University of Missouri

Public university in Columbia, Missouri, US
   NicknameTigers
Sporting affiliations
MascotTruman the TigerWebsitemissouri.edu

The University of Missouri (Mizzou or MU) is a public land-grant research university in Columbia, Missouri. It is Missouri's largest university and the flagship of the four-campus University of Missouri System. MU was founded in 1839 as the first public university west of the Mississippi River.[16] It has been a member of the Association of American Universities since 1908 and is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity."[17]

Enrolling 31,041 students in 2023, it offers more than 300 degree programs in thirteen major academic divisions.[12][18] Its Missouri School of Journalism, founded by Walter Williams in 1908, was established as the world's first journalism school; it publishes a daily newspaper, the Columbia Missourian, and operates NBC affiliate KOMU.[19][20][21] The University of Missouri Research Reactor Center is the sole source of isotopes in nuclear medicine in the United States.[22] The university operates University of Missouri Health Care, running several hospitals and clinics in Mid-Missouri.

Its NCAA Division I athletic teams are the Missouri Tigers and compete in the Southeastern Conference. The American tradition of homecoming is claimed to have originated at MU.[23] Its alumni, faculty, and staff include 18 Rhodes Scholars,[24] 19 Truman Scholars,[25] 150 Fulbright Scholars,[26] 7 Governors of Missouri,[27] and 6 members of the U.S. Congress.[28] Two alumni and faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize: alumnus Frederick Chapman Robbins won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1954[29] and George Smith was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2018 while affiliated with the university.[30]

History

Early years

In 1839, the Missouri Legislature passed the Geyer Act to establish funds for a state university.[31] It was the first public university west of the Mississippi River.[32] To secure the university, the citizens of Columbia and Boone County pledged $117,921 in cash and land to beat out five other central Missouri counties for the location of the state university.[32] The land on which the university was constructed was just south of Columbia's downtown and owned by James S. Rollins who was later called the "Father of the University."[33] As the first public university in the Louisiana Purchase, the school was shaped by Thomas Jefferson's ideas about public education.[34] The school initially admitted only white male students.[35]

In 1862, the American Civil War forced the university to close for much of the year.[36] Residents of Columbia formed a Union "home guard" militia that became known as the "Fighting Tigers of Columbia". They were given the name for their readiness to protect the city and university. In 1890, the university's newly formed football team took the name the "Tigers" after the Civil War militia.[37]

In 1870, the institution was granted land-grant college status under the Morrill Act of 1862.[34] The act led to the founding of the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy as an offshoot of the main campus in Columbia. It developed as the present-day Missouri University of Science and Technology.[34] In 1888, the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station opened. This grew to encompass ten centers and research farms around Missouri.[32] By 1890, the university encompassed a normal college (for training of teachers of students through high school), engineering college, arts, and science college, school of agriculture and mechanical arts. school of medicine, and school of law.[36]

1892–present

Fire at Academic Hall, 1892
Journalist Marguerite Martyn visited the campus in 1910 and sketched these two fashionable students with the architectural columns behind them. At that time, the school was named Missouri State University.

On January 9, 1892, Academic Hall, the institution's central administrative building, burned in a fire that gutted the building, leaving little more standing than six stone Ionic columns.[38] Under the administration of Missouri Governor David R. Francis, the university was rebuilt, with additions that shaped the modern institution.

After the fire, some state residents tried to have the university moved farther west to Sedalia; but Columbia rallied support to keep it. The columns were retained as a symbol of the historic campus. They are surrounded by the Francis Quadrangle, the oldest part of campus. At the quad's southern end is Academic Hall's replacement, Jesse Hall, named for Richard Jesse (the president of the university at the time of the fire). Built in 1895, Jesse Hall holds many administrative offices and Jesse Auditorium. The buildings surrounding the quad were constructed of red brick, leading to this area becoming known as Red Campus. The area was tied together in planned landscaping and walks in 1910 by George Kessler in a City Beautiful design of the grounds.[39]

To the east of the quadrangle, later buildings constructed of white limestone in 1913 and 1914 to accommodate the new academic programs became known as the White Campus. In 1908 the journalism school opened at MU, claiming to be the world's first.[citation needed]

Francis Quadrangle features the columns and Jesse Hall.

