Dr. Lacey initiated “A Time of New Beginnings” upon his inauguration as President of MBC 20 years ago. Dr Lacey saw an immediate need for a place of student assembly, worship, and performance activities. In 1996, he began the Spirit of Excellence campaign, a five-year strategic plan to raise $10 million for capital improvements and endowment for the College. Construction on the Pillsbury Chapel and Dale Williams Fine Arts Center began in the fall of 2000, and the Center was officially opened in March 2002.
The opening of the Troy/Wentzville and Franklin County extension centers, ten-year NCA accreditation, and the initiation of graduate programs have marked the University’s academic growth during Lacey’s presidency. During his tenure, total enrollment, which now includes more than 5,200 students, and the number of degrees granted have both increased exponentially.
Many new programs including masters degrees in education, business, and Christian ministry and the University’s terminal degree, the Doctor of Education, have been added. In August 2002, the College was officially renamed Missouri Baptist University, marking the growth and improvement of the institution over the years. President Lacey maintains an emphasis in strengthening campus life and emphasizing the importance of global perspectives in professional career choices and mission involvement.