Thank you for the difference you make

Dear Mizzou community,

Today we launch our first-ever, Mizzou Made virtual celebration to honor our more than 6,000 spring graduates.

At 2 p.m., the video launch of our 24-hour celebration will be posted, and I invite everyone to click on the virtual celebration page linked above. The launch will feature remarks from university leaders, students and others. Throughout the day, other video greetings from a variety of very special guests will be shared on this site and through social media. Students and families will also find a digital program and a place for family and friends to post congratulatory remarks as well as easy ways to find social media items from our community posted with #MizzouMade.

We hope everyone will get into the fun and join in recognizing the importance of this time for our Mizzou graduates.

Their degrees are a major step forward in their lives. But what our graduates have shown us – and what we’re celebrating today – is even more than that. They have exhibited an enduring commitment to education and to the future even in the face of so many unknowns. And this event symbolizes the resilience of our Mizzou ideals even when traditional celebrations such as commencement must be put on hold and the university still awaits our coming return.

Over the past two months, I have seen the difference that our community makes in this new reality as we reinvent the way we educate, research and impact our state.

Initially, our students, faculty and staff worked together to leverage new technologies and revamp our teaching and learning practices. Many of you simultaneously tackled the statewide COVID-19 testing shortage and filled medical supply needs in the following days and weeks. Others of you have generated new collaborations that continue to form the discovery pathways we need for long-term solutions: enhanced telemedicine, vaccine creation, treatment delivery and devices, economic support structures and so much more.

Together, we have united around our core values of Respect, Responsibility, Discovery and Excellence to not only carry us through this challenging time, but also to carve a new path forward that will strengthen Mizzou for the next 181 years.

Mizzou Made logo

This new path begins with our Class of 2020.

Graduates: We can’t thank you enough for your contributions to Mizzou. We know this final push in your last semester has been full of challenges, but the lessons you have taught us give us great hope for the world:

  • There was no recipe for success during this time. But you still succeeded.
  • And there is no blueprint for the future. But you are still building one.

I know every Tiger will benefit from your unique experiences moving forward. I also know how all of our students have supported you throughout your time here, and that this environment of excellence will sustain our community long into the future. I’d also like to provide my thanks to the families who supported and encouraged our graduates through this time.

Faculty and staff: Thank you for your hard work, leadership and service to our students and our state. I know you will all be reminding our Class of 2020 what each of them has meant to you and your work. And thank you for continuing to give me great confidence that each step we take opens up new opportunities for our university and our people.

Mizzou will be a different university on the other side of this, just as the world will be a different world. With all of our Tigers to guide us, that difference is full of promise.


Mun Y. Choi, Ph.D.
President, UM System and Interim Chancellor, University of Missouri