Chancellor’s Leadership Class

Sep 9 2021

President Choi talks with students in the Chancellor’s Leadership Class (photo courtesy of the Missouri School of Journalism).

Yesterday, I met with 100 students in our Chancellor’s Leadership Class at the Novak Leadership Institute. I had such a great time talking with them and reflecting on what makes Tigers standout across so many industries.

For more than 40 years, the Chancellor’s Leadership Class has offered a group of first-year students the opportunity to become better communicators and leaders. Through real-world activities, peer collaborations and expert coaching, they learn how to make a difference and set themselves (and others) up for success.

I am so pleased to welcome this next generation of leaders to Mizzou and look forward to seeing where their journeys take them.

— Mun

Thank you to Mizzou staff and faculty

Sep 6 2021

Photos of Jesse and the ColumnsIn honor of Labor Day, I want to thank each of our staff, faculty and leaders who do so much for the University of Missouri. Whether it’s maintaining campus, forging discoveries or supporting our agricultural producers throughout the state with MU Extension — there are countless ways they make a difference in the lives of our students and community members.

Without their dedication and hard work, the University of Missouri would not be able to achieve excellence and fulfill its core missions of education, research and engagement — for the benefit of Missouri and beyond.

— Mun

Black & Gold Friday is here

Sep 3 2021

A photo of fireworks about Memorial Stadium on game day.

Memorial Stadium during a previous game day (photo courtesy of Mizzou Athletics).

It’s almost game day for Mizzou Football, and Tigers everywhere are coming together to #StripeTheState for our first Black & Gold Friday. It’s also College Colors Day — giving Mizzou fans another great reason to show their school spirit.

Almost every day I hear from students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters who share the pride they have in Mizzou. Black & Gold Fridays help us roar out that support while also celebrating our community’s excellence on the field, on campus and around the world.

Tomorrow, I can’t wait to see even more black and gold in Memorial Stadium as we cheer Coach Drinkwitz and our Tigers on to a win against Central Michigan. M-I-Z!

— Mun

‘The Crisis in Afghanistan’ panel discussion

Aug 31 2021

The Crisis in Afghanistan: A Discussion with Mizzou ExpertsTomorrow (Sept. 1) from noon to 1 p.m., join a diverse panel of Mizzou experts as they discuss the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan. Drawing on a range of student and faculty perspectives, the panel will enable our community to hear more about what the rapidly developing situation could mean for the country, the region and the world.

Among the panelists are representatives from our Afghan student and military veteran communities — as well as scholars of history and international relations. As a university with global reach, we know many on our campus have a personal connection with Afghanistan. This event lets us come together as a Mizzou community, listen to one another and discuss this critical topic.

The webinar will be moderated by Mary Stegmaier, vice provost for International Programs. I hope many of you are able to attend.

— Mun

Announcing Black & Gold Fridays!

Aug 30 2021

I’m thrilled to join our new Director of Athletics, Desiree Reed-Francois, in announcing Black & Gold Fridays — a new and exciting Tiger tradition. Every Friday, in anticipation of game days for MU’s 20 different sports and in support of our more than 550 student-athletes, we’re asking Tiger fans across the state and around the world to wear black and gold. It’s an easy way to show your pride in Mizzou and your support of our teams.

Join us for the inaugural Black & Gold Friday this Friday, Sept. 3. Let’s all come together to #StripeTheState and build a championship culture here at Mizzou.


— Mun

Mizzou research paves the way

Aug 28 2021

A photo of Mizzou Asphalt Pavement and Innovation Lab staff preparing a plastic waste pavement mixture for testing.

Lab staff in the Mizzou Asphalt Pavement and Innovation Lab, or MAPIL, prepare the plastic waste pavement mixture for testing. The lab is located inside the MU College of Engineering.

Just off campus, crews with the Missouri Department of Transportation have been hard at work resurfacing portions of Stadium Boulevard. What looks like regular maintenance is actually part of an innovative collaboration between Mizzou, Dow (the global material science company), and MoDOT.

Students and researchers from the Mizzou Asphalt Pavement and Innovation Lab (MAPIL) — located in our College of Engineering — are creating more sustainable asphalt pavement mixtures by incorporating recycled materials such as plastic and tire rubber. To test this mixture in real-world conditions, it was applied to a nearly two-mile stretch of Stadium Boulevard. Researchers are hopeful that this is the first step towards greener, more durable driving surfaces that also reduce landfill waste.

Through key partnerships such as this one, Mizzou faculty and students are helping generate cutting-edge solutions that benefit our state and world.

— Mun

Empowering Missouri’s youth

Aug 27 2021

A photo collage of Big Brothers Big Sisters mentors and youth.

Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) pairs youth with mentors from the local community.

Yesterday, I enjoyed speaking at the Chancellor’s Reception for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Missouri. This “Countdown to Kickoff” event promotes the important mentorship opportunities that Big Brothers Big Sisters provides for our community’s youth. It was great talking with fellow supporters and sharing the amazing stories of “Bigs” and their “Littles.”

