Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Architecture at Mizzou: Red Campus vs. White Campus

For those who have attended the University of Missouri - Columbia, the division between Red Campus and White Campus is both prominent and long-standing.  While this division can be drawn on many different lines -- the divide between the College of Engineering and Agriculture come to mind -- the main focus of this exhibition has been the architectural differences between these two parts of campus.  While not all buildings at Mizzou fall neatly into these categories, the main buildings, which were constructed primarily during the late 19th and early 20th century, began a long tradition of how buildings at Mizzou have been designed.

The two main types of architectural styles on Red and White Campus are Neoclassical and Neo-Gothic respectively.   

Red Campus
This aerial view of Francis Quadrangle, which has made up the bulk of Red Campus since its construction in the 1890s, shows Red Campus as of 1994, 100 years after it was first built.
Savitar 1994, 2015.016

Architectural Style: Neoclassical

Red Campus buildings such as Jesse Hall or McAlester draw heavily on ancient Greek and Roman architectural features and aesthetic, which were popular from the mid-18th century until as late as 1900 in Europe, particularly in Great Britain.  The revival developed as a reaction against the excessive ornamentation of the Rococo style.  In the United States, there were strong political undertones to the architectural style.  Many associated Neoclassical architecture with rationalism, republicanism, and even radicalism, while the Neo-Gothic style was associated with monarchism and conservatism.  This could be why many government buildings in the United States constructed during the 19th century were done in the Neoclassical style, and why the style remained popular even into the early parts of the 20th century.  Some of the major elements of Neoclassical architecture can include grand scale, simple geometric forms, Greek and Roman details, and frequent use of Classical columns.  

Some famous examples of Neoclassical architecture include the Baltimore Basilica in Maryland (1806-1821), the Somerset House in London (1776,1831-1856), and Stourhead House in Wiltshire, England (1720-1725).  Local architect Morris Frederick Bell of Fulton, Missouri, who constructed several of the buildings surround the David R. Francis Quadrangle, including Jesse Hall (1895), designed many of his institutional buildings in a Neoclassical style, such as the State Hospital Number 3 in Nevada, Missouri (1887).

Examples of Neoclassical Style
By Becks - Stourhead House, CC BY 2.0
Stourhead House was constructed in Wiltshire, England in 1720-1725.  The house was renovated many times over the decades, particularly in the 18th century, but the primary architects were Colen Campbell, William Benson, and Henry Flitcroft.

 By The original uploader was Basilica1 at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by EyOne., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3878518
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption to the Blessed Virgin Mary -- also known as the Baltimore Basilica -- was constructed in 1806-1821, and was the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the United States.  It is one of the more obvious examples of Neoclassical architecture. 

Architectural Spotlight
Jesse Hall
Built: 1895
Architect: Morris Frederick Bell
Named After: Richard Henry Jesse, 8th President of the University (1891-1908)
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The entrance of Jesse Hall, from Francis Quadrangle.
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The colonnaded porch and pediment are classical features of Roman temples, and the balustrades (an ornate railing, often used on balconies and terraces) and arched windows are all popular elements of Neoclassical style.

The lobby of Jesse Hall between classes in 1924.
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The Neoclassical style continues into Jesse Hall's interior, where tall, thin Corinthian columns are spaced throughout the building.  Built to replace the previous Academic Hall -- which burned down in 1892 -- Jesse held classrooms, the men's and women's gymnasiums, and even the University's library.  At that time, Jesse was truly a hub of campus life.  The building now houses administrative offices.

Dr. Richard Henry Jesse
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 Dr. Richard H. Jesse (1853-1921) was the 8th President of the University of Missouri.  Jesse was born in Virginia and later taught Latin at Tulane University before being elected president of the University.  He served in the position from 1891-1908.  Jesse Hall was dedicated to him for his considerable contributions to the University in 1922, a year after his death.

Lafferre Hall
Built: 1892
Architect: Morris Frederick Bell
Named After: Thomas and Nell Lafferre, Mizzou alumni
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Mechanic Arts Building
Courtesy of University Archives, C:20/8/2
Originally, the Engineering East Building (Lafferre) was two separate buildings: the Mechanical Arts Building and the Engineering Building.  Both were designed by M. F. Bell, and have classical features such as arched doorways and alternating bands of brick and white stone.  The Mechanical Arts Building even has brick columns flanking the main door.  The buildings have housed the College of Engineering since the college's formation.

