New and resurgent alumni chapters take off.
Alumni nationwide are starting (or jump-starting) chapters in support of Mizzou.
Parkland Area Tigers (Farmington area)
Southwest Quads (Lamar area)
Bluegrass (Louisville and Lexington, Ky.)
Hilton Head, S.C.
Little Rock, Ark.
Mizzou’s recent move to the Southeastern Conference seems to have ignited alumni involvement in the South and elsewhere. But the boom is not all about sports.
Jo Beth Harrison of Atlanta is an unlikely suspect to organize a Mizzou Alumni Association chapter event. She grew up in Kansas City, Kan., and lives in the territory of the Southeastern Conference. Until about a year ago, Mizzou was not even on her radar.
Luckily, on their way to visit relatives in Kansas, the family stopped in Columbia and toured campus with daughter Meredith. When they considered the course offerings, beautiful campus, and warm welcome from student recruiters and Atlanta alumni, the whole family was hooked. They have lots of company.
“Since November 2011, we have 26 new or resurgent chapters nationwide, with 12 of those in the SEC footprint,” says Jayson Meyer, who directs alumni relations for the association. The usual tally: five.
Alumni at other SEC schools have made Mizzou alumni feel welcome at various events. For instance, on Aug. 25, 2012, in Austin, Texas, SEC alumni hosted a social event with about 400 guests from several SEC and Big 12 schools. “We had people from all the schools welcoming Mizzou to the SEC,” says Jenny Paul, BJ ’07, of the Austin chapter. “They noted that SEC schools look out for each other — until game day — but we can all be friends again later.”
“This is well-rounded chapter development,” Meyer says. Events include socials, watch parties, fundraisers and get-togethers such as Harrison’s project: a send-off for local students attending MU. The nine students met Aug. 5, 2012, at a restaurant with Atlanta chapter president Chad Bozarth, BJ ’95, and other alumni to talk about Mizzou.
Harrison might carve out a chapter role for herself as a parent liaison. “I would love to pull those students back together for a social when they are home over winter break.”