MU football player gives back at Special Olympics Missouri State Summer Games

May 24 2022

A photo of Melissa Wirt, Alyssa Click and Jalani Williams in the parade of athletes.

(Left to right) Melissa Wirt and Alyssa Click, Special Olympics Missouri athletes, and Jalani Williams, MU football player and Special Olympics Missouri intern, in the opening ceremony.

Last weekend, Mizzou helped host the Special Olympics Missouri State Summer Games.

During the opening ceremony parade of athletes, MU football player Jalani Williams escorted the St. Louis metro area competitors. He bonded with them over a shared passion for competition and will plan additional statewide events during his summer internship with the organization.

More than 1,000 athletes and coaches came to Columbia for a weekend of events ­– many held on campus. We are proud that our Tiger community came together to make these games a success. Mizzou last hosted in 2014.

Thanks to the many other volunteers and families of the athletes who make this event possible.

— Mun

Celebrating Staff Recognition Week (with BBQ)

May 20 2022

A photo of President Choi serving at the staff recognition lunch.We are grateful to all of our MU and UM System employees and their many contributions to advance our teaching, research and engagement missions.

Throughout this week, we honored our collective commitment through our annual Staff Recognition Week. On Wednesday, several administrators served a free meal to about 1,300 of our employees.

As part of the celebration, we also distributed awards for outstanding service and hosted opportunities for staff to meet and build new connections.

— Mun

A poignant exhibit

May 17 2022

A photo of the exhibit in the Reynolds Journalism Institute.I recently visited the photo exhibit at the Reynolds Journalism Institute that depicts Ukrainian life in the midst of war. This exhibit was curated by Irynka Hromotska (Kohut), a Fulbright Scholar and a graduate student in photojournalism from Ukraine.

The images show a people who are resilient, patriotic and fighting for dignity. It was a powerful and moving experience for me.

I encourage you to stop by and see it for yourself.

— Mun

Creating faculty connections

May 11 2022

A photo of President Choi addressing new faculty reception attendees at the Residence on Francis Quadrangle.

President Choi addressing new faculty reception attendees at the Residence on Francis Quadrangle.

On Tuesday, we hosted a reception for the more than 400 new faculty who joined Mizzou in 2020 and 2021. Scholars from across campus met one another, shared their research and built new connections.

This reception is one of many events that celebrate faculty accomplishments and promote new interdisciplinary partnerships.

Later this week, we’ll recognize recipients of the National Institutes of Health T32 grant – which helps recruit predoctoral and postdoctoral students to address significant health-related needs. Faculty interested in the grant are welcome to attend and learn more about the process from current recipients and staff with MU’s Division of Research, Innovation and Impact.

By working together, we can discover even more ways faculty can connect and collaborate.

— Mun

From Cape Town to Columbia

May 10 2022

A photo of the University of the Western Cape delegation visiting the Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health building.

Left to right: Dr. Thabile Sokupa (UWC), Dr. Richard Barohn, Dr. Gillian Bartlett, Dr. Jose Franz (UWC), Althea George (UWC) and Dr. Mary Stegmaier at the Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health building.

Last week, we hosted a delegation from the University of the Western Cape (UWC) – our longtime partner university located near Cape Town, South Africa. I visited UWC in 2019, and I’m glad that we could return the favor.

As part of the University of Missouri South African Education Program, a group of administrators from the UWC Office of Research and Innovation toured Mizzou, as well as UMSL and UMKC. While in Columbia, they met with faculty from across campus and at the Roy Blunt NextGen Precision Health building. We discussed how to cooperate on precision medicine research and other opportunities to improve our communities.

The UM System’s connection to UWC goes back more than 30 years. It began as an effort to support South Africans disadvantaged by their then-government’s apartheid policies. Though much has changed, this program continues to produce valuable opportunities for exchange and collaboration.

— Mun

Honoring our ROTC legacy

May 6 2022

A photo of President Choi attending Pass in Review on Stankowski Field.

2022 Joint Services Pass in Review on Stankowski Field.

On Friday, I participated in the Joint Services Pass in Review – one of our oldest Mizzou traditions. For more than 150 years, the university’s ROTC units have publicly demonstrated their training and readiness. It was an honor to see them parade on Stankowski Field and to celebrate their accomplishments.

A photo of a plaque dedicated to General Gordon.