Engineering East Building, now known as Lafferre Hall.
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Lafferre Hall has undergone at least 8 additions since its original construction back in 1893.  It is now one of the largest buildings on campus and is notoriously difficult to navigate.  The additions to the building are done in a more modern style, rather than maintaining the Neoclassical style throughout.

Thomas Lafferre's 1955 yearbook photo.
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Lafferre Hall was named after Thomas and Nell Lafferre in 2005.  Thomas graduated from MU in 1956 with a BS in Mechanical Engineering.  He was an executive of Monsanto Co. for many years.  Nell graduated in 1955.  The couple donated $7.5 million in 2004 to assist with repairs to the building.

McAlester Hall
Built: 1902
Architect: Cope and Stewardson
Named After: Dr. Andrew McAlester, first Dean of the School of Medicine (1880-1909)

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McAlester Hall, formerly known as the Medical Building.
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Constructed by Cope and Stewardson, McAlester Hall displays many of the neo-classical features that are so iconic of Red Campus.  The main doorways are adorned with pediments, which are mirrored by pediments along the roofline.  The doors are flanked by piers in a white stone, and the arched windows above them create a prominent vertical line from the ground all the way to the roof.  Although Cope and Stewardson were well-known for their Collegiate Gothic styles, their work on Silverman Hall (1898-1901) at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia displays many of the same dominantly Neoclassical features, such as the vertical lines, the pedimented roof and doorways, and arched windows.

The original Medical Buildings, including the Parker Memorial Hospital.
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McAlester Hall was only one building originally constructed to house the School of Medicine and train its students.  Parker Memorial Hospital doubled as a training ground for students and a hospital for the University, its surrounding community, and later became the State Hospital for Missouri.  McAlester now houses the Psychological Sciences Department and Parker Hall houses the MU Testing Services and MU Counseling Center.

The freshman class from 1900, featuring a skull.
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The School of Medicine was established in 1872.  Students were not able to take classes in their own building until 1902, when McAlester Hall was constructed.  Prior to that, they attended classes in Jesse Hall.

Dr. Andrew McAlester
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In 1923, the Medical Laboratories building was renamed McAlester Hall, after the School of Medicine's first dean, Dr. Andrew Walker McAlester, who served in the position from 1880-1909.  McAlester graduated from the University in 1864.  Before becoming an educator, Dr. McAlester was a surgeon in Boone County and he proposed the creation of a medical school at the University.  The School of Medicine was established in 1872, and the school's first dedicated building was named after its dean.

Switzler Hall
Built: 1872
Architect: Morris Frederick Bell
Named After: Colonel William F. Switzler (1819-1906), a prominent journalist, publisher, and historian
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Switzler Hall, formerly the Agriculture Building, before the construction of White Campus to house the School of Agriculture.
Courtesy of University Archives, C:0/3/8
As the oldest classroom building on campus, Switzler has been home to several different schools and departments, including the College of Agriculture, the School of Journalism, and most recently, the Department of Communication and the Offices of the Multidisciplinary Degrees.

Switzler Hall, 1915.
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Curia Julia, in the Forum of Rome
By Jensens - Own work, Public Domain 

While Switzler Hall does not have many obvious traits of Classical or Neoclassical elements, it does bear some resemblance to the Curia Julia in Rome, which was originally built by Julius Caesar in 44 BCE.  The building served as a senate house in ancient times.  the Curia Julia once had an elaborate entrance, but now has only a rather plain, boxy exterior, not dissimilar to Switzler.  Switzler also utilizes arched windows and is raised on a podium -- all classic Roman features -- though it lacks the pediment and decorative cornice that the Curia Julia has.

A student poses in the belfry of Switzler Hall.
Courtesy of University Archives, C:0/47/3
The Switzler Bell was constructed in 1882 by Clinton H. Meneely from Troy, New York.  There are inscriptions on each side of the bell, one side with a Latin phrase: Nunc occasio est et tempus ("Now is the occasion and the time"); and on the other side: Presented by Ho.N. James S. Rollins, LL.D., President of the Board of Curators of the University of the State of Missouri./ "Ring out the old, ring in the new.  Ring out the false, ring in the true."

The bell was once rung every hour to mark the beginning of classes, but is now only rung on Taps Day and upon the death of prominent members of the University.  A popular prank among students was to sneak into the belfry and steal the bell's clapper.  There is an article in one newspaper recounting a story from 1880 of the bell being rung by a goat in order to prank the school's president of the time.

