Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Homecoming 2016

Mizzou plays host to one of the oldest and largest Homecomings in the country.  While other schools had informal Homecomings of sorts, it was not until Mizzou's 1911 football game against KU that the athletic director asked all alumni to "come home" and Homecoming, as we know it, was born.

Homecoming Through the Decades Exhibit in the Traditions Lounge on the second floor of the MU Student Center

While Homecoming at Mizzou has changed over the years, there are certain traditions that still hold strong.

 Alumni Come Back

Every year alumni come back to take part in the activities of Homecoming.
Alumnus and former twirler Warren Bass returned to Mizzou in 1982 to lead the Marching Band at Homecoming. (Missouri Alumnus 1983).

Blood Drive

Mizzou students organize one of the largest blood drives every year during Homecoming events. Greek organizations compete to solicit other Greek members and community members to donate blood.
Student gives blood at the annual blood drive in 2004 (Savitar 2005)

Greektown Decorations

Greek life celebrates Homecoming each year by putting up decorations in Greektown that embody the Homecoming theme.
Phi Gammas, Sigma Nus, and Kappa Sigmas decorate their houses for the 1947 game against Oklahoma (Savitar 1948). 

Homecoming Parade

Every morning of the Homecoming football game, fans, alumni, students, and community members gather downtown to watch marching bands and floats.
The marching band goes past Memorial Union at the Homecoming Parade in 1992 (Savitar 1993).

Homecoming Royalty

A Homecoming King and Queen are selected by the student body every year.

1985 Homecoming Queen and King, Vivian King and Marvin Cobbs, were the first African American pair.


Thousands gather to tailgate and enjoy the home football game.

Mizzou won 27-24 in the 2004 Homecoming game against Iowa State University (Savitar 2005).

Come and learn more about Homecoming traditions by visiting our exhibits on the first floor and in the Traditions Lounge on the second floor of the MU Student Center.  They exhibits will be up through the end of October.

Blog post authored by Lauren DiSalvo, Curator of Public Arts, Missouri Student Unions.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Celebrating Latino Heritage Month at Mizzou!

Come visit our exhibit in the Lower Lair of the MU Student Center!

Mizzou celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15- October 15 every year.  A week celebrating Hispanic heritage was established in 1968 under U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and was later expanded in 1988 under U.S. President Ronald Reagan to a full month.  National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the culture, history, and contributions of Americans with heritage who are descendants of the peoples of Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. 

The Spanish Club in 1965 (Savitar 1965)

The University of Missouri recognized the importance of Hispanic heritage at an early date. The Spanish Club was first organized at MU in 1920. While many students in the early years joined the club as a way to practice Spanish as a second language, some were native Spanish speakers.  In 1932 Don Juan Francisco de Cardenas, Ambassador of Spain to the United States visited the University and was the guest of honor at a lunch given by the Spanish club. By 1965 the club met to "help stimulate interest in the language, culture, and the people of Spanish countries," and some of their activities including screening Spanish language movies and hosting readings of Spanish poetry (Savitar 1965).  

Two Sigma Lambda Gamma sisters pose (Mizzou Alumni Magazine, Fall 2000).

Mizzou has many organizations rooted in Hispanic culture.  Mizzou founded a chapter of Sigma Lambda Gamma in 2000, a historically Latina sorority, founded first at the University of Iowa in 1990.  Since then, the sorority has expanded its membership to include other multicultural backgrounds.  

Students of HALO at Salsa y Salsa (Courtesy of HALO)

Another Mizzou organization celebrating Hispanic heritage is HALO, Hispanic American Leadership Organization, whose mission is to promote awareness about Latin@ culture in the Mizzou and greater Columbia community.

Many important alumni of Hispanic heritage have received degrees from the University of Missouri. 

Beatriz (Betty Ann) Sheridan (Savitar 1954)
Renowned Mexican actress Beatriz (Betty Ann) Sheridan (B.A. ’55) worked in telenovelas and on the theater stage until her death in 2006. She starred in the first Mexican telenovela, called Senda Prohibida (Forbidden Path), in 1958. She was also Mexico’s first female soap opera director. In 2004, the UNESCO International Theater Institute awarded her a medal for her life's work in the theater.

