Jun 17 2021

A photo of Jesse Hall and the Columns

This is the fourth and final post in a series on the four University of Missouri values — Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, Excellence — and how they guide our mission as the state’s flagship, land-grant university.

We recently began our Summer Welcome sessions for new Tigers and are eagerly preparing for a full in-person return this August. But before we launch into our “new normal,” let’s celebrate all our community achieved throughout an unprecedented year.

During the 2020-21 academic year we awarded more than 8,000 degrees, announced critical collaborations with industry partners such as Thermo Fisher Scientific and broke ground on a new facility for the Sinclair School of Nursing. We completed the “Mizzou: Our Time to Lead” campaign with a record $1.41 billion and received the largest gift in the history of the College of Veterinary Medicine, among so many other accomplishments.

If we can do this much in a pandemic, I can’t wait to see what we achieve next.

Excellence at Mizzou can be found in many places, whether on Faurot Field, onstage at the Rhynsburger Theatre or in a lab at the Bond Life Sciences Center. It’s also embedded in how we treat one another, and it flourishes when everyone feels like they belong and can contribute their own voice and perspective.

In a difficult year, we still found ways to come together and do remarkable things. I can’t think of a better demonstration of our commitment to excellence in all its forms.

— Mun


Jun 10 2021

A photo of Jesse Hall and the ColumnsThis is the third post in a series on the four University of Missouri values — Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, Excellence — and how they guide our mission as the state’s flagship, land-grant university.

If you pass by the site of NextGen Precision Health, you’ll notice progress is happening fast. I was at the groundbreaking ceremony in June 2019, and I’m so proud that in just four months NextGen will be open and expanding our ability to serve Missourians.

We’ve made great strides not only on the facility, but also in welcoming researchers who will use NextGen’s resources to save lives. Dr. Richard Barohn and Dr. Tom Spencer, among others, have done an amazing job recruiting faculty who will grow NextGen into a hub of innovation in the Midwest.

NextGen puts our university at the forefront of discovery. It will be a place where interdisciplinarity fuels amazing research breakthroughs. Those breakthroughs — whether in population health, telemedicine or cancer treatments — have the potential to change the world.

This is a transformative moment for Mizzou, the other UM System universities, our industry partners and the entire state. NextGen leverages our collective power to make discoveries with an immediate impact. And there’s no greater impact than improving the lives of Missourians.

— Mun


Jun 3 2021

A photo of Jesse Hall and the ColumnsThis is the second post in a series on the four University of Missouri values — Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, Excellence — and how they guide our mission as the state’s flagship, land-grant university.

A few weeks ago, we welcomed back many of our MU staff members for in-person work. I’m pleased to once again see so many colleagues around our beautiful campus.

None of this progress would be possible without our incredible staff who — like all Tigers — found new ways to work under trying circumstances. Together, we proved that we are resilient and can use technology to improve collaboration.

Responsibility is about our obligations to each other and — as a land-grant university — to the citizens of Missouri. For many months, that meant a radical change to the routines that shape our lives. Because of all you accomplished, we overcame so many challenges and had a safe and successful year.

Looking ahead, I’m excited for our full in-person return this fall and the resumption of traditions that define the MU community. Thank you again to all of our staff, faculty and students for the many ways you contribute to our university’s mission.

— Mun


May 28 2021

A photo of Jesse Hall and the Columns This is the first post in a series on the four University of Missouri values — Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, Excellence — and how they guide our mission as the state’s flagship, land-grant university.

As Memorial Day approaches, we take time to remember those who died in service to our country. We honor the fallen, and we also recognize the sacrifices of our current student-veterans who carry on a legacy of service and offer such a great example of respect.

One of the ways we show our gratitude is by providing resources that support those students and their families. For example, our recently expanded Veterans Center is a place for comradery, study and connection to wellness resources. The Veterans Clinic in our School of Law is another fantastic program that lets law students advocate on behalf of veterans in our community.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is also one of our partners for NextGen Precision Health. VA researchers will collaborate on breakthroughs that make life better for so many people. These are just a few of the great programs that impact service members.

We’re committed to inclusive excellence for veterans, and for students from all backgrounds, because we know each person brings a valuable perspective to our learning, research and engagement. It’s another example of how shared respect empowers individuals and drives transformative change in Missouri.

— Mun


MU Softball leading the charge

May 24 2021

A photo of Jordan Weber pitching

Jordan Weber pitching a no-hitter during the Missouri-Iowa State game, May 23, 2021. (photo courtesy of Zach Bland, Mizzou Athletics)

We may have finished the spring semester, but Mizzou Softball is just getting started on a postseason run. Sunday, they beat Iowa State 5-0 to win the Columbia Regional title. It was an amazing game, including a home run by Brooke Wilmes and an incredible no-hitter by Jordan Weber — the first for the program since 2013.

A photo of the Mizzou Softball celebrating winning the Columbia Regional

Mizzou Softball celebrates winning the Columbia Regional. (photo courtesy of Zach Bland, Mizzou Athletics)

It was so good to see fans — including several MU coaches — fill Mizzou Softball Stadium to cheer on our Tigers. I’m thrilled we can once again safely come together as a community and support the excellence of our student-athletes.

Congrats to Coach Larissa Anderson and the team! Next up is the Columbia Super Regional where the Tigers will face James Madison University here later this week. I’m sure it’ll be a great series. The winner will then advance to the NCAA Women’s College World Series. MIZ!

— Mun


Economics Department wins diversity and inclusion award

May 20 2021

A photo of Professor Trevon Logan meeting with students

Trevon Logan (center), Hazel C. Youngberg Distinguished Professor of Economics at Ohio State University, visited campus as part of the Diversity in Economics seminar series. Note: this photo was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.

