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The University of Missouri (Mizzou, MU, University of Missouri–Columbia or simply Missouri) is a coeducational public research university located in the state of Missourimarker. In 1839 the university was founded in Columbia, Missourimarker as the first public institution of higher education west of the Mississippi River. The largest university in Missouri, MU enrolls over 30,000 students in 20 academic colleges. The university is the flagship of the University of Missouri System which maintains campuses in Rollamarker, Kansas Citymarker and St. Louismarker.MU is one of thirty-four public universities to be members of the Association of American Universities and the only one in Missouri. There are more than 244,000 MU alumni living worldwide, with half continuing to reside in Missouri.

The campus of the University of Missouri is 1,372 acres just south of Downtown Columbiamarker and is maintained as a botanical garden. The historical campus is centered on David R.marker Francis Quadranglemarker, a National Historic District, and a number of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1908 the world's first school of journalism was founded by Walter Williams at the suggestion of Joseph Pulitzer as the Missouri School of Journalism. The University of Missouri Research Reactor Center is the world's most powerful university research reactor. It is one of only six public universities in the United States with a school of medicine, veterinary medicine, engineering, agriculture, and law all on one campus. The university also owns the University of Missouri Health Care system which operates four hospitals in Mid-Missouri

The University of Missouri's athletic teams are known as the Missouri Tigers and compete as members of the Big 12 conference. The school's mascot, Truman the Tiger, is named after Missourian and former U.S. president Harry S. Truman. According to the NCAA the American tradition of Homecoming was established at the University in 1911; the tradition has since been adopted nationwide.


Establishment and pre-fire

In 1839, the Missouri legislature passed the Geyer Act to establish funds for a state university for the state's many aspiring students. It would be the first public university west of the Mississippi River. To secure the university, the citizens of Columbia and Boone County pledged $117,921 in cash and land to beat out five other central Missouri counties for the location of the state university. The land on which the University was eventually constructed was just south of Columbia's downtown and owned by James S. Rollins, who became known as the "Father of the University." As the first public University in Louisiana Purchase, the school was shaped by Thomas Jefferson's ideas about public education.

In 1862 the American Civil War forced the university to close for much of the year. It was during this time that the residents of Columbia formed a "home guard" militia unit that became notoriously known as the "Fighting Tigers of Columbia". This name was given because of the group's steadfast readiness to fight against any form of invading force that was hoping to plunder the city and university. Later, in 1890, the name suggested the University's newly-formed football team be called the "Tigers" for those who fought to defend Columbia. In 1870 the institution was granted land-grant status under the Morrill Act of 1862. The act also led to the establishment of the the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy as an off shoot of the main campus in Columbia; This institution became the present-day Missouri University of Science & Technologymarker. In 1888 the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station opened. This grew to encompass ten centers and research farms around central Missouri. By 1890 the university encompassed a normal college (education), engineering college, art's and science college, school of agriculture and mechanical arts. school of medicine, and school of law. On January 9, 1892, Academic Hallmarker, the institution's main building, fell victim to a disastrous fire. The fire completely gutted the building, leaving little more than six stone Ionic columns standing. The university's rebuilding, under the tenure of Missouri Governor David R. Francis laid the foundations for the modern university.

After the fire

After the fire, there was a campaign to move the University to Sedaliamarker; however, Columbia was able to rally against the move. The columns, which still stand today, became a symbol of the campus and form the center of Francis Quadranglemarker, the oldest part of campus. At the southern end of the quad is Academic Hall's replacement, Jesse Hall, named for Richard Jesse (the president of the university at the time of the fire). Built in 1895, Jesse Hall is home to many administrative offices of the University and to Jesse Auditorium. The area of campus around the quadrangle, where the buildings are built of red brick, is known as "red campus."

Fire at Academic Hall, 1892
East of the quadrangle, many buildings were built in 1913 and 1914 of white limestone. This section is known as "white campus." In 1908 the world's first journalism school was opened at MU. It became famous worldwide for its "Missouri Method" of hands-on, experience-based teaching. In 1910 George Kessler implemented a City Beautiful design of the grounds. In 1911, MU held the first homecoming when Athletic Director, Chester Brewer (another alumnus of Acacia Fraternity), invited alumni to "come home" for a spirit rally, a parade, and the football game between MU and the University of Kansasmarker. After World War II, universities around the country grew at an extraordinary pace, and MU was no exception. This was due in part to the G.I. Bill, which allowed veterans to attend college with the assistance of the federal government.

