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University of Missouri

Heart for Mizzou

Mizzou Alumni Association volunteer president has long loved the university.

Dudley McCarter

As Mizzou Alumni Association president, Dudley McCarter hopes to boost alumni involvement. Photo by Rob Hill.

Dudley McCarter, JD ’75, the Mizzou Alumni Association’s new volunteer president, had a history with MU years before he enrolled in law school. He’d been smitten with the place as a junior football player at Riverview Gardens High School in St. Louis. “Some older guys from our school were playing at Mizzou, and that spring, our coach brought us to Columbia to watch the Black and Gold Game. I remember riding the bus through campus and thinking how beautiful it was and what a great university.”

The hook was set, and a few months later, he was reeled in while attending a weeklong student council convention at Memorial Union. “I was proud that this was the state university, but it’s an intangible thing. I fell in love with MU.”

McCarter wanted to play football and wrestle in college, but he wasn’t good enough to compete in Division I. However, even when he attended Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, he wore his heart on his sleeve for the University of Missouri. “I used to wear Mizzou T-shirts on campus there,” he says with a laugh. “And I remember after our football games, I’d run back to the fraternity house to find out if the Mizzou score had come up yet.”

When it came time for law school, Mizzou was McCarter’s first choice. And as soon as he was gainfully employed as a lawyer, he repaid the $400 in scholarships he received during his second and third years in the program.

In the decades since, McCarter has served not only in several roles for the Mizzou Alumni Association (law school representative to the governing board, treasurer, vice president) but also as president of the Missouri Bar and chair of the Children’s Trust Fund of Missouri.

During his 2014–15 term as association president, McCarter plans to encourage alumni to boost their involvement in the university. He offers several options, including joining the association; giving more money; getting a Mizzou license plate, which supports scholarships; and volunteering time.

McCarter’s interest in history dovetailed with Mizzou’s 175th Anniversary Celebration Leadership Committee, a campuswide committee planning the yearlong anniversary celebration in 2014. He is serving as a committee co-chair. Anniversary initiatives include a weeklong celebration in September focusing on the topic of Thomas Jefferson, whose ideas helped shape public education. The celebration will include guest speakers, a service project and the Sept. 18 inauguration of Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, where the university’s new ceremonial staff, or mace — sponsored by the Mizzou Alumni Association — will be unveiled.