Colonel William Franklin Switzler
Mizzou Alumnus, Summer 2012

Switzler Hall was named after Colonel William Franklin Switzler in 1909.  Colonel Switzler was born in Kentucky in 1819, but spent most of his life in Missouri.  He originally studied law under James S. Rollins in 1841, but he later became a prominent journalist, publisher, editor, and historian.  Switzler was a writer for the Columbia Patriot and founded the Missouri Statesman.  He later went on to write A History of the University of the State of Missouri.  He also served on the Board of Curators for the University, and is said to have had a hand in making sure that Columbia was the location of the University.

Swallow Hall
Built: 1893
Architect: Morris Frederick Bell
Named After: George Clinton Swallow, first professor of Geology, Chemistry, and Agriculture (1851-1853); first dean of the College of Agriculture (1870-1882); first State Geologist of Missouri (1853-1858)
Courtesy of University Archives, C:1/40/1
Swallow Hall after the 1931 tornado.
Courtesy of University Archives, C:1/141/18
In 1931, a tornado ripped through Columbia, damagin several building on the Francis Quadrangle, including both Jesse Hall and Swallow Hall.  One of the building's "witch's hat" turrets was completely torn off by the strong winds, and many of the windows had glass blown out.  Several newspapers reported on the event, including the Kansas City Star, which said: "Havoc Wrought by Storm to University of Missouri Building -- Swallow Hall, geology building, photographed from the roof of the Jesse hall, showing turret blown off, roof caved in, and windows blown out."  When the building was repaired, both turrets were removed in order to maintain the symmetry of the building, but they were eventually restored in 2000-2002.

Repairing the turrets of Swallow Hall, 2002
Mizzou Alumnus, Spring 2002
The "witch's hats" were finally restored to Swallow Hall by January 2002, after the building had been without them for nearly 70 years.  According the Spring 2002 Alumni Magazine, the entire project of renovating the building's exterior cost approximately $2 million.  22 feet of brick and the 26-foot tall tower peaks were reconstructed to return the building to its former, grand appearance.

Swallow Hall has been home to several different departments throughout its history.  It has served as the Geology building, the Commerce building, and most recently housed the Department of Anthropology and the Museum of Anthropology.  After its most recent renovations (2014-2016), Swallow is now the home of the Department of Anthropology once again, along with the Department of Art History & Archaeology.

George Clinton Swallow
Courtesy of the State Historical Society of Missouri
Swallow Hall, originally known as the Geology Building, and then the Commerce Building, was named after George Clinton Swallow in 1930.  Born in 1817 in Maine, Swallow taught for many years at various institutions before he was appointed chair of Geology and Chemistry at the University in 1851.  In 1853, he resigned to become the first Missouri State Geologist.  In 1870, Swallow returned to the University, and he was appointed chair of the Natural History and Agriculture departments, and was made the first dean of the College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts.  He was forced to resign in 1882 by the Board of Curators because of multiple disputes with members of the Board and other faculty.  Despite his controversial nature, Swallow was well-liked by his students, and he played a crucial part to the early, successful development of the College of Agriculture.  He died in 1899 and was buried in Columbia, where his former students erected a large boulder to serve has his headstone.

White Campus
White Campus, 1942
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This image of White Campus in 1942 lacks many of the sites familiar to students today.  Memorial Union was still just a single tower, Lowery Street occupied the space that is now Lowery Mall, and houses still stood across the street from Ellis Library, before the construction of the Fine Arts Building.

Architectural Style: Neo-Gothic
The Neo-Gothic style, which first appeared in the 1740s in England, became exceptionally popular during the early 19th century.  It came to prominence as a reaction to the Neoclassical style that was also popular during this period.  Though this style lost mainstream popularity by the last quarter of the 19th century, it continued to be used in public buildings such as churches and universities until the mid-20th century in both the United States and Great Britain.  Neo-Gothic architecture that appears on college campuses is called Collegiate Gothic.  A few iconic elements of the style include: high-pitched roofs, tall spires, pointed arches, cluster columns, quatrefoils, and window tracery.

Some famous examples of Neo-Gothic include the Houses of Parliament in London (1840-1870), the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. (1907-1990), and the St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City (1859-1879).  One major proponent of the Collegiate Gothic style in the United States was the Cope & Stewardson Company (1885-1912) based in Philadelphia, who acted as architectural consultants for several of the buildings on Mizzou's campus.

Examples of Neo-Gothic Style
The Houses of Parliament, London, England
By Daniel Bron - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28119380
The Houses of Parliament, built in 1840-1870 in London, England, was designed by Sir Charles Barry and A. W. N. Pugin, and serves as an excellent example of Neo-Gothic architecture.

