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University of Missouri

Celebrating Our Stripes

Meet the 2014 Homecoming directors.

Everyone celebrates Homecoming a little bit differently. Some come to CoMo to tailgate and cheer on the Tigers at Memorial Stadium. Others stay up late to tour campus decorations and wake up early to catch the parade. Students put on step shows and talent shows, and alumni reconnect with old friends. But few invest in Homecoming like the 32 students who spend months planning and executing one of the nation’s best celebrations of its kind. Meet Homecoming Steering Committee directors Jeremy Essner, Jessica Morrow and Brandon Pilas.

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Jeremy Essner

Jeremy Essner

Jeremy Essner

What Homecoming means to me: Homecoming is more than just a football game. Homecoming is a chance for our alumni to come back and relive memories they made at MU. It’s also a chance for our current students to make those memories that they will be talking about for years to come.
What the Homecoming theme, “Celebrating Our Stripes,” means to me: Our student body comes from such diverse backgrounds. This theme gives the students a chance to celebrate what they are most proud of here at Mizzou.
Best idea as a director: Buy a planner
Biggest surprise about college life: How much laundry I have
Favorite class at MU: Classical mythology because it was like story time as a kid
Favorite place to eat in CoMo: CJ’s. I love wings.
Superpower I’d like to have: Time travel, so I could go back to freshman year and live college all over again
Obsession: I finished a whole season of Bates Motel in two days.
Guilty pleasure: El Rancho nachos
Actor who would play me in a movie: Russell Crowe. I like to think of myself as rugged.
First crush: Topanga from Boy Meets World
Most people don’t know: I’ve never been on an airplane before.
Dream job: Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals

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Jessica Morrow

Jessica Morrow

Jessica Morrow

What Homecoming means to me: I’m blown away by the spirit and tradition that lies within this campus. It’s incredible to see such passion in the desire to maintain our traditions in the hearts of our students, alumni and faculty.
What the Homecoming theme means to me: Acknowledging the diverse culture Mizzou encompasses. Everyone’s “stripes” add to the Mizzou experience.
Most challenging thing about being a director: Coordinating business black-and-gold outfits
Favorite MU tradition: Chanting M-I-Z. I love connecting with fellow Tigers wherever we might be.
Most exciting experience: Getting my acceptance email from Sinclair School of Nursing because it is something I am passionate about
Have always wanted to: Travel to Spain so I can put my Spanish skills to use
Glad I did it but wouldn’t do it again: Walk across a frozen lake in northern Wisconsin
Most people don’t know: I like to be artsy and paint in my free time.
Favorite place to eat in CoMo: Las Margaritas
If I won the lottery: I would buy a nice car and then give my parents a bunch of money because they’ve put up with me for 21-plus years.
Actor who would play me in a movie: Jennifer Lawrence. She seems pretty cool.
Dream job: Chief of nursing at a level-one trauma center
Ultimate dinner date: Beyoncé, to figure out how she does it all
Favorite quote: “Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.” — Tina Fey

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Brandon Pilas

Brandon Pilas

Brandon Pilas

What Homecoming means to me: Homecoming means everything to me. From donating blood to staying up to the early hours of the morning building a parade float, I love it all. It’s a celebration where everyone can find an event they are passionate about.
What the Homecoming theme means to me: One of my goals as director is to get everyone involved in Homecoming. “Celebrating Our Stripes” encompasses everything that Mizzou is about. The students at Mizzou are so diverse, and we want to celebrate everyone.
First thing I thought when I found out I was a director: I thought it was a joke. When I realized it wasn’t, I thought, ‘What am I getting myself into.’
Most challenging thing about being a director: Remembering there are 31 capable people willing to help me with anything Homecoming-related
Most exciting experience: Studying abroad last summer in Prague. Encountering so many different cultures and stepping outside of my comfort zone was incredible.
Favorite class at MU: Accounting 2258 because it teaches everything you need to know about Microsoft Excel. It was and will be the most practical class I take at Mizzou.
Favorite place to eat in CoMo: Booche’s
Wish I knew as a freshman: To get to know my professors. They are really there for your benefit and want to help you out in any way.
I’m proudest of: Donating bone marrow my sophomore year. It was an incredible feeling to be able to give an individual a second chance at life.
Biggest fear: I don’t go into the ocean. I’m afraid of getting eaten by a shark.
Would never: Allow my children to attend the University of Kansas
Perfect day: Attending an afternoon Cardinals game and an evening Blues game
Ultimate dinner date: Chancellor Loftin. I haven’t met him yet, and he seems like a pretty cool guy.
Favorite quote: “Be quick, but don’t hurry.” — John Wooden