JOPLIN — Pittsburg State University fans and alumni who live across the state border in Missouri will soon be able to show their school spirit with specialized license plates — the first plates issued in Missouri for a Kansas-based university.
The plates will switch the blue-sky color of the standard Missouri plate for a red-and-yellow Gorilla logo and will be emblazoned with "Pittsburg State University" in red, The Joplin Globe reported Monday.
"This has been a long time coming, and we are very excited," said Johnna Schremmer, director of alumni and constituent relations for Pittsburg State.
About 10,000 Pittsburg State alumni live in Missouri, with about 3,500 of those in the Joplin area, she said.
"When we started the initial process, we put out a call to see if there was interest," she said. "We needed at least 200 (applications). More than 500 people responded."
Rob Herron, who lives in Missouri, was president of the Pittsburg State University Alumni Association when the effort to apply for the specialized plate began.
"I know there are many loyal PSU alumni in the Show-Me State who are as eager as I am to get our PSU plates and show our Gorilla pride wherever we drive," Herron said.
The university sent its specialty plate request to the Missouri General Assembly in 2010, and it was approved last year. The first Pittsburg State plates are expected to be on Missouri roads within the next two or three months, Schremmer said.
About 1,700 of the plates have been sold in Kansas since they were introduced there in 1999.