The Washington National Cathedral
By Steve Riggins, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57349303
The Washington National Cathedral in Washington D.C. began in 1907.  The building functions as a nondenominational house of worship for the country.

Architectural Spotlight

Memorial Union
Built: 1922-1963
Architect: Jamieson and Spearl
Dedicated to the servicemen who gave their lives during the World Wars
Courtesy of University Archives, C:1/141/1

Memorial Tower, 1936
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Construction of the Memorial Tower began in 1922.  The dedication of the tower took place on November 20th, 1926, during the Homecoming ceremonies.  The Memorial Union was built in conjunction with Memorial Stadium.  The University's Alumni Association assisted with raising funds to help continue the construction of the two buildings.  A lack of funds prevented the University from constructing more than just the tower of Memorial Union, however.  Ground-breaking ceremonies for the South wing were held on Homecoming Day in 1930, but the onset of the Great Depression prevented the University from continuing the project.  Memorial Tower stood alone until 1952.

It is dedicated to the students and alumni who died in the World Wars and their names are carved in the archway of the tower.

The building's Neo-Gothic style was a source of pride on campus, and reflects the collegiate gothic syles of other universities, including the Mitchell Tower in Chicago (1903).  The tower still serves as a gateway into White Campus.  

The North Wing and tower of Memorial Union, 1953
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The North Wing of Memorial Union opened in September 1952, after the tower had stood alone for almost 30 years.  Originally, the North and South wings were to be separated into men's (North) and Women's (South) spaces.  By the time the South Wing was constructed in 1963, the wing was dedicated to meeting rooms and office spaces, while the North Wing held the cafeteria, lounges, and ballrooms.

A detail of one of the many gargoyles on Memorial Union.
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This gargoyle is part of the many Neo-Gothic decorations on Memorial Union's exterior.  Gargoyles can serve both a functional and decorative purpose in architecture, as they are often used to spout rainwater away from the sides of the building.  They also once had an apotropaic effect, meaning that they were intended to help ward away evil.

Ellis Library
Built: 1915
Architect: Jamieson and Spearl
Named After: Elmer Ellis, MU President (1955-1963) and first President of the UM System (1963-1966)
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A dedication page for the 1987 addition to Ellis Library.
Courtesy of University Archives, C:0/52/1
Ellis Library was constructed in 1915 to house the growing collection of books, articles, and periodicals that were owned by the University.  Previously, the library was located in Academic (Jesse) Hall, but as both the collection and the student population grew, the University found that it was in need of more space.  Since its first construction, the building has undergone several expansions, and the collection now contains over 3.5 million print volumes separated between eight different facilities.

The first addition to the library was constructed in 1936.  Since then the building has undergone 3 expansions.

Ellis Library is unusual in that it occupies a space between White and Red Campus, both in location and in style.  The library has none of the typical Neo-Gothic features displayed on other White Campus buildings, such as a crenellated roofline or pointed-arched windows.  Instead, it has attached Ionic columns decorating the facade, along with a decorated pediment over the main entrance.  The only thing that makes it a "White Campus building" is that it is made of the white limestone blocks that are so distinct to White Campus, but the stones of Ellis are well-finished and smooth, while other buildings in White Campus have roughened stones.  Because of Ellis Library's Neoclassical facade, the building bears close resemblance to famous Neoclassical buildings such as Longleat House (1567-1575) by Robert Smythson and the Queens House (1616-1635) by Inigo Jones.

Dr. Elmer Ellis
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Dr. Elmer Ellis (1901-1989) was the 14th president of the University from 1955-1963, and he was the first president of the UM System (1963-1966).  Ellis joined the faculty at Mizzou in 1930, and was dean of the College of Arts and Science for ten years (1945-1955).  He is attributed with greatly expanding the University's size and prestige.  The University's main library was renamed in his honor in 1971.

Rothwell Gymnasium
Built: 1906
Architect: Cope and Stewardson
Named After: Gideon F. Rothwell, president of the Board of Curators (1890-1894)
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Students compete on Rollins Field outside of Rothwell Gymnasium.
Courtesy of University Archives, C:0/3/7

Built by Cope and Stewardson -- the architects famous for making the Collegiate Gothic style popular -- Rothwell Gymnasium displays features typical of Neo-Gothic architecture.  The top of the roofline is crenellated like a medieval parapet, and buttresses along the sides of the building.  Constructed of local limestone, Rothwell is a great example of the architecture displayed on the rest of White Campus.  The building is comparable to other Collegiate Gothic buildings constructed around this period, such as Blair Hall at Princeton (1896-1897), which was also designed by Cope and Stewardson.  Rothwell is also comparable to even older Tudor Gothic buildings such as the entrance to Compton Wynyates House, England (c. 1520), or Sutton Place, Surry (c. 1525).

