Mizzou at Its Finest

October 9, 2019

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

As midterm season quickly approaches, I want to capitalize on the opportunity to share some good news with you.

Before we jump in, I want to remind you of the upcoming State of the University speech. I hope you will join in on the fun as we talk about what it means to be a boundless university and the flagship of the future! The speech begins at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 11 in Cornell Hall’s Bush Auditorium. Stop byHomecoming Headquarters afterward for free Buck’s ice cream.


First-year students walking through The Columns during annual Tiger Walk eventI say this often, but Mizzou is incredible because of you – the faculty, staff, students, alumni and community – who work tirelessly to make this a great place to learn, work and live. This special campus community has grown again this fall!

We are pleased to see that freshman enrollment has increased by more than 16% compared to last year. That marks the second year in a row of double-digit percentage growth, and the second consecutive year of record-breaking retention rates. This remarkable growth reflects well on the educational experiences we offer here at Missouri’s flagship university as we continue to attract bright, committed students.

We also were thrilled to celebrate more than 130 faculty members who were recently promoted or who received tenure. These types of celebrations remind us why working at a university is so rewarding.


student on skateboard jumping over mural of large hole in sidewalkYou might have noticed the murals that “popped up” around campus recently. The temporary chalk installations marked the official launch of MU’s new Artist in Residence program, which we announced last year. This multidisciplinary effort to expand the presence of the arts on campus through partnerships across divisions is driven by the College of Arts & Science.

Professional artists Chris Carlson and Nate Baranowski kicked off the program with their trompe l’oeil murals, which fool the eye into seeing a 3D image from a certain angle. Keep an eye out as we continue to host visual artists, filmmakers, musicians, performers and others on campus.


Architectural rendering of NextGen Precision Health InstituteFollowing an exciting groundbreaking event this summer, we continue the hard work to ensure progress on the NextGen Precision Health Institute, set to open in 2021. This facility is a phenomenal opportunity to bring together health care researchers, practitioners and state-of-the-art technology to make us a leader in the lifesaving field of precision medicine.

On that note, I’m thrilled about MU’s recently announced $4.7 million investment in 12 innovative research projects that will lead to advancements in medicine, public health and much more. It’s all part of our commitment to build the future of health care and bring personalized, interdisciplinary treatments to every citizen in Missouri and beyond. The future of health care is interdisciplinary research and personalized treatments, and MU is the perfect place where this type of work can flourish.


Student wearing cap and gown poses in front of Jesse HallMU was recently selected to participate in a pilot program that aims to diversify career pathways for those who earn Ph.Ds., and prepare doctoral students for the workforce. This Ph.D. Education Initiative is run by the Association of American Universities’ (AAU), and we are one of eight universities participating.

Through this initiative, MU leaders across all disciplines will evaluate student-centered initiatives to help doctoral students achieve the best possible career outcomes.

Other institutions joining this effort include Boston University, Duke University, Indiana University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Iowa, University of Texas at Austin and the University of Virginia.


Sevanna Rowland It takes a village to support students. Earlier this summer, we announced another record-breaking fundraising year, and much of the $200 million raised during the past year from our gracious alumni and supporters is dedicated to student success.

This creates benefits for programs like the Heartland Scholars Academy, which connects first-generation business students from small towns with financial assistance and life-changing opportunities through hands-on learning.

One such student is Sevanna Rowland, a sophomore from Houston, Mo., who dreams of pursuing a career in the fashion industry in a city much larger than her hometown – or Columbia! Thanks to financial aid and other overall support on her journey, MU’s Heartland Scholars Academy is helping Sevanna make that dream a reality.

As you can see, we are building tremendous momentum already this year.

As the University FOR Missouri, I know it is important to not simply talk about what we will do, but to show real results from what we are already doing. I hope this sampling of university news has you excited about what is to come.

Until next time — M-I-Z!


Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright


Alexander N. Cartwright, PhD