Bob Corley, a longtime Joplin businessman and generous benefactor of Missouri Southern State University died Friday, Sept. 6.

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.

Over the years, he made a number of contributions to Missouri Southern that will continue to have a far-reaching impact on the university.

Corley provided financial support for such programs as KXMS, the International Piano Competition and the International Mission, as well as for the Reynolds Hall remodeling project and repairs to Taylor Performing Arts Center. He established the W. Robert Corley Endowed Professorship in Marketing Fund, and  Webster Hall’s Corley Auditorium and the W. Robert Corley Dental Hygiene Clinic are both named for him.

In 2008, he pledged a significant gift that will fund scholarships at the university in perpetuity.

“Mr. Corley was a faithful friend and longtime supporter of Missouri Southern State University,” said Dr. Alan Marble, president of Missouri Southern. “He firmly believed that education is a fundamental element in the fabric of a civil and just society, and his numerous gifts and endowments will touch lives for many generations to come.

“We will miss him terribly, but we will remember him with great fondness and sincere gratitude.”