MU football player gives back at Special Olympics Missouri State Summer Games
May 24 2022
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.
Celebrating Staff Recognition Week (with BBQ)
May 20 2022
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.
A poignant exhibit
May 17 2022
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.
Creating faculty connections
May 11 2022
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.
From Cape Town to Columbia
May 10 2022
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.
Honoring our ROTC legacy
May 6 2022
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 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.
Engaging Mizzou’s global community
May 5 2022
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.
Bestselling historian gives Kinder Distinguished Lecture
May 4 2022
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.
Thanking our generous supporters
May 3 2022
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.
Commending faculty excellence
Apr 29 2022
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.