Missouri Southern’s Spiva Library is named for Joplin businessman and civic benfactor George A. Spiva. Mr. Spiva donated 400 shares of DuPont Stock with a mid-1960s market value of $104, 970 to be used in purchasing the Mission Hills campus as a site for Missouri Southern (Source: Renner, G.K., In Pursuit of Excellence: Missouri Southern State College 1937-1992).
He was honored by having the Spiva Library named after him as well as the Spiva Art Center on campus. Mr. Spiva died in the spring of 1967.
However, in a way, it is possible to take a seat beside him! A statue of Mr. Spiva sits on a bench in Spiva Park at 4th & Main in downtown Joplin. Feel free to “meet” this important person in MSSU heritage next time you are downtown!