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


Visiting Chillicothe with our Litton Leadership Scholars

Apr 25 2022

A photo of President Choi talking with Erin Heinecke, a Litton Leadership Scholar, in Chillicothe, Mo.

President Choi talking with Erin Heinecke, a Litton Leadership Scholar and sophomore biochemistry major.

It was great to be in Chillicothe to celebrate our 2021-22 Litton Leadership Scholars.

Our College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources chose scholars to complete an immersive leadership development experience. Participants shared how the program contributed to their professional growth and met with members of the Jerry Litton Family Memorial Foundation and the local community.

We started the program 10 years ago in memory of Jerry Litton ­­– a former U.S. House representative, Senate candidate, Mizzou alum and Chillicothe resident. Since its founding, more than 200 students have participated.

I was proud to recognize their accomplishments and hear from the next generation of Missouri ag leaders. We also recently announced our next cohort of Litton Leadership Scholars for 2022-23.

— Mun

Student-designed sweatshirt available now in the Mizzou Store

Apr 21 2022

A photo of President Choi holding a gray sweatshirt that says University of Missouri.

President Choi holds the sweatshirt designed by TAM students.

Visit the Mizzou Store today and check out a limited-edition Champion brand sweatshirt designed by students in MU’s Department of Textile and Apparel Management (TAM).

Throughout the semester, eight TAM student teams created retro-inspired Mizzou clothing for the Champion College Vault Collection Competition. Three students ­– AJ Hayes, Raven Smith and Joey White – had their work selected by Champion for mass production.

All students in the class collaborated with representatives from Champion and the Mizzou Store, providing an inside look at the design industry. Their work will be sold in the Mizzou Store this fall, but you can get an early preview of the sweatshirt right now (while they last).

Hands-on learning takes many forms at Mizzou, but it starts with student creativity and great industry partners like Champion.

— Mun

McNair Scholar excellence

Apr 20 2022

A photo of MU McNair Scholars and staff

2021-22 MU McNair Scholars and staff

On Saturday, I helped kick off the 33rd annual MU McNair Scholars Program Research Conference.

McNair is a federal program that prepares undergraduate students from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in graduate education for advanced degrees.

MU McNair Scholars spend an entire academic year collaborating with faculty mentors on wide-ranging research projects –  from international politics, to astrophysics, to school psychology. The scope of their final work is impressive.

At Mizzou, we have a proud legacy of McNair Scholar excellence. We were one of the first 14 universities to host the program when it launched in 1989. MU McNair Scholars have become groundbreaking academics ­– including Marcia Chatelain, who won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for History.

As one of many initiatives in the Office of Access and Leadership Development in the Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity, McNair helps us build an inclusive community in which all are supported in reaching their goals. Congratulations to those who presented.

— Mun

Applauding our Chess Team and supporters

Apr 15 2022

A photo of Interim Dean Cooper Drury, Head Coach Cristian Chirila, Rex Sinquefield, President Choi and Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield surrounded by members of the MU Chess Team.

Interim Dean Cooper Drury, Head Coach Cristian Chirila, Rex Sinquefield, President Choi and Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield surrounded by members of the MU Chess Team.

On Tuesday, we marked the incredibly quick success of MU’s Chess Team and the global name it is making for itself.

Just three years in the making, our team has scored national and international wins under the leadership of head coach (and Grandmaster) Cristian Chirila. Several top-tier players from across the globe are now coming to MU to compete with this team.

We know there’s still more to do – including winning a national championship.

Thanks to the vision and collaboration of Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield, the Saint Louis Chess Club and MU’s College of Arts and Science, we have the team, leadership and support needed to grow and achieve excellence.

— Mun

Tigers at the Capitol

Apr 12 2022

A photo of President Choi talking with with chemistry major Andrew Mitchell about his research.

President Choi talks with Andrew Mitchell, a chemistry major from Lee’s Summit, about his research.

On Monday, I traveled to the State Capitol in Jefferson City for Undergraduate Research Day.

In the third-floor rotunda, 13 Tiger researchers presented projects as varied as using soy waste to create more sustainable pasta products, developing new radiopharmaceuticals and protecting Missouri wine grapes. They joined students from throughout the UM System – displaying the full range of innovation happening across the state.

Today’s research is tomorrow’s life-improving breakthrough. Undergraduate Research Day shows that students are already building the future of Missouri and upholding our shared mission of service.

It was great joining state elected officials and Capitol visitors to celebrate student research in such an impressive setting.

— Mun