Elizabeth Vargas (Savitar 1984)
Elizabeth Vargas (B.J. Journalism ’84) is a co-anchor of 20/20, host of ABC News Specials, and previously an anchor of World News Tonight. She won an Emmy in 2000 for her live coverage of the Elian Gonzales case. Vargas is of Puerto Rican and Irish-American heritage.

Albert Garcia III (Courtesy Albert Garcia III and Mizzou Engineering Magazine, Spring-Summer 2010)

Albert Garcia, III, BS CEE ’77, Ph.D. ’84, is a Rear Admiral with the U.S. Navy Reserve.  Admiral Garcia was a tenured professor at Texas A&M University where he worked on bioreactor design.  In 1992 he founded MRV Engineers and Constructors, a multi-disciplinary company based in Georgetown, Texas that worked on industrial wastewater treatment design.  In 2003 he commanded Task Force Charlie of the Marine Expeditionary Force Engineering Group as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Today, Admiral Garcia is the Senior Vice-President for Delivery Excellence at AECOM.

Mizzou's own faculty and administration are representative of Hispanic culture. 

Jose Santos Gollan (Missouri Alumnus, April 1930)
Jose Santos Gollan of Argentina came to MU on a professor exchange to lecture in the School of Journalism. Gollan was executive editor of La Prensa, a daily newspaper in Buenos Aires, for more than twenty years.

Manuel T. Pacheco, 19th President of the University of Missouri (Savitar 2001)
 In 1997, Dr. Manuel T. Pacheco was unanimously named the 19th President of the University of Missouri. Among other accomplishments, he was named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in America by Hispanic Business Magazine, is a former Fulbright Fellow, and the winner of the Hispanic Achievement Trailblazer Award from Hispanic Magazine. MU named a Leadership Award after him, the “Manuel T. Pacheco Leadership Award”, which honors academic administrators who “exemplify outstanding academic leadership at the University of Missouri.”

The university also takes part in events and organizations that celebrate Hispanic achievements.

The scholars of the McNair Scholars Programs (Savitar 2001)

The McNair Scholars program was set up by Congress in honor of astronaut Ronald E. McNair who perished in the Challenger explosion. The goal of the program is to encourage minority students and first generation college students to pursue graduate education. Students of Latino heritage are among the underrepresented groups that the McNair Scholars seek to recruit.

STEM panelists, Civil Engineering Associate Professor Maria Fidalgo, Physics Professor Carlos Wexler, and Electrical Engineering Professor Guilherme DeSouza (Courtesy University of Missouri, photo credit Hannah Stutecky)
The second annual STEM Panel hosted by the Society of Hispanic Profession Engineers. 

Come learn more by visiting our exhibit in the Lower Lair of the MU Student Center.  The exhibit will be up through October 15. For more events related to the Latin@ Heritage Celebration Month at Mizzou, see the events calendar. 

Blog post composed by Lauren DiSalvo, Curator of Public Art and PhD candidate in Art History and Archaeology at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Happy 30th Birthday, Truman!

In celebration of Truman the Tiger's 30th birthday this September, there is an exhibit honoring Mizzou's mascot in the Traditions Lounge on the second floor of the Student Center. 

Truman's 30th Birthday Exhibit located in the Traditions Lounge at the MU Student Center
 Truman the Tiger, the furry, tail-swinging tiger, has served as the mascot for the University of Missouri since 1986.  Before Truman, Mizzou's mascot was a pair of tigers, one male and one female, that were unnamed and inconsistent in appearance.  

The University of Missouri tiger mascots prior to Truman's introduction in 1986.  Here the female and male tiger at the Homecoming game in 1974. (Image courtesy of MU Archives, C:1/139/1)

  Joe Castiglione, the athletic director of the University of Missouri in the 1980s, decided to reinvent the university's mascot.  In 1984 the Mizzou cheerleaders organized a contest for naming the new mascot.  The name "Truman," after U.S. President and Missouri native Harry S. Truman, was selected as the overwhelming favorite.  In 1986 the costume for Truman was designed and he made his first appearance at the Missouri-Utah football game that same year. 

