Mizzou at its Finest

February 21, 2020

Mizzou at Its Finest logo on top of columns
Dear Mizzou community,

In recent weeks, we have kicked off a new year and a new decade with a roar! From the events and activities surrounding Black History Month to the opening of the new Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield Music Center, the spring semester has already brought wonderful news to share.

I am so proud to be part of this community. Each of the highlights below show even more ways that Mizzou is boundless. We reach around the world and work across disciplines to drive our collective excellence, and we build a future that changes lives.


Most Honorable Andrew Holness

I hope you had the chance to join us two weeks ago when we welcomed the Most Honorable Andrew Holness, Jamaica’s prime minister. While visiting campus, he met with many members of our community and provided two educational presentations in honor of Black History Month.

The prime minister’s visit was yet another example of the global perspectives our university and community offer, whether it’s through events, class offerings or other international experiences.

Throughout the month of February, we are also hosting a number of other presentations, lectures and activities that celebrate black history and provide a variety of perspectives from throughout the country and around the world. You can learn more about the events here.


Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

We recently celebrated the opening of our Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield Music Center – a beautiful new space that will finally bring our School of Music community together under one roof. This building, made possible by an extraordinary $10 million gift from the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation, features 47,000 square feet for performance space, 26 practice rooms and a professional recording studio.

The center will serve as a collaborative space where our music scholars, composers, teachers and performers can hone their craft and further their excellence. Our entire community is thrilled about the new possibilities.

Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield have long been tremendous supporters of our School of Music and the university. This new center demonstrates our shared commitment to creating world-class, comprehensive educational opportunities across disciplines.


Shang XuShang Xu, who recently passed his sixth actuarial exam and took another huge step toward becoming one of the youngest members of the Society of Actuaries. With only one more exam to pass, I know Shang is well on his way to making history.

Shang serves in various leadership roles with the undergraduate statistics club and Gamma lota Sigma (MU’s risk management club), where he helps fellow students with networking and building portfolios. He was born in Shanghai, China and lived in Osceola, Missouri from the age of 11.

Since he arrived at Mizzou, Shang’s hard work, talent and service outside the classroom have enabled him to excel. A university education is about opportunity, and Shang shows all of us the many remarkable opportunities that are possible at Mizzou, from actuarial studies to musical composition.

Congratulations, Shang!


NextGen Precision Health Institute

As we prepare for a topping out ceremony on April 27, construction of our NextGen Precision Health Institute is proceeding on schedule.

This revolutionary facility, which will serve as the centerpiece of the NextGen Precision Health Initiative, will create new synergies between our multidisciplinary scholars and industry partners, enabling them to work with state-of-the-art tools and advance precision health as they tackle the world’s grand health care challenges.

I know our researchers and scholars can’t wait to finally set foot in this building. But their transformative work is already changing lives and enhancing communities. The NextGen Institute will enable us to have an even greater impact, bringing solutions to all of Missouri – and all of society – through improved treatments and groundbreaking health innovations, now and in the future. That’s what it means to be the University FOR Missouri.


Police Dog Lor

While the NextGen Institute facility is not yet completed, the network of expert faculty and researchers that form the backbone of our mission are already making an impact. Case in point: Lor, a retired police dog who first gained fame through the television show “Live PD,” recently developed a life-threatening tumor. His owner, James Craigmyle, took him to MU’s Veterinary Health Center, which is the only veterinary facility in mid-Missouri capable of treating such a complex issue.

Lor’s surgery was successful thanks to the efforts of our talented veterinary team in the College of Veterinary Medicine, which treats countless animals from all around Missouri while also developing treatments that can be translated to people.

Thank you again for all the ways you continue to build excellence across our university, Missouri and the world. These stories – and so many more – are proof that your hard work and commitment to Mizzou and the greater good continue to make our impact stronger every year.

Until next time — M-I-Z!


Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright


Alexander N. Cartwright, PhD