Events at the University were instrumental in the desegregation of universities and schools nationwide. In the winter of 1935, four graduates of Lincoln Universitymarker—a traditionally black school about 30 miles (50 km) away in Jefferson Citymarker—were denied admission to MU's graduate school. One of the students, Lloyd L. Gaines, brought his case to the United States Supreme Courtmarker. On December 12, 1938, in a landmark 6–2 decision, the court ordered the State of Missouri to admit Gaines to MU's law school or provide a facility of equal stature. Gaines disappeared in Chicagomarker on March 19, 1939, under suspicious circumstances. The University granted Gaines a posthumous honorary law degree in May 2006. Undergraduate divisions were integrated by court order in 1950, when the University was compelled to admit African Americans to courses that were not offered at Lincoln University.

Flagship campus

The University of Missouri became a four campus system in 1963.


MU is located in Columbia, Missourimarker just south of downtown. The campus is designated a botanical garden by the state of Missouri. The academic portion of campus is split into two main groups known as Red Campus and White Campus. Red Campus is the historical core of academic buildings situated around the landmark columns of the David R.marker Francis Quadranglemarker. Red Campus also includes buildings such as Jesse Hallmarker and Switzler Hallmarker. In the early 1900s, the College of Agriculture began a period of rapid expansion in which several buildings were constructed to accommodate the growing program and student body. The new buildings, located to the east of Red Campus, were built in neo-gothic style from native Missouri limestone. The most notable feature of White Campus is Memorial Unionmarker.

Tower of Memorial Union
A fountain and statue make up Tiger Plaza, located on the southern edge of the Carnahan Quadrangle
During the 1990s, Red Campus was extended to the south side of Jesse Hall with the creation of the Carnahan Quadrangle. Hulston Hall of the University of Missouri School of Lawmarker had already been completed in 1988 and formed a natural eastern border for the future quad. The Reynolds Alumni Center was completed in 1992 on the west side of the new quad. The new quad was finished with completion of Cornell Hall of the Trulaske College of Business and Tiger Plaza in 2002.

While the original MU intercollegiate athletic facilities, such as Rollins Field and Rothwell Gymnasium, were located just to the south of the academic buildings, the venues began to move further south across Stadium Boulevard upon the completion of Memorial Stadiummarker in 1926. The Hearnes Centermarker was completed just to the east of the stadium in 1972. In 1994, the university developed the first draft of a master facilities plan for the campus that would tie together all of Tiger athletic facilities to the south of Stadium Boulevard into an attractive setting. Today, the MU Sports Park now also includes the Mizzou Arenamarker, Taylor Stadiummarker, and Walton Stadiummarker. Student athletic facilities remain in the core area of campus where the original intercollegiate facilities were once located. Rothwell Gymnasium and Brewer Fieldhouse are now part of the Student Recreation Center that was ranked number one in the nation by Sports Illustrated in the September 2005 issue.

Between the student recreation facilities and the intercollegiate athletic facilities lies the main campus of the University of Missouri Hospitals and Clinics. The complex includes the University of Missouri Hospital and Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital. Two of the hospitals, Columbia Regional Hospital and Ellis Fischel Cancer Center are located northeast of the main campus, near I-70.

Located south of the MU Sports Park along Providence Road is the MU Research Park. The research park includes the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center, International Institute for Nano and Molecular Medicine, MU Life Science Business Incubator at Monsanto Place, and Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. In October 2005, the University of Missouri Board of Curators also approved legislation to designate the South Farm of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) as a research park. The park, located three miles (5 km) southeast of the main campus on US63, is now known as Discovery Ridge Research Park. Tenants at Discovery Ridge include ABC Laboratories and the MU Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory.

