Missouri State University

Missouri State University

Missouri State University

Springfield, MO


The Missouri State University Campus Recreation department is a community dedicated to providing opportunities for recreation and wellness that develop healthy and engaged citizens.


The FOSTER RECREATION CENTER (FRC) opened on the Missouri State University campus in July 2012 consolidating student recreation in one central campus location. The project was initiated in 2006 by student leaders, designed with student input, and funded with a dedicated student fee and private contributions. The facility’s unique design has already received numerous architectural awards including the NIRSA Outstanding Sports Facility Award and Recreation Management’s Innovative Architecture and Design Award, and was featured in a New York Times article about campus pools. The FRC is also Silver LEED certified and is recognized for accessibility and sustainability.

The 100,000 square foot facility features basketball/volleyball courts, a MAC (multi-activity court), a weight-fitness area, group exercise rooms, a jogging track, a climbing/bouldering wall, an indoor fitness/activity pool with an outdoor patio, a wellness suite featuring massage therapy, an outdoor bouldering area, administrative space and more.

Unique features include:

  • An outdoor pass through the center of the facility enables people to experience the FRC without entering and connects the student union and the athletic arena and performing arts center
  • Hydronic snow melt system (heated sidewalk) leading to the entrance
  • LED lighting in in the sidewalk
  • Ceiling mounted, retractable volleyball nets
  • Aquatic Center includes:
  • Mosaic bear head (MSU mascot)
  • Zip line
  • Underwater seating areas with hydrotherapy jets
  • Current river for exercising and relaxation

Additionally, Campus Recreation manages the outdoor BETTY & BOBBY ALLISON RECREATION FIELDS. The fields are available for intramural sports, club sports, and open play and feature three sand volleyball courts and two artificial turf flag football/soccer fields. Through a generous donation, the fields were recently refurbished with new scoreboards, digital signs, and eye-catching signage identifying the fields. The artificial turf fields are scheduled to be replaced in Summer 2017.


Campus Recreation offers unique variations on traditional recreation programs focusing on collaboration, diversity, cultural competence, and inclusion. Program areas include aquatics, fitness & wellness, outdoor adventures, and recreational sports encompassing intramurals and club sports.

The Aquatic Center, besides having a unique design, features intro to paddle boarding and yoga paddle boarding. Log rolling has been added as a cooperative program with Outdoor Adventures utilizing a lumberjack theme to introduce students to the sport and then culminating with a tournament. Swim lesson, water aerobics, pool parties, and CPR, First Aid, and lifeguard certification classes round out the Aquatic Center program offerings.

Fitness & Wellness programs encompass a wide variety of health and wellness topics. From BearFit (group exercise classes) to Personal Training, and Massage Therapy, there is something for everyone. Specialty classes such as Weightlifting 101 (a how-to guide to gym confidence), Road Warriors (indoor cycling to train for the MS150 ride), and Finals Power Sessions (relaxation, restorative Yoga, chair massage, and dietetics) provide additional opportunities to learn new skills.

Enjoy the outdoors? Outdoor Adventures offers guided trips both locally and throughout the United States. Besides an awareness and appreciation of nature, participants will learn lifetime skills, boost their self-confidence, and relieve stress.  For those who prefer to explore on their own, rental equipment is available for a nominal fee. Students also enjoy learning to climb at the Foster Recreation Center on the indoor 24’ climbing/bouldering wall or the outdoor climbing boulder. Stumped or Pumped, an annual climbing event, brings in participants from Missouri as well as neighboring states with participation growing every year.

Recreational Sports at Missouri State include both Intramural and Club Sports. Intramural sports offer the traditional sports like flag football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and many others and work closely with fraternities and sororities to host fundraising events such as bubble soccer and wheelchair basketball. Intramural sports also just hosted the first MOIRSA (Missouri NIRSA) Basketball Official’s Workshop. Along with intramurals, the courts and outdoor fields are always crowded with students during open play.

All Campus Recreation programs are promoted by our in-house marketing staff which includes student graphic design artists and videographers supervised by the Marketing Graduate Assistant. They coordinate many different forums to “get the word out” about programs.


Missouri State University has a Public Affairs Mission focusing on three pillars: Ethical Leadership, Cultural Engagement, and Community Engagement. Campus Recreation strives to connect to the three pillars in a variety of ways.

  • Each semester Student Development Workshops featuring both current topics (Title IX and Sexual Assault) and job seeking skills (Resume Building and Financial Aid) are available for all student employees.
  • The FOSTER Awards are presented annually for outstanding student employee achievements and include catchy names such the Friendly Foster, the Funky Foster, the Fearless Foster, and the Forever Fabulous Foster providing recognition for student employees who go above and beyond.
  • Group fitness offers classes from all over the world including AfroBeat and the Cultural Movement Series celebrating Latinx Heritage month.
  • Outdoor Adventures trips attract many international students and provide opportunities for students from many different cultures to share their experiences and engage in conversation with others from around the world.
  • Collaborative programs with both academic and non-academic departments as well as non-profit community partners such as water aerobics for Champion Athletes of the Ozarks and ARC of the Ozarks are a part of the Campus Recreation culture.
  • The Foster Recreation Center is home to the Wise & Well Health and Benefit Fair, a campus-wide event focusing on the health and wellness of students, staff, and faculty. This annual event is a collaboration of Campus Recreation, Taylor Health and Wellness Center and Human Resources.
  • The FRC Haunted Trail is an annual event hosted by the Campus Rec staff and provides a night of “scares” to students for Halloween. The darkened trail runs through the FRC with themed rooms and ends outdoors with a patio party complete with a DJ, a fire pit to roast marshmallows for s’more’s, and hot chocolate.
  • With the opening of the Foster Recreation Center, the Campus Rec staff size grew almost overnight — 2012:  3 full-time, 3 graduate assistants, and 40 students. 2016:  21 full-time, 7 graduate students, and 180 students.
  • The Foster Recreation Center has over 400,000 guests annually.


Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

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