers 12 undergraduate degrees in accounting, business administration and computer science. The computer science program is accredited through ABET’s Computer Accrediting Commission, the only accredited program at an evangelical institution within a 500-mile radius and one of just six accredited Christian programs nationally.
College of Business and Computer Science graduates consistently rank high on the Major Field Test, with the 2014 graduating class scoring in the 97th percentile in the nation. The college’s four-year average is 91.25 percent nationally.
“I am continually impressed with the quality of students that our programs in the College of Business and Computer Science attract,” said Troy Bethards, D.B.A., associate professor of business administration and dean of the College of Business and Computer Science. “The data and feedback we receive indicates that our students continually excel and having an updated facility with which to work will enhance our ability to effectively meet the needs of our students as we move into the future.”
The Taylor Center was completed in 1981 and named in honor of former Missouri Congressman Gene Taylor, a good friend of Plaster. The renovation and expansion project is part of a more comprehensive campaign to be announced later that will include fundraising for endowment and capital projects.
For more information about The Robert W. Plaster Foundation, send an email to Info@RobertWPlasterFoundation.org or call (417) 533-3007.
For more information about the SBU College of Business and Computer Science, contact Bethards at (417) 328-1757 or tbethards@SBUniv.edu. For information regarding SBU giving opportunities, information about endowment, estate planning or capital projects, contact Dr. Brad Johnson, vice president of university relations, at (417) 328-1805 or bjohnson@SBUniv.edu.
Southwest Baptist University is a leader among private universities in truly integrating Christ-centered academic pursuits with comprehensive professional programs at an affordable price. At SBU, the faculty and staff create a caring, academic community to prepare students to be servant leaders in a global society. For more information, visit www.SBUniv.edu.