Joplin resident Barry Williamson (BS ’74, MS ’77) was so eager to get a Pitt State license plate that he rose early on the day the applications became available and drove to Pittsburg to wait for the PSU alumni offices to open.

“Barbara (his wife, BS ‘75) and I sat up the night before thinking of what we wanted to have put on the plates,” Williamson said. They settled on “IM4PSU” and “GO PSU.”

Barry and Barbara Williamson

Last summer, after a longer than expected wait, the Williamsons and PSU alumni across Missouri were finally able to pick up and install their new license plates and these proud Pittsburg State alumni couldn’t be happier.

For a time, it looked as if PSU alumni living in Missouri were not going to be able to get the plates. After an almost two-year struggle to get the plates approved and applications and fees collected, the whole program ran into a political mess.

When Show-Me-State lawmakers learned that the University of Kansas also was working through the application process, they put their collective foot down, blocking license plates for universities from other states.

“We were really disheartened when we got the letter (informing us that the PSU plates wouldn’t be issued,” Barbara Williamson said.

The legislation clearly targeted KU, making Pittsburg State and the University of Arkansas, which already had specialty plates in Missouri, unintentional victims. Over the ensuing months, the rhetoric cooled and Missouri officials eased the restrictions enough to allow exceptions for universities that had already been approved for plates. Translation: PSU and Arkansas.

For more information, contact the PSU Office of Alumni and Constituent Relations, 620-235-4758 or visit