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Missouri Governor’s Visit Includes Campus Tours, Signing of New Book

By Jeff Murphy, April 9, 2024


Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, right, recently visited with active duty military students and veterans at the Military and Veterans Success Center during a visit to the University of Central Missouri.

WARRENSBURG, MO – Missouri Gov. Mike Parson had an opportunity to learn more about progress being made at the University of Central Missouri while also discussing a new book, “No Turnin’ Back - G57,” during a visit to campus on Monday, April 8.

After flying into Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport, the governor began his afternoon visit to this area by meeting briefly with UCM aviation students and faculty before heading to Whiteman Air Force Base by car to celebrate the Month of the Military Child. This was an opportunity show his appreciation for the dedication and commitment of the families of more than 12,000 Missouri children who face unique challenges and experiences due to their parents’ roles in the military.

Following his visit to Whiteman AFB, the governor and his staff headed back to Warrensburg and UCM. They began their campus tour outside the W.C. Morris Science Building (WCM) guided by Roger Best, UCM president, and David Pearce, executive director for governmental relations, who briefed him on improvements that have taken place at WCM since 2015. That same year, when Parson was a state Senator, he stood outside the facility and announced a major capital funding bill that led to significant renovations to WCM. The governor was also briefed by Best on improvements that are underway at the nearby Humphreys Building. Pending legislative action later this spring, UCM could receive an additional $9.9 million to help fund major renovations at Humphreys. This would bring Missouri’s contribution to nearly $40 million in total funds to help modernize the building and address deferred maintenance needs.

The next stop was on the third floor of WCM where the governor was greeted by Dr. Dana Tucker, associate professor of biology – cell biology, and Adam Dye, a junior biology major and undergraduate research assistant. They spoke about the “Glow Worms Research Project” in which they are involved. After learning more about their research, the tour moved on to the lower level of the Elliott Student Union where the governor visited the Military and Veterans Success Center. While Parson exchanged stories with active duty military members and veterans about his service in the U.S. Army, Courtney Swoboda, director of Military and Veteran Services, spoke about  how the center serves its military students and their families, and also highlighted the university’s recent third-place national ranking as a 2024-2025 Military Friendly® School and as a Military Spouse Friendly School.

The governor finished his visit to UCM with a book signing at the Student Advising Center, where he posed for photos with staff, and signed copies of his commemorative biography, “No Turnin’ Back – G57.”  This was one of a series of book signing events that have taken place across the state since a kick-off event in Marceline, Missouri on Feb. 26.

The 300-page book focuses on Parson’s journey from humble beginnings growing up in the small, rural Missouri community of Wheatland, to become a county sheriff, a legislator, and to eventually hold the highest office in the state.

In announcing the book earlier this year, Gov. Parson said, “Like so many Missouri families, Teresa and I truly lived our American Dream, one of faith, family, and patriotic service. Life has pulled us in many different directions, but readers will find everything that led us here, to the opportunity of a lifetime to serve as the Governor and First Lady of the State of Missouri.”

The book is co-authored by Dr. Jim Jones. Net earnings from its sale go to the Moving Missouri Forward Foundation, a nonprofit that supports jobs for America’s Graduates-Missouri, children with special needs, and other programs focused on the state’s children.

In addition to being involved in tours with the governor, members of the UCM Board of Governors and the President’s Council were among those, including faculty, staff and students, who attended the book signing. Individuals who want to learn more are encouraged to visit the “No Turnin’ Back – G57” website.


Missouri Gov. Mike Parson speaks with Dr. Dana Tucker, right, associate professor of biology – cell biology, and Adam Dye, a junior biology major and undergraduate research assistant, during a visit to W.C. Morris Science Building at UCM.



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