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Northwest Missouri State University


The Joyce and Harvey White International Plaza became part of the campus in 1998.Each Homecoming, international students join in the Flag-raising ceremony to honor all the students who travel across oceans and borders to attend Northwest.Joyce and Harvey White are honored by President Dean Hubbard at the International Plaza dedication ceremony in 1998.The "Friends Wall & World Clock" stands next to the Boulevard of Nations. The granite wall displays the names of alumni and friends who donated to the International Plaza project.The plaza, modeled after the one outside the United Nations in New York City, is a symbol of Northwest's commitment to international understanding and cooperation.During the annual Flag Raising Ceremony held on Walk-Out Day, members of Northwest's international community individually raise their country's flag in accordance with United Nations protocol.The International Plaza, which consists of the Friends of the Wall & World Clock and the Boulevard of Nations, displays 54 flag and 5 clocks. The Boulevard of Nations runs approximately 300-feet north from West Fourth Street to the center of campus, where a large flower and circular seating area is located.The International Plaza was completed entirely through $400,000 in donations, with the most generous donation from Joyce and Harvey White, a couple with long-standing ties to Northwest.Harvey White attended Northwest after graduating from Horace Mann High School, and his wife, Joyce, graduated from Northwest with a degree in business in 1951.  Harvey and Joyce (left) are pictured with President Dean Hubbard and his wife, Aleta.

International Plaza

The Joyce and Harvey White International Plaza was constructed in 1998 as a memorial to Northwest's global enrollment. The Plaza, which is a symbol of good will and peace, recognizes the various countries of currently enrolled students. The International Plaza boasts the flags of 54 nations, and also displays 5 clocks showing the time from Maryville to Istanbul.

Joyce White (formerly Smith) was born in Maryville and attended kindergarten at Northwest in the southwest 1st floor of the Administration Building. A graduate of Maryville High School, Joyce attended Northwest Missouri State University, completing a B.S. in Business Education and Spanish.

At Northwest Joyce made many friends that would last a lifetime, including her best friend, international student Mary "Maria" de Ardeles Stein of Argentina. Through her friendship with Maria and the support of the Rotary International chapter in Maria's hometown of Tucuman, located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, Joyce studied Spanish for a year in Argentina.

Joyce's passion for promoting diversity and helping international students acclimate to life in the United States was the impetus for her establishing an organization in the 1960s called the "Wives of the World." As she explains, in those days most foreign students at institutions across America were men, and their wives often found isolated in campus housing, sometimes with small children and with little or no knowledge of the English language. Wives of the World worked to ensure these women were supported and able to interact successfully in their new community by providing free English language instruction and other services.

Joyce was a teacher both at Maryville High School and at Northwest. During her years at Northwest, she taught literature under the chairmanship of Dr. Joseph Dreps. Joyce would later tell Northwest President Dr. Robert Foster that these were the happiest years of her life!

Although the Whites life experiences have lead them far away from Missouri, Northwest nevertheless remains dear to both their hearts. To quote former Bearcat Coach Ryland Milner, "Once a Bearcat, Always a Bearcat," and the Whites have found this to be true, actively supporting Northwest students through scholarship opportunities. Joyce also served two terms on the Northwest Foundation Board during some of the more formative years leading to the Campaign for Northwest that raised more than 40 million dollars for the institution.