A dedicatory plaque inside the John A. Gordon Albuquerque Complex, a new National Nuclear Security Administration facility.

A great example of MU’s ROTC legacy is the late Gen. John A. Gordon, an Air Force ROTC cadet and a 1968 physics graduate. He went on to become the first Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

Last month, the Department of Energy opened its new state-of-the-art NNSA facility in Albuquerque and named it after him. You can also find his name on our wall of notable alumni in Jesse Hall. Recently, I met Gen. Gordon’s wife, Marilyn, who remains a committed member of the Mizzou family.

We are grateful to our ROTC cadets and midshipmen for their continued example of true service.

— Mun

Engaging Mizzou’s global community

May 5 2022

A photo of President Choi at the celebration with members of the campus community.Sulaiman Assadullah, a Fulbright Scholar and master’s student in our Truman School of Public Affairs, invited me to attend an Eid al-Fitr celebration with members of the Afghan student and scholars group.

Fellow students and scholars from Nigeria, Ukraine, Lithuania, India, Pakistan, Azerbaijan and Macedonia joined us to experience this tradition and learn more about Afghan culture.

Sulaiman is such an impressive student who embodies the excellence of our Tigers. I very much appreciated his invitation.

— Mun

Bestselling historian gives Kinder Distinguished Lecture

May 4 2022

A photo of Andrew Roberts at the Residence.

Andrew Roberts at the Residence.

On Tuesday, we welcomed Andrew Roberts, a world-renowned historian, to Mizzou. Dr. Roberts delivered the Kinder Institute on Constitutional Democracy’s Distinguished Lecture – discussing his new book, “The Last King of America: The Misunderstood Reign of George III.”

Before the lecture, the Kinder Institute’s founders, Nancy and Rich Kinder, and I met with Dr. Roberts (and nearly 40 other supporters) at the Residence on Francis Quadrangle. Dr. Roberts was delighted to learn that 120 years ago Mark Twain also stopped by the Residence before an event to receive his honorary degree.

The Kinder Institute, created in 2015, is a community of scholars who are unpacking the complex history of constitutional democracy in the U.S. and around the globe. This event was a great show of their collective inquiry in action.

— Mun

 

Thanking our generous supporters

May 3 2022

A photo of President Choi with Christopher Robert (interim dean of the Trulaske College of Business), Sue Engelhardt, Irl Engelhardt, Jackie Lewis (vice chancellor for advancement), and Mary Beth Marrs (director of the Heartland Scholars Academy).

President Choi with Christopher Robert (interim dean of the Trulaske College of Business), Sue Engelhardt, Irl Engelhardt, Jackie Lewis (vice chancellor for advancement), and Mary Beth Marrs (director of the Heartland Scholars Academy).

We just wrapped up Donor Recognition Weekend, featuring two full days of events honoring our incredible alumni and supporters.

On Friday, we celebrated the first cohort of the Heartland Academy Scholars as they prepare for graduation and commemorated an additional $1.8 million contribution by Sue and Irl Engelhardt. Established in 2018 through the vision and generosity of the Engelhardts, Heartland Scholars Academy supports first-generation students at our Trulaske College of Business. Over four years, the program prepares them for success at Mizzou and offers hands-on business experience. We are excited to extend the program’s impact far into the future.

Our additional events celebrated some of our most committed donors at the Jefferson Club annual dinner, as well as supporters of our Library Society and the Chancellor’s Fund for Excellence.

We are grateful for the deep enthusiasm for Mizzou’s mission.

— Mun

Commending faculty excellence

Apr 29 2022

A photo of President Choi congratulating Yicheng Guo during the 2022 Faculty Recognition Awards Reception & Ceremony in the State Historical Society of Missouri.

President Choi congratulates Yicheng Guo, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, during the 2022 Faculty Recognition Awards Reception & Ceremony at the State Historical Society of Missouri.

On Wednesday, we kicked off our inaugural Faculty Excellence Week by recognizing more than 50 faculty members who received awards over the past two years.

The following day, we gathered in the Ellis Library Reading Room to highlight more than 30 new faculty books published during 2021. We’ll conclude on May 4 by recognizing our five 2022 William T. Kemper Fellows for Teaching Excellence – Mizzou’s highest teaching distinction.

Our world-class faculty are leaders in their fields and uphold the university’s mission of teaching, research and outreach. We’re proud to celebrate faculty excellence both this week and throughout the year.

— Mun