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University of Missouri

A History of Service

Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan join a long tradition of military influences on MU.

Sean McLafferty

Sean McLafferty photo by Rob Hill.

From shutting down campus during the Civil War to pushing the forefront of student services today, the military and military veterans have shaped Mizzou.

33 percent increase in MU students on the GI Bill in fall 2012 from fall 2011 (365 versus 275)

Career Jump

Before coming to Mizzou, Sean McLafferty spent 15 months in Iraq jumping out of airplanes for the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. Then, he traded his rifle for a pencil to save his knees and jump-start his career prospects.

New Comrades

With his brother, Kyle, Sean has gotten involved with the Mizzou Student Veterans Association. “It really gives us some camaraderie,” says Sean, adding that he found his roommate through the association.

Still Serving

The association meets regularly for social, service and educational events. “It gets us involved in the community,” Sean says. “It’s a support structure just like a family.”

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Read more about Sean and Kyle McLafferty

History in Numbers

10 Months classes were suspended at MU during the Civil War after a contingent of federal volunteer troops from Missouri established a post at the school in 1862. The soldiers pitched tents on campus and quartered in Academic Hall.

100 Women, roughly, who trained in the short-lived Ladies’ Department Drill Co. in the late 1880s under MU’s celebrated military department head Lt. Enoch Crowder, Engr ’48. They performed military drills with light guns but without corsets, wearing hats instead of caps.

117 Alumni killed in World War I — at least 22 from disease, chiefly influenza and pneumonia. Their names are carved on the north and south walls of Memorial Union’s archway.

2,800 Students and faculty sheltered in short-term housing, including 298 trailer homes in three locations (GI City on west campus, Dairy Lawn at the College of Agriculture and Fairway Village just north of Memorial Stadium), 66 single dorms, 58 family dorms and 90 houses for faculty use, after enrollment tripled following World War II.

2,000 Approximate number who marched in protest of the Vietnam War and the draft at McAlester Park on May 5, 1971, a year after the Kent State massacre. The students unofficially renamed the park Peace Park that evening.

100+ Students summoned to active duty during the Persian Gulf War. Some who were called up mid-semester arranged with professors to complete courses while deployed.