CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 4, 2007 — Arts lovers will be able to extend their stay for events at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus thanks to the new John and Betty Glenn Convocation Center.
The Center, located on the west side of the Cultural Arts Center, provides a venue for pre-and post-concert receptions, as well as dinners, meetings and conferences.
“Many performing arts facilities don’t have a place for pre- and post-events,” said Bob Cerchio, assistant director of the School of Visual and Performing Arts.
Until now, the University did not have a designated facility for events before and after performances. The Southeast Missouri Regional Museum and the University Center often were used for such purposes because of their proximity to Academic Hall Auditorium, where many concerts were held. The atrium of Robert A. Dempster Hall also was used for events of this type.
“Having the John and Betty Glenn Convocation Center adjacent to the performance venues is really going to be wonderful,” said Dr. Gary Miller, director of the School of Visual and Performing Arts. “It will be easily accessible.”
“We are very fortunate” to have a Convocation Center, Cerchio said. “Its greatest strength is the flexibility is gives us to support performances with other types of gatherings.”
The John and Betty Glenn Convocation Center also will be the site for workshops and discussion sessions with featured artists, he said.
“Its use will be limited only by the imagination of those who want to use it,” Cerchio said.
The John and Betty Glenn Convocation Center is located on the west side of the River Campus complex. Its exterior entrance and signage face north toward Morgan Oak Street and its distinctive curved red brick wall is on the west side of the building, facing Fountain Street. It also has an interior entrance and lobby area adjoining the main lobby of the River Campus Cultural Arts Center.
The John and Betty Glenn Convocation Center, which has its own small parking lot immediately west of the facility, shares an inside corridor and restroom facilities with the adjacent Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall. It is a 2,400-plus-square-foot facility fully equipped with a catering kitchen and two dining rooms that can be configured for separate events. A technology package and a screen are available for presentations. The north dining room is 1,935 square feet and seats 144 at round tables. The more intimate south dining area is 500 square feet and will seat 24 at round tables. The south dining facility will also be used as a private dining area for performing artists.
The Convocation Center is named for John and Betty Glenn, both alumni of Southeast Missouri State University and long-time generous contributors to the University.
Mr. Glenn was named a “Friend of the University” in 1995 for his generous financial contributions to University projects such as seven endowed scholarships and his support for the John and Betty Glenn Auditorium located in Robert A. Dempster Hall. He was also a 1986 recipient of the Alumni Merit Award and was named to the President’s Council in 1989. Mr. Glenn has served as a member of the Foundation Board of Directors since 2002 and was named an emeritus member in 2005.
A native of Puxico, Mo., Mr. Glenn attended Southeast Missouri State University and received a bachelor of science degree in marketing. He did post-graduate work at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and California State University at Hayward. His generosity has impacted not only his college alma mater but also his hometown and his current home area. He has contributed to the support of the Puxico Public Library as well as to a senior citizens’ group, low-cost housing, to the United Methodist Church of Puxico, and to Puxico High School.
Mr. Glenn’s business, the John Glenn Adjustors and Administrators Corporation, handles claims work for many major transportation companies throughout California as well as for the Golden Gate Bridge. He was elected to the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District Board of Directors in 1974 and subsequently reelected in 1978, 1982, 1986 and 1990. He also has been elected president and vice president of that organization and has served as chairman of all of its standing committees and as chairman of all of its special committees. Mr. Glenn served for many years on the Board of Directors of the American Public Transit Association, which is the largest organization of its kind in the world. It is made up of mass transit agencies in the United States, Canada, and Europe, as well as many major corporations. In 1984, Mr. Glenn became one of the organizers of the Civic Bank of Commerce of Oakland, Pleasant Hill, San Leandro and Fremont in California, a bank with assets exceeding $250 million. Mr. Glenn has been chairman of the bank’s audit committee in addition to having served on its board of directors. Additionally, he has been active as president of the East Bay Adjusters Association and the California Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters. He is also a partner in Glen Cove Marina on the Carquinez Straits as well as in other real estate interests in California and in other parts of the country.
Mrs. Glenn, the former Betty Berry of St. Louis, Mo., attended Southeast Missouri State University where she met Mr. Glenn. Mrs. Glenn is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and is listed in Who’s Who in Insurance. The couple was married in 1951. Mrs. Glenn previously served as the vice president of John Glenn Adjusters and Administrators.
Mr. and Mrs. Glenn are residents of Pebble Beach, Calif, and have three children who have been active in the work of Glenn Corporation: John, Sharon E. (Glenn) Hayward, and Karen Ann Glenn-Mills.