NOTICE: Classes canceled today due to weather conditions. Check Blackboard for communication from your instructors.
SBU was a pioneer in bringing comprehensive, four-year higher education degrees to the area
Southwest Baptist University’s Mountain View campus is kicking off a year-long celebration of the 30th anniversary of the campus with a community celebration from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, May 6, at the campus, 209 W. First St. in Mountain View.
Free and open to the public, the event will include campus tours given by students, refreshments, giveaways and some reminiscing from former students, instructors and staff, including Dr. David King, the first campus administrator, and Larry Price, who was the campus director for 26 years before retiring in 2014.
“SBU truly was a pioneer in bringing comprehensive, four-year higher education degrees to the Mountain View area, and we want the community to come celebrate this milestone for the Mountain View community,” said Donna Depeé, director of the SBU Mountain View campus. “Hundreds of students have graduated from SBU through the Mountain View campus during the past three decades, and we look forward to helping more Mountain View-area residents achieve their dreams for a better future through higher education.”
When SBU opened the Mountain View campus in 1986, there were no four-year colleges in south central Missouri between Springfield and Cape Girardeau and no Christian colleges from Springfield to the Mississippi River.
“SBU came to town due to the persistence of Dr. Wayne Wood and his congregation at First Baptist Church in Mountain View, along with other community support,” said Susan Frazier, associate director of admissions for the Mountain View campus, who has been researching the campus’ history. “In the beginning, there were many fundraising events — arts and craft shows, dinners, the Dayne Glass Golf Tournament and donation drives. There were also generous folks who donated land/buildings.”
The campus started with three classes and 33 students in the First Baptist Church. Soon afterward, classrooms and labs at public schools and Mercy St. Francis Hospital also were used. Enrollment grew to 89 students by the fall of 1986 and 111 students in the spring of 1987.
Growing enrollment into the 1990s necessitated more space, and in 1994, land adjacent to the original campus (formerly Sharp Lumber Co.) property was purchased, with Founders’ Hall — housing three classrooms and a science lab — being dedicated in 1998. The final stage of expansion was the Myrtle Glass Learning Center that houses the library, computer lab and ITV rooms, which opened during the fall of 2003.
“Academically, the SBU Mountain View campus offers the same high-quality education as students enjoy on the main campus in Bolivar, and the campus has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1991,” Frazier said. “Students also enjoy small class sizes, class times that make it possible for non-traditional students to work and go to school, and personal attention from faculty and staff.”
SBU-Mountain View offers bachelor’s degrees in business administration, criminal justice, elementary education, psychology and sociology, as well as associate degrees in business administration, general studies and health science. Master’s degrees in education also can be pursued through the Mountain View campus.
“The opening of our Mountain View campus was a significant milestone in our University’s history,” said Dr. C. Pat Taylor, SBU president. “We appreciate the visionary leadership of the community members who made this campus possible. I am sure that Dr. Wood would be very pleased with the positive impact this campus has had on the Mountain View community.”
For more information about the 30th anniversary celebration, please contact Frazier or Depeé at (417) 934-2999. More information about the Mountain View campus is available online at mountainview.SBUniv.edu.