At the height of the total quality management (TQM) movement, organizations across the nation sought to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award as validation to their pursuit of performance excellence. In Missouri, the Midwest Excellence Institute established a similar recognition program — the Missouri Quality Award — based on the same criteria as the national award. Under the direction of then-chancellor John T. Park, Missouri S&T became the first university in the state to win the Missouri Quality Award.

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