Elected as Missouri’s 46th Governor in 1965, Warren Hearnes kept a campaign promise of supporting higher education throughout the State. Just months into his office he signed legislation that authorized Joplin Junior College to become a four-year institution and renaming it Missouri Southern State College. This action precipitated the growth of the college, and continued the synergy for the higher learning environment in southwest Missouri, which has led to today’s Missouri Southern State University.
The procedure for Memorial Highway naming is an application process administered by MoDOT. Permission from the family of the honoree and a petition of support from the citizens of the community where the honor would be bestowed are both necessary for this application process. The City has received a letter of support for the project from the late-governor’s widow and is in the process of collecting the citizen signatures.
If you are interested in signing the petition it will be available during normal business hours in the Joplin City Hall, 1st floor information desk. Once the 100 signatures are collected, the full application will be forwarded to MoDOT for their consideration.