Dear Mizzou community,

What a fall this has been at Mizzou. We have had so many terrific things happen lately that I was inspired to reach out to the entire Mizzou family: students, staff, faculty, alumni, parents, donors, community leaders and friends. We are experiencing the best kind of change as we see hard work translate into real progress. As I share some of our highest recent achievements, I thank you for your role in spreading the Mizzou story.

Our first Nobel Prize

George Smith and Students

We celebrated – and continue to celebrate – Dr. George P. Smith’s Nobel Prize. His immense contributions to our health and scientific knowledge are inspiring and galvanizing to me, and I hope all of us can see Dr. Smith in at least some part of ourselves: in our curiosity, perseverance and innovation.

A couple of our student journalists will have the rare opportunity to travel to Sweden next month to document Dr. Smith’s experience as Mizzou’s first Nobel Prize winner. A livestream watch party is planned on campus for others to celebrate and share in Dr. Smith’s achievement. Stay tuned for details.

College of Education record-breaking award

Elementary students working with blocks

The College of Education’s eMINTS National Center, which provides research-based professional development for educators, announced that it has received the largest award in the history of the college: $22.4 million.

This funding from the U.S. Department of Education will help us improve STEM education in 58 high-need, rural middle schools over the next five years, benefitting more than 26,000 students. I am so proud of this tremendous achievement, and I look forward to seeing these awards transform the work of our region’s students and educators.

This award adds significant momentum to our goal of doubling research expenditures in five years.

Progress on precision medicine complex for future health

Doctors and patient in hospital

We have also made significant progress this fall on our plans for the first comprehensive research building on campus in more than a decade. This state-of-the-art facility will align industry partners and the federal government with our schools and colleges, generating a collaborative space that will forge personalized and high-tech approaches to disease treatment and prevention. The facility will position Missouri’s flagship university — and our UM System partners — as global leaders in precision medicine, helping us deliver customized patient care tailored to a patient’s individual biological makeup.

Plant sciences finds new home

New Plant Sciences building

We recently celebrated a key phase in the construction of the MU Plant Growth Research Facility. This $28 million project will enhance our world-renowned plant sciences group and help us continue to address some of the most serious issues facing Missouri farmers and the world.

Recognizing trailblazers

Lucile Bluford, George C. Brooks, and Gus T. Ridgel

We shared a meaningful and historic moment when we dedicated two residence halls and an atrium to three African-American civil rights trailblazers who have significantly shaped Mizzou’s history. In their new places of honor, the names of Lucile Bluford, George C. Brooks and Gus T. Ridgel remind us all of the impact these three figures had on our university.

Record retention and increasing enrollment

Students in a classroom

Earlier this fall, we released our official figures that showed a record retention rate. In addition to this milestone, our freshmen class increased by 13 percent (the second-largest jump in the SEC).

Gridiron wins help Tigers go bowling

football player

On November 3, Mizzou football traveled to “The Swamp” at the University of Florida and blew out the #13 ranked Gators 38-17. That monumental road win and subsequent win against Vanderbilt University helped make Mizzou bowl eligible for the second year in a row. Go Tigers!

Ranking among most beautiful campuses

fall leaves and a column

We all know the beauty of this campus, and this has been a spectacular year for fall colors. Now we know Architectural Digest agrees with us, ranking Mizzou as one of the most beautiful colleges in America.

As you can see, we are seeing signs of progress in every corner of campus. I hope to share collections of these pride points on a regular basis. They are proof of your hard work, your support and the strength and potential of this great institution.

There is only one way to end a note so full of inspiring news — M-I-Z!


Alexander N. Cartwright, PhD