The Library at the University of Central Missouri is named after the longest serving Missouri Secretary of State James C. Kirkpatrick. Mr. Kirkpatrick began his first term as Secretary of State on January 11, 1965 and remained in office for two full decades. As Secretary, Mr. Kirkpatrick ushered in such reforms as statewide voter registration and supervised the most complete overhaul of Missouri’s election code in the 20th Century.
Born in Braymer, Missouri, Mr. Kirkpatrick obtained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Missouri followed by attending the University of Missouri, School of Journalism. He spent the first part of his career in the news business, first as a newspaperman with the Warrensburg Daily Star Journal where he was promoted to editor. Next he served as editor of Jefferson City’s News and Tribune as well as publishing both the Windsor Review and the Lamar Daily Democrat. The University of Central Missouri recognized his service awarding him an honorary doctorate in 1979.
Serving the University of Central Missouri for more than half a century, Mr. Kirkpatrick was a member of UCM’s Board of Governors for 12 years, 10 of these years as President. He continued to be active at UCM until his passing in 1997. The James C. Kirkpatrick Library houses a full-sized replica of his office.
(Taken in part from: Central Missouri State. James C. Kirkpatrick Library. Dedication Program. March 24, 1999.)