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Sept. 20, 2014
Northwest Missouri State University paid tribute to its ninth president, Dr. Dean Hubbard, and former first lady Aleta Hubbard Saturday morning with a ceremony to mark the renaming of its Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in their honor.
Hubbard led the University from 1984 until his retirement in 2009 and helped place Northwest as a leader in Missouri higher education, in addition to leading the University to national recognition for its “Culture of Quality” initiative, which fostered continuous improvement in all aspects of University operations. During Hubbard’s presidency, Northwest won the Missouri Quality Award four consecutive times – in 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2008 – and is the only educational institution in the state to have done so.
But it was Hubbard’s vision to provide unparalleled learning and research opportunities for Northwest students and faculty in a wide range of disciplines that led to the development of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Recalling that vision Saturday, Hubbard said the University set three goals.
“One was to provide a place where students could be introduced to the latest innovations in science, mainly nanotechnology, working with matter at the sub-atomic, sub-molecular level,” Hubbard said. “The second goal was to provide an opportunity for faculty to do research in these areas and to innovate. The third one was to provide a space where companies could take those innovations and develop products that would improve the human condition. So that’s what we set out to do, and I am very pleased with watching the progress of the center.”
In December 2013, Northwest’s Board of Regents unanimously approved the renaming of the facility to the Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The University chose Saturday, as part of its Family Weekend activities, to make the renaming official. Hubbard’s family and several friends were in attendance as well as a number of current and former faculty and staff members, including members of Hubbard’s cabinet.
“Our family will be forever grateful and honored that you’ve chosen to put our names on this facility,” Hubbard said. “We all bleed green, and Northwest is part of our conversation all the time.”
Hubbard’s presidency also involved making Northwest the first comprehensive electronic campus in the United States in 1987, and he supported the expansion of Northwest’s pioneering alternative fuels program. The alternative fuels program transforms recycled cardboard, paper and agricultural wastes into energy to heat and cool the campus, and it saved the University more than $10 million dollars during Hubbard’s tenure compared to the cost of purchasing natural gas.
Hubbard’s successor and current Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski called Saturday “a momentous day” and acknowledged the many contributions – known and unknown – Dean and Aleta Hubbard provided to Northwest through their leadership and actions.
“Your service, your spirit, your passion, understanding of all that is good with higher education and certainly understand the challenges as well,” Jasinski said. “Dean and Aleta had an undying thirst for making Northwest better – across all fronts – and that truly is the legacy build – something that is carrying on.”
Northwest alumnus Melvin Booth spoke of his friendship with Dr. Hubbard and their shared vision to enhance Northwest’s business programs and international enrollment to compete on a global level. Booth commended Hubbard for his leadership and his focus on doing what was best for students.
“Dr. Hubbard’s commitment to quality is beyond anyone that I’ve ever met in my whole career,” Booth said. “He’s internationally recognized for his work in the field of quality management, for the culture of quality. He had an initiative that really fostered and continued to improve all aspects of the University’s operations.”
The CIE opened in 2009, and today it stands among the top business incubators at universities worldwide. In June, the University Business Incubator (UBI) Index ranked the Northwest CIE at No. 21 globally, and it is one of just three business incubators in the United States to be ranked among the top 25. The CIE also was awarded designation as a Missouri Innovation Center by the Missouri Technology Corporation and has been recognized for its architectural design.
Located on the north edge of the Northwest campus, the 46,679 square-foot CIE is a mixed-use incubator with emphasis on technology-based, start-up companies. It also provides assistance to existing small businesses and encourages development of new small businesses. It includes three lab analysis research areas, a shared scientific instrument room and 9,000 square feet of tenant office space, while the academic wing contains more than 16,000 square feet of highly specialized teaching and research labs and offices.
The facility is positioned within a two-hour driving radius of Kansas City, Des Moines and Omaha to provide companies with access to more than 1.5 million people. At the same time companies located at the CIE enjoy the benefits of a consistently strong work-ethic and business friendly environment in a smaller rural setting.
For more information about the CIE, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/cie/.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
email@example.com | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468