May 28 2021
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.
MU Softball leading the charge
May 24 2021
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.
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!
Economics Department wins diversity and inclusion award
May 20 2021
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!
Congratulations Class of 2021!
May 14 2021
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.
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!
Celebrating our incredible staff members
May 11 2021
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.
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.
A proud tradition of excellence and service
May 7 2021
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.
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.
Welcoming our new Tigers
May 4 2021
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.
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!
Supporting Mizzou innovation
Apr 30 2021
I recently heard about a virtual entrepreneurship event hosted by our Sinclair School of Nursing. Modeled after the reality show “Shark Tank,” the event included presentations from two exceptional nursing students, Ruth Ogunniyi and Sean Pridgeon, to Sinclair faculty and Office of Research and Economic Development staff. They then received feedback. In addition, every student at the event got to hear from the panel about what it takes to launch a successful business.
This event is one more example of how the University of Missouri — as the state’s public, land-grant, research university — generates the opportunities and innovations that greatly benefit Missouri’s economic landscape. Other programs such as the Mizzou Venture Mentoring Service provide mentorship to young entrepreneurs. And already six Mizzou-Made startups have received $95,000 in funding through our UM System pitch competition “Entrepreneur Quest” since the program began in 2019.
The new generation of industry leaders who will shape our communities for years to come begins here, at Mizzou. By investing in and empowering our incredible students, we empower Missouri.
Celebrating our Class of 2020
Apr 27 2021
Over the weekend, we held in-person celebrations for MU’s spring and fall classes of 2020. These Tigers graduated amidst historic challenges. Using their education and talent along with the networks they built at Mizzou, many went on to thrive despite so many obstacles. It was such an honor to welcome back close to 1,500 of our 2020 graduates and give them the recognition they deserve.
One of those students was Clarke Blodgett, a native of Macon, Mo. who graduated last May with a bachelor’s in agribusiness management. It’s a longstanding tradition that students who embody a certain local tiger reveal their identity by wearing plush paws at commencement. Clarke joined another student, Austin Walker, in signaling that they were the ones in the suit. Clarke is now a district manager for Frito Lay in the St. Louis area, and I was glad to see that he could return to Mizzou and continue one of the many traditions that make commencement special.
We’re so pleased that Clarke, Austin and the rest of our Class of 2020, had this opportunity to celebrate with friends, family and the Tiger community. Next up is the Class of 2021!
Join us for a Tiger Support session this Friday
Apr 21 2021
George Floyd’s death, as well as continued acts of violence and loss of life, have been traumatic for many.
Yesterday, Provost Latha Ramchand and I shared resources for reporting acts of discrimination and harassment, as well as providing support to our students who are feeling stress.
We will host an in-person opportunity for our students, faculty and staff to participate in a Tiger Support session on Friday, April 23 at 3 p.m. in Jesse Auditorium. Provost Ramchand and other leaders representing areas of support services will join me at this session.
It is our duty — each one of us individually and collectively — to do the work of inclusive excellence here at Mizzou and around the country and world. I hope to see many of you this Friday.
Please let us know if you can attend by writing us at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can ensure social distancing. If you can’t join us in person, we also welcome your comments and suggestions to the same email.