A photo of President Choi and Jeff Cook.

President Choi with MU alum, Jeff Cook. Choi met with fellow Big Brothers Big Sisters supporters in the Chancellor’s Suite at Memorial Stadium (photo courtesy of Wally Pfeffer and Nancy Talson).

As Missouri’s public, flagship, land-grant university, Mizzou strives to empower young people in every community across our state. Mentorship through Big Brothers Big Sisters is a vital extension of that critical work. Through our shared commitment to education, access and outreach, MU and BBBS are working together to support the next generation of leaders who will help our communities thrive for decades to come.

It’s just one more way Mizzou works to fulfill its mission and build a brighter future for all Missourians.

— Mun

Welcome to the Fall Semester!

Aug 24 2021

The fall semester is here! To mark our return, I wanted to bring you a short video because we have a lot to celebrate.

After so much hard work over the last year, we are returning to full, in-person operations. I am so excited we can take this important step together. Our community has shown incredible resilience, commitment and respect for others as we work to protect our core missions and enhance the ways we serve our communities and Missouri. These values remain essential to our continued success and ability to have the kind of fall semester we know is possible.

More than 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students are joining us as the newest members of our Tiger family. Already, we have been able to commemorate some of our great fall traditions such as Tiger Walk and First Roar. And I had the opportunity on Saturday to join Marching Mizzou at its final weekend of Band Camp to thank our remarkable student musicians for making the student experience at Mizzou so special.

A photo of President Choi speaking to Marching Mizzou.

President Choi speaking to Marching Mizzou, Aug. 21, 2021.

We also officially welcomed our new Director of Athletics, Desiree Reed-Francois, to Columbia yesterday. She is all moved in and ready to lead Mizzou Athletics into its excellent future.

There are so many incredible milestones for Mizzou in the coming months: a return to a full fall Mizzou Football schedule, the groundbreaking celebration of MU’s new Children’s Hospital on Oct. 1, the grand opening of our transformative NextGen Precision Health building on Oct. 19, Homecoming, and much more. It’s going to be a busy few months, but it will also be an extraordinary time as we move Mizzou forward in our research, academics and impact.

Thank you to everyone — our faculty, staff, coaches, alumni, supporters and students — for all that you do to support our university and the many communities we serve across Missouri and around the world.

— Mun

Missouri State Fair

Aug 19 2021

A photo of President Choi with Kevin Roberts, chair of the Missouri State Fair and a MU School of Law alumnus.

President Choi with Kevin Roberts, chair of the Missouri State Fair and a MU School of Law alumnus.

It’s the middle of August, which means it’s time for the Missouri State Fair! And what a wonderful fair it is this year.

I’ve had the chance to visit with Kevin Roberts, chair of the Missouri State Fair and a Mizzou Law alumnus, and watch America’s Band, The Beach Boys. I also took the opportunity to stop by the Mizzou tents and got to meet many of our great citizens and alumni who support the university in many ways.

This year’s fair is particularly special as we continue to commemorate Missouri’s bicentennial — two hundred years of excellence and impact for our state. I’m so proud to support this great tradition of celebrating Missourians and to represent the University of Missouri in this historical moment.

— Mun

Congratulations to our 2020 Henry S. Geyer Award winners

Aug 18 2021

A photo of Robin Wenneker, Curator of the University of Missouri; Mary Anne McCollum, 2020 Geyer Award recipient; U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, 2020 Geyer Award recipient; Sabrina McDonnell, President of the Mizzou Alumni Association; Mun Y. Choi, President of the University of Missouri.

(Left to right): Robin Wenneker, Curator of the University of Missouri; Mary Anne McCollum, 2020 Geyer Award Recipient; U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, 2020 Geyer Award Recipient; Sabrina McDonnell, President of the Mizzou Alumni Association; Mun Y. Choi, President of the University of Missouri.

Last night, I had the privilege to help celebrate two individuals whose advocacy has made an impact on higher education in Missouri and the university we all love. We honored U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and Mary Anne McCollum (a former Columbia mayor and two-time Mizzou graduate) as the recipients of the 2020 Henry S. Geyer Award — right here in the Jesse Hall rotunda.

Both recipients have dedicated their lives to public service, and they have been essential partners in MU’s journey to serve citizens throughout our state.

Senator Blunt’s leadership has directly resulted in the dramatic increase in NIH funding for biomedical research and for Pell grants, and he remains a staunch advocate of some our university’s top priorities including NextGen Precision Health. Mary McCollum is a thoughtful, committed and innovative leader who supports so much of the critical work of our faculty and staff, as well as the education of our students. Through her service on alumni leadership groups, she continues to advance the university’s priorities and growth.

Please join me in congratulating both of our 2020 Geyer Award recipients on this much deserved honor.

— Mun