5 Ways Tigers are Showing Mizzou Some Love
A few things Tigers are doing to bring us all together
After a tumultuous fall semester marked by protests and resignations, the Mizzou community came together in the spring to reunite and refocus. Here’s a peek at just a few things Tigers are doing to bring us all together:
1. We’re making sound investments.
It’s no secret that the university has grappled with budget woes, funding threats and enrollment uncertainty in recent months. But Tigers who understand the university’s value to the state (see Page 17) are putting smart money on Mizzou. The Mizzou: Our Time to Lead campaign has raised $719 million toward our $1.3 billion funding goal, with $65 million coming since October. And so far 2016 has seen a surge in generosity. Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield announced a gift of more than $2 million for the Mizzou New Music Initiative. Barry Slayton, BS ’70, and Marge Slayton, BS ’72, made a $2.65 million estate gift to support beef genomics and nutrition research. Michael and Millie Brown gave $2 million, and Richard Miller gave $1 million for a new Sinclair School of Nursing academic building. Gov. Jay Nixon, BA ’78, JD ’81, and supporters in the legislature allocated $5 million of the state budget to help the Thompson Center serve more people on the autism spectrum. In April students rallied to raise money for peers who were in danger of not finishing their degrees because they owed $2,000 or less each in tuition; at press time, they’d raised more than $12,000.
2. We’re robustly celebrating cultures.
Mizzou’s reputation as a fun school is buoyed by the likes of Fall Welcome festivities, the end-of-the-semester Mizzou-A-Palooza and year-round off-the-charts sports fandom. That hasn’t changed. During the spring semester, though, the label took on multicultural dimensions. International students threw a huge party in the Student Center. The Cultural Association of India put on the first MU India Day. Tigers celebrated the Chinese New Year, ringing in the Year of the Monkey. The newly revived Black Alumni Network held events throughout the country. We assembled an impressive series of Black History Month happenings highlighted by live music —jazz, hip-hop, gospel — and movie screenings. We’ve held Women’s History Month gatherings, Pride Month get-togethers and commencement celebrations. Mizzou welcomes Tigers of all stripes, and everyone is invited to the party.
3. We’re listening.
During the spring semester, administrators committed to weekly open meetings and regularly scheduled listening sessions. Provost Garnett Stokes has implemented traveling office hours. Interim Chancellor Hank Foley is holding Friday-afternoon Chats with the Chancellor. Interim Vice Chancellor Chuck Henson established sessions to open lines of communication regarding diversity and inclusion. And of course, in recent months, the Mizzou Alumni Association has received hundreds of phone calls and emails from Tigers throughout the U.S. (firstname.lastname@example.org, 800–372-6822). Keep them coming! If you’re on campus, stop by. All ears are open.
4. We’re embracing — and rewarding — awesome faculty.
Every spring since 1991, Mizzou and Commerce Bank have surprised some of our favorite professors with the Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, a $10,000 award that recognizes top teaching and stellar mentorship. The 2016 fellows are Mary Beck, JD ’88 (law), Sarah Bush (biology), Robert O’Connell (engineering), Earnest Perry, MA ’95, PhD ’98 (journalism) and Alexandra Socarides (English). We aren’t the only people who think our professors are the best. This academic year, five MU faculty members were named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, three were named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors, and one was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing. In the spring semester, our faculty won awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and the Sundance Film Festival as well as earning the Southeastern Conference’s Faculty Achievement Award. One was even named India’s Person of the Year in Science — while living here in Columbia. Learn more about our award-winning faculty at mizzoumag.com.
5. We’re making big discoveries.
Mizzou is a place for innovation and big eureka moments. This academic year, in Mizzou labs and facilities, researchers have made breakthroughs and discoveries that can improve our quality of life. Just a few examples: Salman Hyder and his team discovered that compounds in a cholesterol-fighting drug can kill prostate cancer cells and that compounds in vegetables can reduce breast cancer risk. Silvia Jurisson and her team received a U.S. patent for a new method that uses nuclear isotopes to target, diagnose and treat cancer. Elizabeth Loboa and her team figured out that textile-manufacturing methods can be used to make human tissues. Cheryl Rosenfeld, PhD ’09, and her team discovered that a microbiome in the male reproductive tract harboring harmful bacteria can cause reproductive disorders. Jian Lin and his team developed a laser-writing technique for making more environmentally friendly microbatteries.
Mizzou is known for its collaborative environment. You don’t become a 177-year-old institution without learning to work together, adapt to change, and commit every day’s work to the idea that the Mizzou we leave to the next generation will be better for each of us having been here.