The original Truman the Tiger costume from 1986 (Courtesy of Suzy Thompson).

 Nationally renowned Truman the Tiger has been firing up fans and cheering on athletes at the University of Missouri for thirty years.

Truman has always been especially well-loved by children....

Truman the Tiger is always a favorite with young children (Savitar 1995).

...and adults alike.

Truman posing with students at the 1996 Spring Rally (Savitar 1996).

Truman makes appearances at a variety of athletic events.

After every Mizzou score on Faurot Field, Truman the Tiger does push-ups with the members of the ROTC. (Savitar, 2004).

Working the crowd at a baseball game. (Savitar, 1999).
Truman helpfully points out spots on the floor that need attending to by the towel boys at a basketball game. (Savitar, 1992).

Truman makes over 35 appearances a month at not only athletic events, but also hospitals, businesses, and a variety of civic functions. 

Truman puts on black tie to attend the Black and Gold Ball in April 2000 (Mizzou Alumni Magazine, Fall 2000).

Truman the Tiger rides with Donald W. Reynolds, the Homecoming Grand Marshal, at the Homecoming Parade in 1988. (Courtesy MU Archives, C:1/139/1).

Truman the Tiger is an accomplished mascot, having won several awards.  Most recently Truman competed and won the National Mascot Championship in 2014 awarded by the National Cheerleaders Association and National Dance Alliance Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship.  Truman's winning routine focused on the "dos and don'ts" of being a collegiate mascot.  Truman has received the same award also in 1989 and 2004.

Truman's 2014 National Mascot Championship jacket and ring. (Objects courtesy of Suzy Thompson, cheerleading coach).

 We wish Truman a wonderful 30th birthday and many more to come! Come visit the exhibit through the end of September to see more of Truman through the decades.

Blog post authored by Lauren DiSalvo, Curator of Public Arts and PhD Candidate in Art History and Archaeology at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Engineering Education: An MU Tradition

A recent exhibition at the MU Student Center explored the history of the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri. The next chapter in our continuing series detailing the history of each college within the university is on display in the Traditions Lounge.


The Engineering Building (Savitar, 1912)
In 1849, the University of Missouri presented “Surveying, Leveling and Classical Topography,” the first engineering course offered at an educational institution west of the Mississippi River. William Wilson Hudson, chair of the astronomy and natural history department, lead the course. In 1856, Hudson was named to the short-lived position of chair of civil engineering and two students received degrees in engineering. The events of the Civil War made apparent the need for military education and MU responded by establishing the Department of Military Engineering in 1868.


Thomas J. Lowry, a graduate of MU, served as the first dean of the College of Engineering.
(Image courtesy of University Archives, Engineering at the University of Missouri, 1850-1940)

Influenced by the Industrial Revolution of the late nineteenth century, MU expanded engineering education. The College of Agriculture established a "School of Engineering" in 1871. Engineering was officially established as a separate college with Thomas J. Lowry, an 1870 graduate of MU, as its dean. Lowry retired in 1893 and engineering education reverted to the purview of the College of Agriculture. The departments of Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering were created under his leadership. 

Members of the Engineering faculty serviced the campus through facility projects. Academic Hall, the main building of the university before the 1890s, was the site of the first exhibition of the incandescent lighting west of the Mississippi River. Arranged by the Professor Bejamin F. Thomas in January of 1883, Thomas Edison provided the equipment to light the building. The electrical lighting system installed by Thomas and his students reportedly caused the fire that destroyed Academic Hall in January, 1892.