In April 1923, a black janitor was accused of the rape of the daughter of a University of Missouri professor. James T. Scott was abducted from the Boone County Jail by a lynch mob of townsfolk and students and was hanged from a bridge near the campus.[40]

In late 1935, four graduates of Lincoln University—a traditionally black school about 30 miles (48 km) away in Jefferson City—were denied admission to MU's graduate school. One of the students, Lloyd L. Gaines, brought his case to the United States Supreme Court. On December 12, 1938, in a landmark 6–2 decision, the court ordered the State of Missouri to admit Gaines to MU's law school or provide a facility of equal stature. Gaines disappeared in Chicago on March 19, 1939, under suspicious circumstances. The university granted Gaines a posthumous honorary law degree in May 2006.[41] Undergraduate divisions were integrated by court order in 1950 when the university was compelled to admit African Americans to courses that were not offered at Lincoln University.

On June 5, 1935, the university erected a memorial to the Confederate soldiers of Missouri; it was popularly known as Confederate Rock. The monument was removed in 1974.[42]

Following the 2015–16 University of Missouri protests, the chancellor and system president resigned amid racial complaints by students.[43]

Due to the emerging COVID-19 Pandemic, the university canceled classes on March 11, 2020, and resumed teaching in person in August.[44][45]

Campus

Tower of Memorial Union

The campus of the University of Missouri is 1,262-acre (2.0 sq mi; 510.7 ha)[5] just south of Downtown Columbia and is maintained as a botanical garden. The historical campus is centered on Francis Quadrangle, a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and contains several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

The academic buildings are classified into two main groups: Red Campus and White Campus. Red Campus is the historic core of mostly brick academic buildings around the landmark columns of the Francis Quadrangle; it includes Jesse Hall and Switzler Hall. In the early 20th century, the College of Agriculture received several new buildings. The new buildings, constructed in Neo-Gothic style from native Missouri limestone, form the White Campus. This includes Memorial Union.[46]

The Center for Missouri Studies is a headquarters, museum, and research facility for the State Historical Society of Missouri.

During the 1990s, Red Campus was extended to the south with the creation of the Carnahan Quadrangle. Hulston Hall of the University of Missouri School of Law, completed in 1988, formed the eastern border of the future quad. The Reynolds Alumni Center was completed in 1992 on the west side of the new quad. It was completed in 2002 with Cornell Hall of the Trulaske College of Business and Tiger Plaza. Plans for a new plaza on the north end of the Carnahan Quadrangle were unveiled in 2014. Called Traditions Plaza, it was opened on October 25, 2014, during homecoming festivities.[47]

The original MU intercollegiate athletic facilities, such as Rollins Field and Rothwell Gymnasium, were just south of the academic buildings. Expanded facilities were constructed across Stadium Boulevard, where Memorial Stadium opened in 1926. The Hearnes Center was built to the east of the stadium in 1972. In 1994, the university developed the first draft of a master plan for the campus to tie together all of Tiger athletic facilities to the south of Stadium Boulevard and add to its design. The MU Sports Park includes the Mizzou Arena, Taylor Stadium, Walton Stadium, Mizzou Athletics Training Complex, University Field and Devine Pavilion. Student athletic facilities remain in the core area of campus. Rothwell Gymnasium and Brewer Fieldhouse are part of the 283,579-square-foot (26,345.4 m2) Student Recreation Center, which was ranked number one in the nation in 2005 by Sports Illustrated.[48][49]

The main campus of the University of Missouri Hospitals and Clinics is north of the sports complex. It includes the University of Missouri Hospital and Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital. Two of the hospitals, Columbia Regional Hospital and Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, are northeast of the main campus near I-70.

Tiger Plaza on the Carnahan Quadrangle

To the south of the MU Sports Park is the MU Research Park. It includes the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center, International Institute for Nano and Molecular Medicine, MU Life Science Business Incubator at Monsanto Place, and Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. In 2005, the University of Missouri Board of Curators approved legislation to designate the South Farm of the College of Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (CAFNR) as a research park. The 114-acre (46.1 ha) park, three miles (4.8 km) southeast of the main campus on US63 is Discovery Ridge Research Park. Tenants at Discovery Ridge include ABC Laboratories and the MU Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory.