The main campus is flanked to the east and west by Greek Life housing. As one of the nation's largest Greek life systems, the University of Missouri includes nearly 50 national social fraternities and sororities, many of which make their homes in multi-million dollar historical residences. Beta Sigma Psi, Kappa Alpha Order, Sigma Chi, Beta Theta Pi, Alpha Gamma Rho, and Sigma Nu form a Greek Row (also called Frat Row) along College Avenue in the East Campus area. Most of the Greek letter organizations are arranged in a Greek Town, consisting of approximately 30 Greek residences, to the north of Memorial Stadium. Tau Kappa Epsilon, Kappa Sigma, and Lambda Chi Alpha reside in houses west of the MU Power Plant on Stewart Road.


MU is one of only six public universities that houses a law school, medical school, and a veterinary medicine school all on the same campus. In Missouri, MU is the designated land-grant university (along with Lincoln Universitymarker), the largest public research institution, and the only university that is both a member of the Association of American Universities and designated as a "Doctoral/Research Extensive" university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Only 34 universities in the nation have both such designations. The University of Missouri Research Reactor Center is located in the MU Research Park and is the largest university research reactor in the U.S.

In 1908, the Missouri School of Journalism (known colloquially as the "J-school"), the world's first school of journalism, was founded in Columbia. The University of Missouri System also owns and operates KOMU-TVmarker, the NBC/CW affiliate for Columbia and nearby Jefferson Citymarker. It is a full-fledged commercial station, but is also a working lab for journalism students. The MU School of Journalism also operates the Columbia Missourian which trains students in reporting, editing and design in a real newsroom managed by professional editors, local National Public Radio Station [KBIA] and Radio Adelante, a Spanish-language radio program.

Founded in 1978 after 23 years as a unit of the School of Medicine, the School of Health Professions became an autonomous division by action of the University of Missouri Board of Curators on Dec. 14, 2000. The school's five departments and eight accredited academic programs have a long and distinguished history, some dating back to the early 1900s, and have produced many well respected and nationally recognized professionals. As Missouri's only state supported school of health professions on a campus with an academic health center, and the only allied health school in the University of Missouri system, the school is uniquely positioned to educate highly qualified health care professionals, who, in addition to becoming skilled practitioners, will assume leadership responsibilities as faculty, researchers, and administrators in their respective disciplines.

The university maintains the second largest library collection in the State of Missouri. As of the 2006-2007 academic year, the collection was home to nearly 3.1 million volumes, 8.1 million microforms, 1.7 million government documents, more than 272,000 print maps, and more than 49,000 journal subscriptions. The collection is housed in Ellis Librarymarker, the University Archives, and seven specialized academic libraries across campus. The collection was originally house in Academic Hallmarker, and most of it was lost when the building burned in 1892. The only materials that survived were those that were checked out at the time. During the Civil War, Union troops used the Library as a guard room. The Union troops caused significant damage, including taking 467 library volumes to construct fires. The Board of Curators later sued the Army for the destruction they caused to the library and other parts of campus. The suit was eventually settled in 1915 and the award was used to build the Memorial Gateway on the northern edge of Red Campus. In 1913, construction began on a new main library for the campus, and in 1915 it was completed and the collection was moved from Jesse Hall to the newly constructed library. The main library was expanded in 1935, 1958, and 1985. It was dedicated as Elmer Ellis Library on October 10, 1972, in honor of the thirteenth president of the University of Missouri. Today, the MU libraries are home to the 47th largest research collection in North America.

Organization and administration

College/school founding
College/school Year founded

College of Arts and Science 1841
College of Education 1868
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources 1870
School of Lawmarker 1872
School of Medicine 1872
College of Engineering 1877
Graduate School 1896
School of Journalism 1908
Trulaske College of Business 1914
Sinclair School of Nursing 1920
College of Veterinary Medicine 1946
School of Social Work 1948
School of Music ????
School of Health Professions ????
School of Accountancy 1975
School of Natural Resources 1989
College of Human Environmental Sciences 1960
School of Information Science & Learning Technologies 1997
Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs 2001

Presidents and chancellors

Each campus of the University of Missouri System is led by a chancellor, who reports to the president of the UM System. Prior to the formation of the system in 1963, the Columbia campus and its offshoot in Rollamarker were led directly by the president and the position of chancellor did not exist. See University of Missouri System#Presidents for a list of presidents from 1963–present. This list does not include interim presidents or chancellors. John Lathrop is the only president or chancellor to have served separate terms.

