The efactory at Missouri State University has another supporter in former Missouri lawmaker Jay Wasson.
He has made a naming-level gift to support the efactory’s expansion project.
The Jay Wasson Idea Loft
The physical space made possible by Wasson’s gift has been named the Jay Wasson Idea Loft. Located on the recently renovated third floor of the Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center, the university dedicated it June 8.
The previously vacant space underwent major renovation work during the last 18 months. It has been transformed into a modern training and flexible use space.
The Jay Wasson Idea Loft has more than 4,000 square feet of training space, including one large room and three breakout rooms. A new staircase and elevator were also added to allow for access from the center’s first and second floors.
This additional space can host a mix of in-person, hybrid and virtual training programs for business owners and leaders throughout the region. It will also be available for use by members of the efactory’s corporate partner program and available to rent to community members.
Brent Dunn, Missouri State University Foundation executive director, said the efactory has expanded its physical footprint inside the center thanks to Wasson’s contribution.
“The Jay Wasson Idea Loft allows for increased training opportunities and activities focused on fostering innovation, advancing entrepreneurship and growing businesses in southwest Missouri,” Dunn added.
Born in Springfield, Missouri, Wasson has dedicated his life to public service in the Ozarks. Wasson, who grew up in Nixa, Missouri, graduated from Nixa Public High School prior to attending Drury University.
His first foray into public service came in 1997 when he ran for Nixa mayor. He won and served as mayor until 2002.
Wasson went on to represent southwest Missouri at the statewide level, winning the first of four consecutive terms to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2002. He represented Missouri 141st District in the House of Representatives until 2010.
After four terms in the House of Representatives, Wasson went on to serve in the Missouri Senate. He served as a Missouri senator representing the state’s 20th District from 2010 through 2018.
Wasson has been deeply engaged in volunteer leadership roles throughout the region, including service on MSU’s Board of Governors. He received the Government Excellence Award from MSU in 2018 for his service to the state of Missouri.