The Sinquefield Music Center

The main campus is flanked to the east and west by Greek Life housing. The University of Missouri has nearly 50 national social fraternities and sororities, many of which occupy historical residences valued in the millions of dollars. Beta Sigma Psi, Kappa Alpha Order, Sigma Chi, Beta Theta Pi (originally Zeta Phi), Alpha Gamma Rho, Tau Kappa Epsilon and Sigma Nu form a Greek Row (also called Frat Row) along College Avenue in the East Campus area. Delta Tau Delta, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi Alpha, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon are in the West Campus area along Stewart Street, which leads directly into the Francis Quadrangle. Most of the Greek-letter organizations are in a Greek Town, with approximately 30 Greek residences, to the north of Memorial Stadium.

In 2019 a new Center for Missouri Studies was opened as a new headquarters for the State Historical Society of Missouri. In 2020, a new home for the School of Music was finished, the Sinquefield Music Center.

Academics and rankings

Academic rankings
National
ARWU[50]62–82
Forbes[51]113
U.S. News & World Report[52]124 (tie)
Washington Monthly[53]55
WSJ/College Pulse[54]180
Global
ARWU[55]201–300
QS[56]641–650
THE[57]401–500
U.S. News & World Report[58]466 (tie)

MU is a member of the Association of American Universities and classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity".[59] In what became a decade-long trend, the university further increased research and development expenditures to $432 million as of 2022.[60] MU is also one of two land-grant universities in the state, along with Lincoln University.

The Missouri School of Journalism

In 1908, the Missouri School of Journalism was founded in Columbia. It has been ranked the top journalism school in the United States several times by the NewsPro–RTDNA survey.[61] Although it claims to be the world's first, the Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme de Paris was established in 1899.

The UM System owns and operates KOMU-TV, the NBC/CW affiliate for Columbia and nearby Jefferson City. It is a full-fledged commercial station and a working lab for journalism students. The MU School of Journalism publishes the Columbia Missourian and Vox Magazine where students learn reporting, editing, and design in a newsroom managed by professional editors. It operates the local National Public Radio Station KBIA and produces Radio Adelante, a Spanish-language radio program.

Founded in 1978 after 23 years as a unit of the School of Medicine, the School of Health Professions became an autonomous division in December 2000. It is Missouri's only state-supported school of health professions on a campus with an academic health center, and the only allied health school in the UM system.[62]

Ellis Library is the main library of the university.

The university maintains the largest library collection in the State of Missouri. In the 2011–12 academic year, it held 3.1 million volumes, 8.1 million microforms, 678,596 e-books, almost 1.7 million government documents, more than 284,000 print maps, and more than 53,000 journal subscriptions.[5][63] The collection is housed in Ellis Library, the University Archives, and seven other specialized academic libraries across campus.[5][64]

During the American Civil War, Union troops used the library in Academic Hall as a guard room. They caused significant damage, including taking 467 volumes to build fires. The board of curators later sued the US Army for the destruction on campus. Settled in 1915, the suit's award was used to build the Memorial Gateway on the northern edge of Red Campus.[65]

Sanford F. Conley House

In 1913, construction began on a new main library, completed in 1915. It was expanded in 1935, 1958, and 1985. It was dedicated as Elmer Ellis Library on October 10, 1972, in honor of the thirteenth president of the University of Missouri. The MU libraries are home to the 47th largest research collection in North America.[66]

MU merged two departments, the Center for Distance and Independent Study and MU Direct: Continuing and Distance Education, to form Mizzou Online in 2011.[67][68] Mizzou Online offers online courses for 18 of the university's colleges[67] and operates the University of Missouri High School, a distance learning K-12 high school.[69] In the U.S. News & World Report’s 2024 Best Online Programs, MU ranks 28th in the best online bachelor’s degree programs out of 339 universities nationwide.[70]

Admissions

MU is the largest public university in Missouri. Of those applying for freshman admission, 78.1% are admitted with those matriculating having an average GPA of 3.6, an average SAT composite score of 1232 out of a maximum of 1600, and an average ACT composite score of 26 out of a maximum of 36.[71]

