The first move toward the establishment of the Missouri College Personnel Association was started by Marie T. Bergmann, now retired from St. Louis Community College-Meramec, when she was the ACPA representative to the Missouri Personnel and Guidance Association (MPGA). She conferred with Robert Callis (UM-C) who agreed that there was no vehicle for communication between personnel at the college/university level in student services throughout the state. So Marie got a copy of the guidelines for starting an ACPA state division and took the first step, that of surveying interest among the ACPA members in the state.
The survey, sent in October 1969, revealed considerable interest, so Marie went to the president of MPGA and asked him to appoint an organizing committee, which he did. Leo Sweeney of UMKC was the chair and other members were:
- Board of Higher Education/Lutheran Church, Lesser R. Bayer
- Central Missouri State University, William L. Brewington
- Concordia Seminary, Kenneth H. Briemeir
- Drury College, Kenneth E. Cook
- Jefferson College, Norman E. Turnbough
- Longview Community College, George F. Yee
- Northeast Missouri State University, William J. Kunzler
- Park College, Frank Christensen
- St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley, Cassidy L. Riggs
- St. Louis Community College-Meramec, Marie Bergmann (Ex Officio)
- Saint Louis University, William M. Klepper II
- Stephens College, Bernice L. Williamson
- Southeast Missouri State University, Mary Helen Flentge
- Southwest Baptist College, Richard D. Kahoe
- Southwest Missouri State University, Homer J. Long
- University of Missouri-Columbia, Rob Callis (Ex Officio), William R. Galeota, L. Sandy MacLean, Allan Purdy
- University of Missouri-Kansas City, S. Wheadon Bloch, Joe J. Doerr
- University of Missouri-Rolla, Sam A. Burton
- University of Missouri-St. Louis, Arthur E. Smith
- Washington University, Hazel Sprandel
- Westminister College, Gale L. Fuller
In March 1970, letters of intent and proposed By-Laws were sent to all ACPA members in Missouri and to Theodore K. Miller, the Chairman of the ACPA State Division Coordinating Committee at the time. An organizational meeting was held during the ACPA Convention in St. Louis in late March 1970, and signatures were obtained for the formal application of a State Division Charter.
In January of 1971, a vote was take of all ACPA members in Missouri on the approval of the establishment of a State Division of ACPA. Leo Sweeney reported the vote to Daniel L. Bratton in March 1971, and the charter was issued in April 1971.
At this point, things began to break down. Leo Sweeney was extremely busy with other projects and could not give the new association the attention it needed. He did call an organization meeting in St. Louis on March 10 and 11, 1972, and Marie Bergmann says that there appeared to be little motivation to get the organization going. In all that time there had not been an election and there were no official officers.
In October 1975, eleven people met in St. Louis and decided to try to revitalize the organization. It was decided that a steering committee would be formed to represent the different types of higher education institutions across the state, Joyce Fielding was to schedule and organize the steering committee. Bob Callis was to get a program together for the spring and Sharon Pope was to continuer as the membership chair. This steering committee met in February 1976, and drafted Joyce Fielding to be President and Hazel Sprandel as Past President. The first election of officers was held the following Spring and the association has been growing since then.
For several years, MoCPA held their annual conferences in conjunction with other professional associations in the state. For example, in 1978, MoCPA held a joint conference with the Missouri Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers at the Lake of the Ozarks and in 1979, 1980, and 1981, joint conferences were held with the Missouri Personnel and Guidance Association. By 1982, the Executive Council felt that the Association was strong enough in both number and quality that a two and one-half day annual conference would be supported by the association alone. In addition to the annual conference, one-day drive-in workshops had been started in 1978 by then-President Homer Long. The quarterly newsletter, MoCPA Notes, was started in 1977 under the leadership of President Sharon Pope.