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Peyton Manning comes to Pittsburg for PSU speaker series

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg State University announces two-time super bowl champion Peyton Manning as the next speaker in its “H. Lee Scott Speaker Series: An Examination of American Life.” Manning will come to campus on August 30. Tickets go on sale July 27.

The event, “A Conversation with Peyton Manning” is planned for 6:15 p.m. in the Linda & Lee Scott Performance Hall in the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts.  

“It’s amazing to think about the caliber of individuals this series has brought to our campus, including President Bill Clinton, Republican presidential nominee Senator Mitt Romney, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,” said Vice President for University Advancement Kathleen Flannery. “We’re thrilled to add Peyton Manning, who is not only a legendary quarterback, but an inspiring leader in philanthropy, to that list.”

The speaker series was created in 2015 as a result of a $2.079 million gift made by former Walmart CEO Lee Scott and his wife, Linda, both PSU alumni, with a mission to deepen the level of discourse, enrich the university experience, and elevate the university’s reputation by examining American life from the perspective of nationally prominent leaders and innovators.

“We hope that the exposure to these successful leaders will enhance the educational experiences for students and inspire them to someday be invited to speak about leadership on this same stage,” Lee Scott said in making the gift.

Tickets can be found online at www.pittstate.edu/office/ticket-office/ and in person at the PSU Ticket Office in the Weede for $30.

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University of Missouri tuition to increase in the fall

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – Tuition will rise in the fall at all four campuses for the University of Missouri, with increases ranging from 2% to 5%. Curators on Wednesday approved the increases.

For undergraduates, the Columbia campus will see an increase of 5%. At UMKC, the increase is 4.1%. The increase will be 3.5% at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla. The increase at the University of Missouri-St. Louis will be 2%. Graduate student tuition will rise by 5% in Columbia, 4% at UMKC and 2% at UMSL.

Missouri S&T grad students will not see an increase.

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PSU rescinds mask mandate on campus

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg State University announced Wednesday it will no longer require masks on campus.

The change comes in accordance with new CDC guidance. It states fully vaccinated people do not need to wear mask indoors or outdoors unless they are in a large gathering.  People who are partially vaccinated or unvaccinated are still encouraged to wear face masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

PSU enacted the campus-wide mask mandate in June ahead of the Fall 2020 semester. It’s remained in place since.

(Previous Story: Masks will be required on the campus of Pitt State starting Monday)

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MSSU graduates walk for first time since pandemic began

JOPLIN, Mo. – Missouri Southern State University hosted it’s 76th commencement ceremony Saturday. Because of the pandemic, it still wasn’t a ‘traditional’ graduation, but students still got to walk in a different way. The university hosted a walk-through ceremony, with special video presentations and well wishes from the faculty and staff displayed along the way.

“It was great, as I have lots of friends that graduated in December,” MSSU Graduate Colton Smith. “Even last Spring that they didn’t even get the chance to have a graduation. So it’s nice to have it a little personable and get to see some of my professors at an actual graduation.”

A professional photographer was also on hand to record the moment as students were awarded their degrees.

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Kansas State changing mask policy, cites CDC guidance

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) – Kansas State University is altering its mask policy for outdoor settings, citing updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

WIBW-TV reports that starting May 17, those who are fully vaccinated can participate in campus outdoor activities and recreation without a mask, except in crowded settings and venues. Those exceptions may include live performances, parades and sporting events.

The university says masks will still be required in all indoor spaces on university property.

The CDC announced the new guidance in late April, saying fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to cover their faces anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers.

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MSSU’s ‘Southern Showcase, Onstage!’ to highlight Broadway classics

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Missouri Southern State University music and theatre departments will present some of the best from Broadway in its “Southern Showcase, Onstage!” show. The event will be held 7:30 p.m. from April 8 – April 10 at the Bud Walton Black Box Theatre.

“It’s a mix of songs from classic to contemporary, choral numbers to solo pieces,” said Erick Wolfe, chair of the Theatre Department who serves as stage director and emcee for the production.

Act I will include numbers from shows such as “Kiss Me, Kate,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” “West Side Story,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Little Women” and “Finian’s Rainbow.” Performances from Act II will highlight songs from “Chicago,” “Grease,” “Jagged Little Pill,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Hair,” “Rent” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Dr. David Sharlow, interim chair of the Music Department, serves as musical director, while graduate assistant Ashley Coffer serves as choreographer. Tickets are $15 and are available for in-person attendance and streaming. They can be bought online at www.showtix4u.com/events/MOSOTheatre.

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New PSU program makes it easier for career professionals to teach

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Pittsburg State University is going online with its new degree option.

It’s an Associate of Applied Science in Career and Technical Education (CTE) Degree. It’s for people who’d like to teach in their current career field at a high school or community college.

“And so how do we grow teachers across the state and even across the nation in the current technical area?” said founding director of the Kansas Center for Career & Technical Education (KCCTE) Greg Belcher. “We are seeing a big demand for CTE teachers and so we are just helping to meet that demand.”

“I always wanted to be a teacher, and I always wanted to have a college degree,” said CTE degree student Melissa Caudill.  “And working with PSU in this program is going to help me achieve that.”

The new program officially starts in the fall semester.

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Missouri State hosts annual Spring Blood Drive

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Missouri State University and the American Red Cross will hold its annual Spring Blood Drive March 23, 24 & 25 at the Foster Rec Center (945 E. Madison) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you book your appointment using the sponsor code “MSU,” you can get a Red Cross T-shirt. Appointments can be booked at redcrossblood.org, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App or call 1-800-REDCROSS.

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University of Kansas to stop requiring entrance exams

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) – The University of Kansas is doing away with the requirement that incoming freshmen take a standardized test – like the ACT or SAT – to be admitted.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that new standards approved this past week by the Kansas Board of Regents are scheduled to be in place for the freshman class that begins in the spring 2022 semester.

The changes allow any student with a 3.25 high school GPA to be admitted without taking the ACT or SAT.

Under the old rules, freshmen had been required to take either the ACT or SAT, or else seek relief from a special review panel that could waive the requirement.

The changes also mean that prospective students who take the ACT will only need to score a 21 and have at least a 2.0 GPA to be guaranteed admittance. The current policy requires at least a 3.25 GPA for students who score between 21 and 23 on the ACT. Students who score 24 or higher can be admitted with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Many schools have dropped standardized testing requirements after the pandemic made it difficult for students to take the exams.

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PSU president reflects on adapting to the pandemic

PITTSBURG, Kan. – For the past year, all of us have been navigating new territory. The pandemic has thrown wrenches into pretty much every well-laid plan.

It was a unique challenge at universities like Pitt State. On March 13, 2020, students were sent home for spring break and didn’t return for the rest of the semester due to shelter-in-place orders. A year later, the university has students back on campus.

University president Steve Scott says it was never easy, and teamwork helped university leadership figure out how to tackle issues caused by the pandemic.

“The decisions we were making and the challenges that would lie ahead,” said Scott. “I’m not sure I could have gotten out of bed everyday and faced that because every decision was followed by another decision. Each decision seemed like it was more complicated not less complicated. But with all the assistants, all the partnerships, everybody doing their job, all in all we had a pretty successful year.”

This year spring break was moved to the end of the semester so students are not traveling and then returning to campus. That means coursework will end on May 7,  a week earlier than usual.