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This is March 17th, and alot of people will be wearing green in honor of St. Patricks Day, but here at SMSU, it's a good bet that maroon and white will be the colors of the day. Mike Smith has this report on how the campus community will celebrate "Founders Day" at SMSU.
One hundred years ago today, the Missouri legislature gave the go-ahead for the creation of State Normal School Number 4, which would become Southwest Missouri State Teachers College in 1919, Southwest Missouri State College in 1946 and Southwest Missouri State University in 1972. Today at 4 o'clock, Governor Matt Blunt will sign legislation that changes the name of the university to Missouri State University. The signing ceremony will take place in Plaster Student Union Theatre. The name change becomes effective on August 28th. Throughout the day, the university will commemorate the university's 100th anniversary in a variety of way including proclamations, celebrations and the unveiling of a giant birthday card. Among the centennial activities scheduled on campus which are free and open to the public, at 8:30 this morning in front of McDonald Arena, the staff senate will present a centennial tree dedication to commemorate 100 years of staff who have dared to excel. SMS President John Keiser will make a brief statement and coffee and doughnuts will be served. At 11:45 this morning, centennial concert will be performed by Jeremy Chesman on the Jane A. Meyer Carillon next to Meyer Library. At 12:15 in front of Carrington Hall, favorite SMS memories of students, faculty and staff will be revealed as part of the unveiling of a giant birthday card. In addition a granite plaque to commemorate the day will be presented. At 1 o'clock this afternoon, the History Department will sponsor the planting of two centennial catalpa trees outside Siceluff Hall. The young trees are grown from the seeds of existing catalpas, which have been a dominant feature on the east side of the campus for most of the century. Also at 1, a Founders Day birthday party will take place in the lower level of Plaster Student Union. At 2:30 today, a Founders Day ceremony featuring local, state and national SMSU centennial proclamations will take place in Plaster Student Union Theatre. Following the Founders Day ceremony, the dedication of the centennial legacy wall will be held on the east side of the student union. The centennial legacy wall will commemorate eight eras of the university as defined by the terms of its presidents. Between 3 and 3:30 this afternoon, a university-wide photograph will be taken in front of Carrington Hall. SMS officials hope as many as 5000 members of the SMS community will come together to be a part of what SMS President John Keiser calls the photograph of the century.
John Wall is the director of photographic services at SMSU. He says today's Photograph of the Century will replicate a picture taken of the 420 students, staff and faculty of State Normal School Number 4 in 1906.
John Wall says organizers have a pretty good idea how many people can fit in the frame of the photograph because of a similar picture taken in the same location. That photo shows a large crowd assembled for a Summer, 2004 rally to see then-Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards.
The Photograph of the Century will be taken using the latest digital technology. But John Wall says he still enjoys looking at the early panoramic pictures of the people at SMS, especially to find the faces of those who had a little fun with the photographs.
Kevin White will take the Photograph of the Century using that 12.2 mega-pixel camera while standing on a lift elevated to a little over 30 feet above the ground. John Wall will be taking what are known as sectional photographs which along with the big picture will be posted on the SMS website. The sectional photographs will make it easier to identify those who participate in the photo shoot.
John Wall is the director of Photographic Services at SMSU. Wall and his staff are coordinating the Photograph of the Century which will be taken in front of Carrington Hall this afternoon between 3 and 3:30. Everyone associated with SMS is invited to attend. For more information, on SMSU's centennial activities visit calendar.smsu.edu/centennial.