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University of Missouri

Searching for Mizzou Veterans

MU’s largest fraternity — its military veterans — now has its own alumni group.

american flags hang on Mizzou's Columns

Photo by Rachel Coward.

It was Veterans Day 2010 when Rich Grant, BA ’69, had his “palm to the forehead” moment.

A 34-year veteran of the U.S. Army and Army National Guard, Grant was at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the MU Veterans Center. He listened to speeches lauding student veterans and wondered if the Mizzou Alumni Association had a veterans group. Next to him was Walter Pfeffer, BGS ’89, who leads the association’s legislative network committee. Both are Columbians. He asked “Wally” if such a group existed. It didn’t — then.

It does now.

The association’s board of governors approved the creation of the Mizzou Military Veterans Alumni Association at its April 2013 meeting. Grant is the first president.

The group intends to be a resource for veterans who are current students, new graduates or alumni by offering scholarships, job networking and social events.

The challenge they face is finding members. Grant calls veterans MU’s “largest fraternity,” but Mizzou does not track which of its students are veterans.

Grant, who worked in marketing and recruitment, expects the group to grow slowly as word spreads. But he’s got a few ideas up his sleeve, including an honorary membership for Mizzou’s most famous, albeit fictional, veteran: Beetle Bailey.

“Maybe we can get a shout-out for the association in the Sunday Beetle Bailey strip,” he says.

Anyone interested in joining the veterans group — membership is open to anyone interested in supporting veterans, regardless of personal veteran status — may contact Robert Ross at the alumni association at 800-372-6822 or rossrob@missouri.edu, or register online.