Flanked by students from Missouri Southern’s dental hygiene program, administration officials praised Robert Corley on Monday for his unwavering support for the university – despite not having attended single class here.

Robert Corley, Dr. Alan Marble and dental students pose for a photo in front of the dental clinic that now bears Corley's name.

Robert Corley, Dr. Alan Marble and dental students pose for a photo in front of the dental clinic that now bears Corley’s name.

Corley was seated in the front row during the dedication ceremony of the W. Robert Corley Dental Hygiene Clinic.

“You made your living here (in Joplin) and love the students,” said Interim President Dr. Alan Marble.

Corley, who grew up in Columbus, Kan., graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in business administration. He moved to Joplin and in 1951 opened the Duds Shop and later the Attic and Accents on South Main Street.

Marble said that, over the years, Corley has provided support for such programs as KXMS, the International Piano Competition and the university’s International Mission. In 2008, he pledged a significant planned gift that will fund scholarships at the university in perpetuity. Located in Webster Hall, Corley Auditorium is also named for him.

“And today, we’re here to honor him again,” said Marble. “Mr. Corley, we’re forever grateful.

Also on hand to speak during the ceremony were JoAnn Graffam, executive director of the Missouri Southern Foundation, and Dr. Tia Strait, dean of the School of Health Sciences.

The Dental Hygiene Clinic is located in the Health Sciences Building. The clinic not only provides the initial learning environment for dental hygiene care, but real-world experiences by providing preventative oral health care services to patients. Students are supervised by dental hygiene and dental faculty at all times. The clinic offers cleanings, X-rays and other preventative services.