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June 28, 2016

Mo. Firm Goes Bankrupt With $22 Million Outstanding on Gift

A Springfield, Mo., hotel company that filed for bankruptcy protection Sunday still owes $22 million on a $30 million pledge to help build an arena at Missouri State University, reports the Springfield News-Leader.

The late developer John Hammons, founder of John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts, made the pledge nearly a decade ago toward construction of the JQH Arena, which hosts basketball games, graduation ceremonies, and other major events. A Hammons trust is scheduled to make annual payments on the gift through 2032.

University President Clif Smart said it's not yet clear if the bankruptcy will affect the installments. "We are working on that, obviously," he said. "It's a lot of unknowns now." Gregg Groves, the hotel firm's general counsel, said trustees "have paid all [philanthropic] beneficiaries in full except for one," apparently referring to the arena donation. "The trust has recognized those payments and we expect to continue," he said.