MSU-WP officials to break ground on new ASCEND program building Nov. 7

Officials with Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP) and the Missouri State University Foundation will break ground on the new Student Center for Autism and Neurodiversity Nov. 7 near Gohn Hall.
The ceremony will begin at 3:00 p.m. inside Gohn Hall where officials will thank Missouri State legislators who were instrumental in securing state funding for the project. Legislators appropriated and Gov. Mike Parson approved $7.5 million for the facility as part of the FY2023 budget.
Officials also will announce two gifts to the university as part of the project. The first is a transformational gift to name the Autism Support Can Empower New Directions (ASCEND) Program. The program is designed to help autistic students transition into college and toward a life of personal success and independence.
The second is a major gift to fund a sensory garden adjacent to the center. ASCEND Program Director Mikala King said the garden will be a serene place for students to use. It will include beautiful landscapes, a water feature and areas for them to gather or work.
For more information about the Nov. 7 event, please contact Rachel Peterson, director of development and annual giving, at 417-255-7240 or email
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