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University of Missouri

F‐A‐M, I‐L‐Y

It’s a Mizzou family, on campus and off.

Todd McCubbin, M Ed ’95

Todd McCubbin, M Ed ’95. Photo by Rob Hill.

It has been rewarding to watch our new chancellor, R. Bowen Loftin, make the rounds getting to know students, faculty and alumni nationwide. He has repeatedly said that the word “family” best describes our culture on campus and off. 

It’s no coincidence that referring to the Mizzou family has become increasingly popular in recent years. I admit the phrase can sound hokey, but it describes interactions I’ve witnessed at hundreds of alumni events and activities through the years. The sense of warmth and familiarity that alumni share always amazes me. The Mizzou experience binds newly minted alumni with those who graduated in the 1950s, even though times were very different.

The Mizzou family was also on display when, before the football season started, Tigers defensive end Michael Sam told teammates he is gay, and again later when he announced it publicly before the NFL draft. The prospect of becoming the first openly gay NFL player was a national story. But many students, faculty and staff were asking one another why it was such a big deal. It seemed second nature to respect the privacy of another family member and support him along the way.

Caring, supportive and loyal all describe strong families. Add black‐and‐gold to that list, and I believe you have the perfect recipe for the Mizzou family.