Organization and administration

College or school founding[72]
College or school Year founded
College of Arts and Science 1841
College of Education 1868[73]
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources 1870[74]
School of Law 1872
School of Medicine 1872
College of Engineering 1877
Graduate School 1896
School of Journalism 1908
Trulaske College of Business 1914
School of Music 1917
Sinclair School of Nursing 1920
College of Veterinary Medicine 1946
School of Social Work 1948
Honors College 1958
College of Human Environmental Sciences 1960
School of Accountancy 1975
School of Natural Resources 1989[75]
School of Information Science & Learning Technologies 1997[76]
College of Health Sciences 2000
Truman School of Public Affairs 2001[77]
School of Visual Studies 2018

The University of Missouri is organized into seven colleges, and eleven schools and hosts approximately 300 majors.

Name

Upon creation of the system, each university was renamed with its host city; thus, the university in Columbia became the University of Missouri–Columbia. In the proceeding decades, colloquial and verbal usage of the generic name of MU continued. There were attempts to drop Columbia from its name by students, faculty, alumni, and administrators who said it might cause the university to be perceived as a regional institution. This change was long resisted by the UM System and the other universities based on uniformity and fairness. However, after a renewed effort for "name restoration", the board of curators voted unanimously on November 29, 2007, to allow MU to drop Columbia from its name for all public use.[78] The name University of Missouri–Columbia continues to be advocated by some faculty, administration, and alumni of UMKC, UMSL, and Missouri S&T.[79][80]

Presidents and chancellors

Each campus of the University of Missouri System is led by a chancellor, who reports to the president of the UM System.[81][82]

Presidents, 1841–1863 and Chancellors, 1963–present

  1. John Hiram Lathrop (1841–49)
  2. James Shannon (1850–56)
  3. William Wilson Hudson (1856–59)
  4. Benjamin Blake Minor (1860–62)
  5. John Hiram Lathrop (1865–66)
  6. Daniel Read (1866–76)
  7. Samuel Spahr Laws (1876–89)
  8. Richard Henry Jesse (1891–1908)
  9. Albert Ross Hill (1908–21)
  10. John Carleton Jones (1922–23)
  11. Stratton Brooks (1923–30)
  12. Walter Williams (1931–35)
  13. Frederick Middlebush (1935–54)
  14. Elmer Ellis (1955–63)[a]
  15. John W. Schwada (1964–70)
  16. Herbert W. Schooling (1971–78)
  17. Barbara Uehling (1978–87)
  18. Haskell Monroe (1987–93)
  19. Charles Kiesler (1993–96)
  20. Richard L. Wallace (1997–2004)
  21. Brady J. Deaton (2004–13)[83]
  22. R. Bowen Loftin (2014–2015)[84]
  23. Alexander Cartwright[85] (2017–2020)[86][87][88]
  24. Mun Choi (2020–present)[b][89]

Student life

Student body composition as of May 2, 2022
Race and ethnicity[90] Total
White 78% 78
 
Black 7% 7
 
Hispanic 5% 5
 
Other[c] 5% 5
 
Asian 3% 3
 
Foreign national 1% 1
 
Economic diversity
Low-income[d] 25% 25
 
Affluent[e] 75% 75
 

Residential life

The University of Missouri operates 23 on-campus residence halls and at least two other off-campus sites. The two off-campus locations include Tiger Diggs at Campus View Apartments and True Scholars House.

Groups and activities

Tap Day is an annual spring ceremony in which the identities of the members of the six secret honor societies are revealed. The participating societies are QEBH, Mystical Seven, LSV, Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortar Board, and the Rollins Society. The ceremony, first held in 1927, takes place at the columns on Francis Quadrangle.

The Trulaske Consulting Association was started in 2009.[91] It is open to students of all departments. However, most members are MBA and undergrad business students. The association aims to increase awareness, provide exposure, and facilitate networking between students and professionals in the consulting industry.[92] The growing popularity of the association has been attributed to the resources available to student members. Workshops by management consultants and case studies on strategy form an integral part of the activities organized by TCA.[93]

The Muslim Student Organisation (MSO) is for the Muslims at the University of Missouri-Columbia.[94][95]

The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute explores the modern significance of the Ten Commandments.[96][97][98][99]

Greek life

Founded in 1869, the Greek Community represents 22% of the student population. More than 70 Greek-letter organizations are active at MU.[verification needed][100][101]

Athletics

Hearnes Center, Mizzou Arena, and Faurot Field

The Missouri Tigers is a member of the Southeastern Conference except wrestling, which competes in the Big 12 Conference. Mizzou is the only school in the state with all of its sports in the NCAA Division I and a football team that competes in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). These are the highest levels of college sports in the United States. The official colors are black and gold.

