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City of Springfield News Releases (General)

Posted on: February 10, 2020

Dr. Robert Spence receives key to the City


Mayor Ken McClure presented a key to the City to Dr. Robert Spence, president emeritus of Evangel University, at a ceremony and reception Monday, Feb. 10.

“Dr. Spence has served and continues to serve as a goodwill ambassador for our community, not only with his 40 years of service to Evangel, but with his many more years of service to the community at large,” Mayor McClure said. 

Dr. Spence retired from Evangel in 2014 after 40 years of service to the university. During his tenure at Evangel, Dr. Spence guided the transformation from a college campus of mostly World War II-era barracks to a state-of-the-art university. The institution doubled its enrollment, gained university status, completed 12 major building projects and expanded its academic offerings to include more than 100 undergraduate degree programs and 10 master’s programs.

During his final three years at Evangel, Dr. Spence participated in the work leading to the approval of the consolidation of Evangel University, Central Bible College and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

Dr. Spence has held positions on numerous boards and committees throughout Springfield, serving as chairman for the boards of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, City Utilities and Springfield-Branson National Airport. He also served as president of the board of directors for CoxHealth and the Downtown Rotary Club. After 35 years on the Cox Board, he now serves on the Cox Emeritus Board.

In 2004, Dr. Spence received the Springfieldian Award, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s most acclaimed honor, recognizing outstanding community service and commitment to Springfield. Also in 2004, Spence was the recipient of the Missourian Award, which acknowledges the most accomplished and recognized citizens of Missouri.

Dr. Spence was named to the inaugural class of the Springfield Business Journal’s Men of the Year in 2011, solidifying his position as one of 20 men recognized for giving to the community in time or talent or with financial support beyond the reaches of their professional roles. More than 150 men were nominated for this honor in 2011.

In July 2012, Dr. Spence received the Springfield Business Journal’s Lifetime Achievement in Business Award, recognizing his influence and many contributions within the economic and civic arenas of Springfield.

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For more information, contact: Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, 417-864-1009 (office) | 417-380-3352 (cell),

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