Chances are if you go to Missouri State you know who our University President is, Clif Smart. He's probably the coolest University President known to man, and anyone who has ever seen his twitter knows that. Other than being the President of a state university, Prez Smart has some pretty cool accolades on his resume.
I recently got the chance to sit down with him at dinner all thanks to an incredible on-campus organization, the Missouri State Student Alumni Association. I thought everyone should know just exactly how cool our president actually is.
For starters, Mr. Smart served in the US Army from 1986 to 1990. He's licensed to practice law in both Missouri and Arkansas and is a Missouri Super Lawyer. President Smart is listed as one of the best lawyers in America and is a member of the Springfield Metropolitan, Missouri, and Arkansas Bar association. Before Clif rocked the presidency, he was a shareholder and vice president of Strong Law Firm from 1992 to 2007.
Mr. Smart then served as general counsel for Missouri State from 2007 to 2011, then served as interim president from 2011 to 2012. The board liked him so much, they begged him to stay and Clif became president; he's been dutifully serving Missouri State since 2012.
Under his presidency, the university has increased in enrollment every year, increased student retention and graduation rates, significantly upgraded campus facilities (I'm looking at you, Glass Hall), and maintained affordability at the university by raising tuition by less than the amount of inflation. Cheers to affordability, am I right?
Not to mention, Mr. Smart is actively involved in the Springfield community. Cliff serves as a chair on the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, CoxHealth, Arc of the Ozarks, Springfield Innovations, Inc., Isabel's House, and First Baptist Church, among others.
Outside of being incredibly intelligent, giving, and an overall great person, Clif cares about students. The president's breakfast is an incredible event in which Clif serves breakfast during finals. Cliff fields tweets daily, from answering questions about snow days to arranging pictures with students. Having dinner with him was an incredible experience and it was obvious to me how much Clif cares about us, about his family, and about Missouri State. Next time you see him around campus, thank him for being the coolest dad this side of the Mississippi.