Daring to Excel


The First 100 Years of Southwest Missouri State University
Donald D. Landon
978-0-9748190-1-3 (cloth)
January 2004


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More than a centennial celebration of Missouri’s second-largest public university, Daring to Excel charts the history of Missouri State University through a tumultuous century of wars and peace, economic booms and busts, and the many cultural, political, technological, and media revolutions that have impacted the Ozarks, Missouri, and the nation as a whole. Some of the book’s subjects belong to the university uniquely: its stories of influential teachers and alumni, its triumphs and challenges in pedagogy, varsity sports, public entertainments, and in community relations generally.
In the research and writing of so expansive a history, Landon has relied on numerous essayist-contributors, including Robert H. Bradley, Robert Flanders, Albert R. Gordon, John H. Keiser, Arthur Mallory, Andrea Mostyn, Jon Moran, Don Payton, Mark Stillwell, Tina Stillwell, and Tom Strong.

Donald D. Landon is professor emeritus and former head of the Sociology Department at Missouri State University, where he served for twenty-eight years. His book publications include Country Lawyers: The Impact of Context on Professional Practice.

“It’s been said that all history is local history, and Daring to Excel gives the proof. Missouri State alumni will have an abiding interest in this entertaining, informative, and handsomely illustrated publication. But, given the university’s regional impact and the numerous national headlines it has generated over the years, Landon’s book deserves a wider readership. No one can be considered a serious student of the Ozarks—or, for that matter, of public education in the American Midwest—without having Daring to Excel on his or her bookshelf.”
—George H. Jensen, author of Some of the Words Are Theirs

Distributed for Missouri State University / Moon City Press.