Presidents, 1841–1963 and Chancellors, 1963–present
  1. John Hiram Lathrop (1841–1849)
  2. James Shannon (1850–1856)
  3. William Wilson Hudson (1856–1859)
  4. Benjamin Blake Minor (1860–1862)
  5. John Hiram Lathrop (1865–1866)
  6. Daniel Read (1866–1876)
  7. Samuel Spahr Laws (1876–1889)
  8. Richard Henry Jesse (1891–1908)
  9. Albert Ross Hill (1908–1921)
  10. John Carleton Jones (1922–1923)
  11. Stratton Brooks (1923–1930)
  12. Walter Williams (1931–1935)
  13. Frederick Middlebush (1935–1954)
  14. Elmer Ellis† (1955–1963)
  15. John W. Schwada (1964–1970)
  16. Herbert W. Schooling (1971–1978)
  17. Barbara Uehling (1978–1987)
  18. Haskell Monroe (1987–1993)
  19. Charles Kiesler (1993–1996)
  20. Richard L. Wallace (1997–2004)
  21. Brady J. Deaton (2004–present)
† Elmer Ellis became president of the University of Missouri System upon its creation, serving until 1966.

From its inception in 1839 until the creation of the University of Missouri System in 1963, the university in Columbia was known simply as the University of Missouri. Upon creation of the system, each university was renamed with its host city; thus, the university in Columbia became the University of Missouri–Columbia. In the proceeding decades, colloquial and verbal usage of the generic name in reference to MU continued. There were various attempts to drop Columbia from its name by students, faculty, alumni, and administrators who felt it might cause the university to be perceived as a regional institution. This change was long resisted by the UM System and the other universities on the basis of uniformity and fairness. However, after a renewed effort for "name restoration", the Board of Curators voted unanimously on 29 November 2007 to allow MU to drop Columbia from its name for effectively all public purposes. Continued use of the name University of Missouri–Columbia is not incorrect but is being phased out by MU, except as required on official internal documents within the UM System. Its use also continues to be advocated by some faculty, administration, and alumni of UMKC, UMSL, and Missouri S&T.

Student life

Residential Life

Dobbs Area

Residence Halls: Dining Halls: Convenience Store:
  • Mizzou Market: Southwest
Pershing/Mid-Campus Area

Residence Halls: Dining Hall:
  • TBA
Convenience Store:
  • Mizzou Market: Hitt Street
College Avenue Area

Residence Halls: Dining Halls:
Rollins Area Dining Halls: Mark Twain Area

Residence Halls: Dining Halls:
  • * Indicates currently being constructed or closed for renovation

Groups and activities

Tap Day is an annual spring ceremony in which the identities of the members of the six secret honor societies are revealed. The participating societies are QEBH, Mystical Seven, LSV, Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortar Board, and the Rollins Society. The ceremony, first held in 1927, takes place at the base of the Columns on Francis Quadrangle.

Greek Life

MU is home to one of the oldest and largest Greek systems in the nation. The University is home to the first chapter of an existing national fraternity founded at a public institution west of the Mississippi. Currently, more than 70 Greek-letter organizations remain active at MU.


The Missouri Tigers are members of the Big 12 Conference. Mizzou is the only school in the state with all of its sports in the NCAA Division I, the nation's highest level of college sports. Their colors are black and gold. Athletic sports include men's and women's basketball, baseball, cross country, football, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, swimming & diving, softball, track, tennis, volleyball, women's soccer, and wrestling. Former football coach Dan Devine holds the record for most wins on the gridiron. Additionally, former basketball coach and alum Norm Stewart maintains the record for most wins on the hard court. The current head coach of the men's basketball team is Mike Anderson. Gary Pinkel is the current head football coach. Coaches of other sports include women's basketball coach Cindy Stein, women's golf coach Stephanie Priesmeyer, men's golf coach Mark Leroux, baseball coach Tim Jamieson, softball coach Ehren Earleywine, cross country coach Jared Wilmes, men's swimming and diving coach Brian Hoffer, track and field coach Rick McGuire, wrestling coach Brian Smith, gymnastics coach Rob Drass, soccer coach Bryan Blitz, tennis coach Blake Starkey, and volleyball coach Wayne Kreklow.