Athletic sports for the Tigers include men's and women's basketball, baseball, cross country, football, golf, gymnastics, swimming & diving, softball, track, tennis, volleyball, women's soccer, and wrestling. Historic sports included a shooting club, in which the ladies' team in 1934 won a national championship.

MU football games are on Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium ("The Zou"). Built in 1926, this stadium has an official capacity of 71,168,[102] and features a nearly 100 ft (30 m) wide "M" behind the north-end zone. Men's and women's basketball games take place at the Mizzou Arena, just south of the football stadium. The Hearnes Center hosted men's and women's basketball from 1972 to 2004 and it is still used for other athletic (including wrestling, volleyball, and indoor track and field) and school events.

Ladies champion team of the Missouri University shooting club, 1934[103]

The Missouri Tiger men's basketball team has had 29 NCAA Tournament appearances, the second-most Tournament appearances without a Final Four. The Tigers have appeared in the regional finals (Elite Eight) of the NCAA Tournament six times (twice under coach Norm Stewart, Missouri head coach from 1967 to 1999). The Tigers have won 15 conference championships, beginning with the Missouri Valley Conference, followed by the Big Six, the Big Eight, and the Big 12 Conference. In 1994, the Tigers went undefeated in the Big Eight to take the regular season title. In 2009, Missouri won its first Big 12 Championship[104] over Baylor. Missouri went on to win its second Big 12 Championship in its final season in the Big 12 in 2012, once again defeating Baylor. Standout players from the Mizzou's basketball team include Anthony Peeler, John Brown, Jon Sundvold, Steve Stipanovich, Kareem Rush, Keyon Dooling Doug Smith, Willie Smith, Norm Stewart, Linas Kleiza, Derrick Chievous, DeMarre Carroll, Kim English, Jordan Clarkson, and Marcus Denmon.

The official mascot for Missouri Tigers athletics is Truman the Tiger, created on September 16, 1986. Following a campus-wide contest, Truman was named in honor of Harry S. Truman, the only U.S. president from Missouri. Truman appears to cheer on the team, mingle with athletic supporters, visit alumni association functions, and visit Columbia-area schools.

Faurot Field during a football game

On November 6, 2011, the University of Missouri announced it would leave the Big 12 Conference to join the Southeastern Conference effective July 1, 2012.[105] In September 2012, the school's wrestling team became an associate member of the Mid-American Conference, as the SEC does not sponsor wrestling.

Homecoming

Students work on house decorations, a yearly Homecoming tradition for fraternities and sororities.

In 1911, athletic director Chester Brewer invited alumni to "come home" for the big football game against the University of Kansas. A spirit rally and parade were planned as part of the celebration. The Council for Advancement and Support of Education has called MU's homecoming celebration the "best in the nation" and a model program [citation needed]. Missouri Homecoming also includes several service elements, and the homecoming blood drive has earned the Guinness Record as the nation's largest.[106]

In media

The campus is the major setting for the 1965 novel Stoner by John Edward Williams. Protagonist William Stoner is an English professor who was raised on a farm in nearby Booneville.[107]

Notable people

In 2016, there were 300,315 living alumni worldwide. Of those, 274,447 resided in the United States, 156,585 in Missouri, 61,346 in the St. Louis metropolitan area, 30,018 in the Kansas City metropolitan area, and 2,718 outside the U.S.[108]

Ian Kinsler
Brad Pitt
Max Scherzer
Tennessee Williams

[109]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Ellis became president of the University of Missouri System upon its creation, serving until 1966.
  2. ^ Choi is the first Chancellor to simultaneously be President of the University of Missouri System.
  3. ^ Other consists of Multiracial Americans and those who prefer to not say.
  4. ^ The percentage of students who received an income-based federal Pell grant intended for low-income students.
  5. ^ The percentage of students who are a part of the American middle class at the bare minimum.

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