May 7, 2019

Dear Mizzou community,

This is one of my favorite times of year. I have the opportunity to celebrate the tremendous achievements of so many in our community — and the great news keeps on coming.

We recently learned that Thomas Spencer, a Curators Distinguished Professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Division of Animal Sciences, has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. This is one of the highest honors a scientist in the U.S. can receive, and we are thrilled that Dr. Spencer continues to be recognized for his work on a global scale. A huge congratulations to Dr. Spencer.

Dr. Spencer’s honor is one more reminder of how remarkable this year has been. With our upcoming ceremony honoring this year’s Kemper Fellows, commencement and the Chancellor’s Outstanding Staff Awards — along with recent events such as the Undergraduate Research & Creative Achievements Forum and Tap Day — we have the privilege of honoring the many others in our community who are doing extraordinary work.

Each one of our almost 30,000 students, more than 12,000 staff, and more than 4,000 faculty have enabled us to excel through creativity, innovation and hard work. I can’t express enough how grateful I am for your contributions. You continue to position the university for strong, transformative growth. I am confident we will make an even bigger impact on education, scholarship and engagement in the years to come.

I wish I had the opportunity to speak to all of you in person more often and tell you the many ways I am amazed by what you accomplish every day. We are changing the world here at Mizzou.


Alexander N. Cartwright, PhD


University of Missouri

Thomas Spencer

Animal sciences professor elected to National Academy of Sciences

Thomas Spencer, a Curators Distinguished Professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Division of Animal Sciences, recently received one of the most prestigious honors given to scientists in the U.S.: He has been elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Established in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln, the NAS offers significant policy advice to the federal government and other organizations. Dr. Spencer is the 10th MU professor to be elected.

Students volunteering with Special Olympics

Student scholars lead Special Olympics Missouri training

Undergraduate scholars in the Novak Leadership Institute volunteered their time and leadership skills to work with more than 30 Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO) athletes and families on campus. In partnership with the Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Program, Novak student scholars mentored SOMO participants and facilitated classes on public speaking, photography, fitness and more.

Award winning chemists from MU

Chemists win multi-million dollar Department of Defense grants

Two separate teams led by MU Professors of Chemistry Tommy Sewell and Arthur G. Suits were recently awarded prestigious Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grants by the Department of Defense. After a review of 295 proposals, the Department of Defense chose each team’s proposal for two of this year’s 24 awards, believing that the teams’ focus on innovation and technology could help the DOD solve some of its most challenging problems.

Families enjoy Show Me Mizzou activities

Thousands turn out for Show Me Mizzou Day

On Saturday, April 13, more than 2,000 visitors attended the university’s inaugural Show Me Mizzou Day. This first-of-its-kind campus open house offered more than 100 events, including research demonstrations, facilities tours and a presentation by Nobel Laureate George P. Smith.

Mizzou is designated a Purple Heart University

MU designated a Purple Heart University

Honoring the university’s support of U.S. military service members, the Military Order of the Purple Heart recently designated the University of Missouri a “Purple Heart University.” Currently, the university supports nearly 900 students affiliated with the military, and this designation further reaffirms the university’s long-standing commitment to the men and women who sacrifice the most.