Tiger logo

MU football games are played on Faurot Fieldmarker at Memorial Stadium. Built in 1926, the stadium has an official capacity of 68,349, and features a nearly . wide "M" behind the north end zone. Men's and women's basketball games are played at the Mizzou Arenamarker, located just south of the football stadium. The Hearnes Centermarker hosted men's and women's basketball from 1972 to 2004 and is still used for other athletic and school events.

The Missouri Tiger men's basketball team has 22 NCAA tournament appearances all time. However, this is the second most NCAA Tournament appearances without a final four. The Tigers have appeared in the regional finals of the NCAA tournament (elite eight) six times, two under legendary coach Norm Stewart. The Tigers in their history have won 15 conference championships from their days in the Missouri Valley, to the Big 6, and the big 8 conference. In 1994 the Tigers did not lose a Big 8 game to take the regular season title. In 2009 Missouri won its only Big 12 Championship over Baylor. A few standout players from the Mizzou's basketball team include, Anthony Peeler, John Brown, Jon Sundvold, Steve Stipanovich, Kareem Rush, Doug Smith, Willie Smith, Norm Stewart, Linas Kleiza, Derrick Chievous, and DeMarre Carroll. The official mascot for Missouri Tigers athletics is Truman the Tiger, who was created on September 16, 1986. Truman was named following a campus-wide naming contest in honor of Harry S. Truman, the only U.S. president from Missouri. Previously MU had two mascots, a male and a female, but neither had an identity. Truman was acclaimed the "Best Mascot in the Nation" for the second time, in national competition in 2004.

Today, Truman can be seen cheering on the Tigers and mingling with supporters at Mizzou athletic events as well as pep-rallies, alumni association functions, and frequent visits to Columbia area schools.

On November 24, 2007 the Mizzou football team played its biggest rival, Kansas. At that time KU was ranked #2 and MU was ranked #4 nationally. At the end of the game Mizzou defeated KU, 36–28. The following day MU was ranked #1 in the country for only the second time in its history (November 14, 1960, 1 week).On December 1, 2007, the Mizzou football team lost the Big 12 Championship game in San Antonio, Texas to Oklahoma 38–17 falling out of national title and Bowl Championship Series contention. They played in the Cotton Bowl January 1, 2008 at Dallas, Texas defeating the Arkansas Razorbacks 38–7. However in the final Associated Press Top 25 football poll of the 2007 season, Mizzou was ranked #4 in the country—its highest finishing position in the team's history.


Alma Mater

The Alma Mater for the University is Old Missouri. It was written in 1895 and is sung to the tune of Annie Lisle and has two verses. Before and after athletic events, sometimes only the first verse is used. The first and second verses are more commonly sung at student orientation, commencement/graduation ceremonies and Mizzou Alumni Association events. Both verses are followed by the chorus.

First Verse:

Old Missouri, fair Missouri

Dear old Varsity.

Ours are hearts that fondly love thee

Here's a health to thee.


Proud art thou in classic beauty

Of thy noble past

With thy watch words: honour, duty,

Thy high fame shall last!

Second verse:

Every student, man and maiden

Swells the glad refrain.

'Till the breezes, music laden

Waft it back again.


Proud art thou in classic beauty

Of thy noble past

With thy watch words honour, duty,

Thy high fame shall last!


MU is credited with establishing the tradition of Homecoming in the United States, which was subsequently adopted by most colleges and high schools across the country. The tradition began in 1911 when athletic director Chester L. Brewer invited alumni to "come home" for the big football game against KUmarker. A spirit rally and parade were planned as part of the welcome home celebration for alumni. MU's homecoming celebration has been named the best Homecoming in the nation and a model homecoming program by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Since 1999, the homecoming blood drive has earned the Guinness Record as the nation's largest.

Notable faculty and alumni

See also


  1. - Retrieved July 13, 2008
  2. Mizzou Homecoming history
  3. "MU awards law degree to kin of rights pioneer" by Alan Scher Zagier, Columbia Daily Tribune, May 14, 2006, retrieved on August 15, 2006
  5. History of the School of Health Professions
  6. Facts about the Libraries
  7. The Heart of the University: MU Libraries
  8. JLib affiliated libraries
  14. University of Missouri Leaders
  15. Former presidents of the University of Missouri
  16. UM Curators recognize historic status of MU


External links

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