A proud Tiger reached out to me about our Department of Economics — winner of the inaugural Award for Outstanding Achievement in Diversity and Inclusion from the American Economic Association (AEA). We celebrated this incredible honor a few months back, and I’m pleased to again recognize our faculty, staff and students for making a difference.

In the award application, Jeffrey Milyo, chair and professor of economics, highlighted the department’s collective progress toward creating a more welcoming learning environment. Some advancements include redesigning an introductory microeconomics course to better cover diversity-related topics, launching the Diversity in Economics seminar series and facilitating peer mentorships for incoming undergraduates. The department plans to build on these programs and launch new DEI initiatives in the future.

Amazing discoveries are possible when we respect one another and share our own perspectives. I want to thank everyone in the Department of Economics for their contributions to the Mizzou community. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor!

— Mun

Congratulations Class of 2021!

May 14 2021

A photo of Jordi Alonso and his dog Frida

(Photo by Mario Alonso)
Jordi Alonso and Frida celebrate together.

Between last weekend and this weekend, we are celebrating more than 5,500 graduating students during our 2021 commencement ceremonies. That’s remarkable! There’s no better way to jump start this weeklong celebration than hosting two of our beloved traditions: Tiger Prowl and Senior Sendoff.

On May 7, Class of 2021 students (and many of their four-legged friends) gathered on Francis Quadrangle for photos and a final run through the Columns — symbolically entering the world as Tiger alumni. English PhD candidate Jordi Alonso joined his parents and his dog, Frida, to honor this moment. Jordi and Frida dressed in matching caps and gowns for the occasion and crossed through the Columns together.

A photo of Ashley Rolf and other students running for Tiger Prowl

Ashley Rolf (in yellow) and other students run toward the Columns.

Another student, Ashley Rolf, who will graduate next December with a degree in information technology, is one of four Tigers in her family. She’s thrilled to follow in their footsteps.

It’s so inspiring to see all of our Tigers carry their hard work, success and excellence into the next chapter of their lives. Congratulations again to our Class of 2021. I can’t wait to see what you accomplish next!

— Mun

Celebrating our incredible staff members

May 11 2021

A photo of Teresa Hall receiving an award from President Choi

Teresa Hall celebrates 40 years at Mizzou.

Our incredible staff do so much to support our community and uphold the mission of Mizzou. To show our gratitude, the Staff Advisory Council (SAC) is hosting Staff Recognition Week from May 17-21. This annual celebration is held the week after commencement, but this year it’s also perfectly timed to welcome back those who are returning to on-campus work.

A photo of Chalana M. Scales-Ferguson, Esq. receiving an award from Vice Chancellor Maurice Gipson

Chalana M. Scales-Ferguson, Esq. receives an MU Inclusive Excellence Award from Vice Chancellor Maurice Gipson.

We’ll launch the week on Monday, May 17 with a virtual ceremony honoring our 2021 Outstanding Staff Awards recipients and those celebrating 40 years or more of service to Mizzou. I recently joined Vice Chancellors Maurice Gipson and Gary Ward on Traditions Plaza to film part of the event and present plaques to some of our longest-serving staff and to our 10 award winners. All of our award winners were nominated by their coworkers. To watch this ceremony and view a complete schedule of the other virtual and in-person events, visit the Staff Advisory Council site.

I want to thank all of our staff once more for their remarkable contributions. Their strength and commitment have been the backbone of our success this year.

— Mun

A proud tradition of excellence and service

May 7 2021

A photo of President Choi speaking at the opening of the 2021 Joint Services Pass in Review

President Choi offers opening remarks at the 2021 Joint Services Pass in Review.

This morning, I had the privilege to participate in MU’s annual ROTC Joint Services Pass in Review. This ceremony, dating back to the 1860s, honors two of our university’s greatest traditions: excellence and service.

Mizzou has a long and proud military heritage, with Tiger veterans going back to the university’s founding and ROTC programs established on our campus since WWI. Today, and even with the immense challenges of this past year, our student cadets continue to represent Mizzou with incredible honor and ambition.

A photo of MU ROTC cadets at the 2021 Joint Services Pass in Review.

MU ROTC cadets participating in the ceremony.

I want to thank all of our cadets for their service, especially 42 of our graduating cadets who will continue on as commissioned officers of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. I also want to recognize Lt. Col. Tara Bradley (Department Head of Army ROTC and Military Science), Lt. Col. Gregory Vice (Air Force ROTC, Aerospace Department) and Capt. David Dry (Naval and Marine ROTC) for their leadership of our students and programs as we continue to build on the powerful legacy of Mizzou.

— Mun

Welcoming our new Tigers

May 4 2021

A photo of Brianna Davis

Brianna Davis

On May 1 we celebrated Decision Day for new Tigers. Incoming students were encouraged to use the #IChooseMizzou hashtag last week to help us celebrate this next big step in their lives. Posts were seen more than 1.6 million times.

A photo of Char Krippner

Char Krippner

First-year student Brianna Davis and transfer student Char Krippner were two of the many who shared how thrilled they are to join the Mizzou community. Brianna is a St. Louis resident who will enroll as a journalism major this fall. And Char, who is joining us from Tempe, Ariz., will study special education. Char comes from a long line of Mizzou alumni, and she will now join her older sister, Kit, on campus.

This new generation of Tigers is already poised to strengthen our university and make a transformative impact across Missouri and around the world. Congratulations to all, and we can’t wait to meet them during Summer Welcome!

— Mun