Jan. 17, 2020

By Andrea Mostyn

Glass Hall Re-opening with many city officials and university leaders in attendance. Photos by Kevin White/Missouri State

Caption: David D. Glass at the re-opening of Glass Hall in October 2017.

The Missouri State University family mourns the death of alumnus, donor and friend David D. Glass, who has passed away. 

“David Glass was the kind of leader I aspire to be – gentle, humble, generous and kind,” said Missouri State President Clif Smart. “The moment I met him eight years ago, he treated me like a long-lost friend. He loved the university and attributed much of his success to the education he received here. We will all miss him, and we offer our deepest sympathies to Mr. Glass’s family. His legacy will forever be a part of Missouri State University.” 

Glass earned a bachelor’s degree in business accounting from Missouri State in 1960. He made lead gifts that funded the construction of Glass Hall, a $14.2 million project that was dedicated in October 1987 on the Missouri State campus. More than 30 years later, Glass made a final gift to MSU’s Onward, Upward campaign that finished renovations to the building. 

His mission to give back to the university was on full display when he spoke at It’s On!, the campaign launch event in October 2019. 

“I am eternally grateful for what I got here, what I received here, and we need to make sure that same opportunity is available to everyone that wants to take advantage of it,” Glass said then. “So thank you all for your support and what you are doing. And let’s make this campaign great and go Bears!” 

Glass was one of the most successful alumni to graduate from Missouri State’s College of Business, as he went on to serve as the president and CEO of Walmart (1998-2000) and owner of the Kansas City Royals (2000-2019).  

He received several awards and launched significant programs for the university in the past 35 years: 

  • Named university’s Outstanding Alumni. 
  • Received MSU Foundation Founders Medallion. 
  • Established David D. Glass Distinguished Leadership Chair, an endowed faculty position. 
  • Started the David D. Glass Lecture Series, helping MSU bring world-class speakers to campus. 
  • Received the Bronze Bear Award in recognition of extraordinary support. 

Thanks in part to Glass’s support, the College of Business is one of the country’s top business schools. Enrollment in the college grew nearly 70 percent since Glass Hall opened in 1987. 

“David Glass is the perfect example of a Citizen Bear,” said Brent Dunn, executive director of the Missouri State University Foundation. “He believed in his alma mater. And when he became a successful businessman, he gave back to the university, with his time, talents and gifts. We’ll always remember his friendship and dedication.”