As the crowd gathered in the lobby of the Julio S. León Health Sciences Center, the building’s namesake reflected on his years as president of Missouri Southern.
“The reason I was successful in any way is because of the work you all did in the classroom and in your offices,” said Dr. Julio León, who attended Wednesday’s dedication ceremony with his wife, Vivian. “I thank you very much for that.”
Having served previously as a faculty member in the Business Department and later as its dean, León was named president of the college in 1982. He served for 25 years before resigning in 2007.
Calling the dedication “a wonderful honor,” León said he be believed the university is in good hands.
“On a personal note, Dr. Marble, I am very glad you are the president of Missouri Southern,” he said.
In addition to thanking past Board of Regents members, legislators and donors, there was one other person he said was deserving of recognition.
“No individual can be successful as a university president if he or she doesn’t have a supportive, strong spouse” he said. “I would be remiss if I were to forget to recognize Vivian for her support over the years.
“We spent nearly 40 years in this community and our main concern was no matter what we did, we always tried to do it with class and with excellence. I hope that over the years, the community will remember a pair of foreigners who passed through here and made their mark. Thanks to all of you for opening your arms to us, and for allowing us to be part of your community.”
While the dedication of the Health Sciences Center was front and center, others were also recognized for their contributions to Missouri Southern.
Ribbon cuttings were held for McCune-Brooks Healthcare Foundation Nursing Department, the Pat & Carolyn Phelps Interdisciplinary Simulation Center and the John & Joy Cragin Computer Lab. The Gail & Russell Smith II Endowment for Technical Services Writing was also announced. W. Robert Corley, for whom the Dental Hygiene Clinic is named, was also in attendance.
Also recognized for their contributions to the project were Leland and Donna Browne, Dr. Larry and Elizabeth Deffenbaugh, Dr. Delores and Jim Honey, Anthony and Maridan Kassab, Richard and Teresa Massa, Dr. Charles McGinty, Myron and Janet McKinney, Sara Newman, Mike, Lee and Emma Pound, Bill and Cindy Putnam, Cynthia Schwab, the Sharp Family and Dr. John and Barbara Windle.
Earlier in the day, a ribbon cutting was held for the Ruth Kolpin-Rubison Tiered Classrooms was held in Webster Hall.
Kolpin was recognized for her efforts in the field of broadcasting in Southwest Missouri and her longtime support of Missouri Southern State University.
“Missouri Southern had great leadership under Dr. Julio León and his wife Vivian, and now has a strong leader in Dr. Alan Marble,” she said during the morning ribbon-cutting ceremony. “I can say you’re going to go very, very far … and the future is very, very bright.”