(Academic Hall Reading Room, ca. 1887, Image courtesy of University Archives C:20/8/2)


Howard Burton Shaw,  Dean of the College of Engineering, 1906-1913 (Savitar, 1912)

The Engineering programs were once again organized as an independent college in 1906 under the leadership of Dean H.B. Shaw. Enrollment rose to 411 students in 1910-11. Courses of study included civil, electrical, chemical and mechanical engineering. In 1909, the Engineering Experiment Station opened as a laboratory for students and faculty. Their publications made the latest discoveries available to the public. A copy of The University of Missouri Bulletin featuring "Earth Roads and the Oiling of Roads", published in July 1916, is included in the exhibition.

St. Patrick was an Engineer

MU students established a national tradition for engineering students in 1903 when they chose St. Patrick as their patron. The first recognition of St. Patrick consisted of students' cutting class on St. Patrick's Day, but faculty protested. Even though the original intentions of the 1903 engineering students was a lovely, spring day-off from class, St. Patrick was supposed to have brought some aspects of Roman technology to Ireland and, as such, is an apt choose as an icon for engineers. Subsequent celebrations developed into a week of activities including gatherings on the Quad, lab demonstrations, the St. Pat's Ball, knighting of the engineering seniors and honorary guests, and the coronation of a Kind and Queen of Engineers. St. Patrick is now recognized by engineering schools across the U.S. The idea spread to the Missouri School of Mines (now Missouri University of Science and Technology) in 1908 when MU Students invited Rolla students to send a representative to Columbia for their festivities. Over the course of the twentieth century, the concept has been adopted by the engineering schools in Illinois, North Carolina, Iowa, Arkansas, Texas among others.

Early celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day by engineering students filled Francis Quadrangle with activity. In the photograph below from 1909, we see the Knights of St. Patrick on horseback in the foreground and the massive St. Patrick figure looks through a surveyor’s transit. 

St. Patrick's Day, 1909 (Image courtesy of University Archives Collection C:0/47/3)

St. Patrick, dressed in robe and beard, makes an appearance at the Engineering celebration to knight the first "Lady of St. Patrick."  Ms. Ada Wilson was the first female graduate of the Engineering program, earning a bachelor of science degree in Civil Engineering in 1907.

Miss Ada Wilson is knighted by St. Patrick, 1907 (Image Courtesy of University Archives  C:0/47/3)
For more on the St. Patrick tradition, please see this great article from MIZZOU magazine. Luck of the Irish 











  The Shamrock

With the selection of St. Patrick as the patron saint of Engineers at MU, related icons were adopted as well.  The shamrock has been used as a symbol in buttons, pamphlets and dance decorationsThe patio outside of Engineering Building East is home to a stone shamrock, a symbol of Mizzou engineering. It is said that anyone who walks across the embedded stone is destined to marry an engineer.

Shamrock mosaic, Francis Quad, near Engineering Building East (Image Courtesy of MIZZOU Magazine, Photo by Rob Hill)

One of the longest uses of the shamrock was as the moniker of student publications including the College of Engineering's yearbook published in the 1930s and the 1940s. The 1931 Engineering student annual is included in the exhibition as an example. In 1933, the Shamrock transformed from an annual yearbook to a monthly publication featuring articles of interest to Engineering students and alumni.

The Missouri Shamrock, May, 1955 (MU Student Unions' Public Arts Collection)

Professor Mendell P. Weinbach

Professor Mendell P. Weinbach (1937 Savitar)
After receiving his degrees in mathematics and engineering from MU, Professor Weinbach joined the faculty of the electrical engineering program as an instructor in 1907. He was promoted to full professor in 1923. He authored multiple textbooks for engineering education including Principles of Transmission in Telephony and Alternating Current Circuits. In the late 1920s and 1930s, he developed and patented the Log Log Duplex Vector™ Slide Rule, which improved the ability of electrical engineers to quickly make necessary mathematical computations.

Log Log Duplex Vector™ Slide Rule (MU Student Unions' Public Arts Collection)
The long and diverse history of the University of Missouri College of Engineering is a tale told with objects and images in the exhibition currently on display in the Traditions Lounge of the MU Student Center. The exhibition will be available until the end of the spring semester.  Please visit it soon!

Blog post written by Sarah S. Jones, Curator of Public Arts and PhD Candidate in Art History