In 1957, a growing need for an evangelical Christian institution in the St. Louis area prompted the opening of a campus extension of Hannibal-LaGrange College at Tower Grove Baptist Church.
Sixty-eight students were enrolled that inaugural year. Now, more than half a century later, the fruits of that decision are plainly visible on the 68-acre campus of Missouri Baptist University.
Missouri Baptist University is celebrating its 50th Anniversary. MBU has evolved from a relatively small, commuter-based main campus to a substantial University system with a thriving main campus and growing residential population. Today, total enrollment is 5,352, and the University includes 11 regional learning centers and online options to help meet the demand for quality Christian higher education in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area and beyond.
Missouri Baptist University looks to a future filled with promise for promoting a flourishing campus community that transforms the lives of students and prepares them to address the significant challenges facing the world. Our bright future will be characterized by renewed energy, innovation and a steadfast commitment to our distinctive Christian heritage. Previous generations of MBU graduates have embraced the call to be the light of the world, and in so doing, have profoundly impacted the communities in which they serve. That clarion call rings true today. We understand the unique position MBU occupies at the crossroads of faith and academic excellence, and we welcome this distinct calling to “Shine On” now and in the future.
So much has been accomplished, yet we have a unique opportunity to step out, to build upon the foundation of the past 50 years, and to embrace the challenge before us as we realize our bold vision for the future. Moving forward, MBU has identified five strategic initiatives that will meet not just the needs of today but also the needs of tomorrow and enhance our reputation as an exceptional Christian university.
Keep reading to see more about the five initiatives.
Building on a strong academic reputation and a robust campus community, the University continues to attract a growing number of students who value the unique mission of MBU. In order to address such growth, the University will construct a new academic and student development complex that will foster an environment of student learning and community. This facility will include a dynamic welcome center, which will provide an aesthetically pleasing reception area for students, parents, alumni and other guests; a vibrant career services suite; innovative classroom space and faculty and staff offices; an expanded academic success center; highly engaging student development space; and enrollment and advancement suites.
Missouri Baptist University has a vibrant and growing athletic program with a total of 26 men’s and women’s sports. The University’s commitment to academic achievement, character development and athletic excellence has uielded a growing number of All-American athletes. With the recent addition of a new football program, the University is in need of a football practice field and a field house. This new facility will include locker rooms, team meeting rooms and storage space. This new complex will also serve various other teams such as soccer and lacrosse, which currently use off-site locations for practice. The addition of these new on-campus fields and facilities will strengthen current programs and provide the infrastructure for future expansion.
Missouri Baptist University is a great value, offering an excellent Christian liberal arts education at an affordable price. Year after year, MBU tuition remains competitive with its peer institutions. However, many MBU students, who increasingly come from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds, find meeting tuition a challenge. The average debt at graduation for students who rely on education loans to finance college continues to climb. In response to this serious trend, MBU is committed to increasing scholarship endowments, a resource for students who qualify based on either need or merit. This endowment will allow the University to keep tuition increases modest. Affordability is a key to MBU’s continues success in attracting a diverse student body and strengthening retention and graduation rates.
One of the advantages of the MBU experience is the personalized attention students receive. MBU features small class sizes that allow our instructors to bring out the best in each individual student. As a University, we believe this close interaction is a catalyst for students to realize their full potential. In addition to small class sizes, MBU offers personalized attention through student support services. The Academic Success Center serves students by providing tutoring, mentoring and writing assistance. Today, it is common for more than 40 percent of MBU’s entering freshman class to be first generation college students; some of these first generation students have unique needs. As MBU’s enrollment continues to grow, additional resources are needed to expand student support initiatives that help ensure student success.
The need for on-campus housing has never been greater. Setting an all-time record, the University’s total enrollment for the fall of 2014 was 5,352. To accommodate the growth, students will be living off-campus in University-leased apartments as MBU begins Phase III of Spartan Village. The expansion of the popular on-campus housing complex will add living space for 80 students. The design of Spartan Village allows the University to further augment its emphasis on community by providing students with an environment where they can grow intellectually, spiritually and professionally.
MBU’s 20-year priority is to become widely recognized as a model university characterized by the integration of faith and learning. We want to be the university of choice for students seeking an education that incorporates a Christian worldview. Missouri Baptist University has a bold vision for the future and, in order to realize that vision, it will require the financial support of a broad base of alumni, friends, faculty, staff, churches foundations and corporations. Your gift to Missouri Baptist University can take several forms, and in addition to benefiting MBU and its students, it may provide attractive tax and estate planning benefits to you.
Your Financial support will help make this bold vision a reality. As you learn more about the 50th Anniversary Campaign, we ask that you join us now as a partner in this new day of promise for students and Missouri Baptist University.
For more information, please contact:
Senior VP of Institutional Advancement