The March of Dimes Ball, 1948, one of the many formals held in Rothwell.
Savitar 1948, 2011.058

Rothwell Gymnasium was originally built to house the men's physical education classes and intercollegiate sporting events.  It was the first free-standing gym built on campus.  Previously, both the men and women's gyms were located in Jesse Hall, until Rothwell and later McKee Gymnasium, was built to house men and women's sports respectively.  It also housed intramural and recreational sports, and even hosted big campus events, such as formal dances.  Rollins Field outside Rothwell is where many outdoor sporting events were held.

Gideon F. Rothwell, President of the Board of Curators (1890-1894)
Courtesy of University Archives, C:0/47/8

Gideon F. Rothwell (1836-1894) was originally from Fulton, Missouri, and attended the University of Missouri as a law student.  He served as a Democrat in the 46th Congress (1879-1881).  In 1889, Rothwell was appointed as a member of the Board of Curators for the University of Missouri.  He served as president of the Board from 1890-1894.  It was during that time that the Old Academic Hall burned down, leaving only the Columns behind.  Originally, Rothwell wanted to have them torn down, but he later changed his mind, delivering the famous words: "Let the Columns stand.  Let them stand for a thousand years." 

Read Hall
Built: 1903
Architect: Cope and Stewardson
Named After: Daniel Read, President of the University (1863-1876), who opened admission to the University to women
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Read Hall, 1907
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Read Hall was constructed using the same white limestone as the rest of White Campus, and is done in a Collegiate Gothic style, similar to buildings such as Radnor Hall, from Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania (1887).  Designed by Cope and Stewardson, who were famous for their Collegiate Gothic buildings -- and especially their work at Bryn Mawr College -- Read Hall was among the earlier buildings to be constructed on White Campus.

Built in 1903, Read Hall was originally the women's dormitory.  Previously, women enrolled in the University could live in rooms in Jesse Hall, but as the number of women in the University increased, a dorm dedicated to their use was eventually constructed.  Though it was originally known as the Women's Dormitory, it was eventually renamed after Daniel Read, who was the first president of the University to allow the enrollment of female students.  Later it became the temporary student union, and now houses the Department of History.

Read Hall acted as a temporary union before Memorial was completed.
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Before the construction of Memorial Union, Read Hall acted as the campus' temporary union.  Many social events were held here, including dances and even chess tournaments.  Student publications were done in the hall, and even a student-run station was broadcast from the third floor.  It remained an important part of student activities until Memorial Union was completed.  

President Middlebush chats with students at the weekly coffee hour.
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One of the most popular events held in Read Hall during its time as the temporary student union was the weekly coffee hour.  Every Friday, students and faculty members could meet in the lounges of Read Hall and socialize.

Waters Hall
Built: 1909
Architect: Jamieson and Spearl
Named After: Henry Jackson Waters, 4th Dean of Agriculture (1895-1909)

Courtesy of the State Historical Society of Missouri
Waters Hall, 1927
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Waters Hall displays similar Neo-Gothic features to other White Campus buildings, such as the crenellated roofline, hood moldings, and rough limestone blocks.

Waters was designed by Jamieson and Spearl, who acted as architects for the University for much of the early 20th century.  It was designed in a similar Collegiate Gothic fashion as much of the rest of White Campus, which helped to mark the building as belonging to the College of Agriculture.  It is similar to other Neo-Gothic buildings such as Beatty Hall (1922) at Loyola University, Maryland.  

Members of the Ag Club meet in the Waters Hall auditorium.
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Waters Hall has been the home of the College of Agriculture since its construction in 1909, having moved to the building from Switzler Hall.  It has long been a meeting place for agricultural students.

Henry Waters
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In 1925, Waters Hall was named after Henry "Hank" Jackson Waters, the 4th Dean of the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (1895-1909).  Waters was a native to Missouri and graduated from the University in 1886.  He served as an assistant secretary of the Missouri State Board of Agriculture, and was a professor at MU for many years.  After resigning from his position as dean in 1909, he acted as president of the College of Agriculture for Kansas State University until 1917, where a building is named in his honor, as well.  He was well-liked and highly respected at the University, and his background as a native Missourian served him well with students, faculty, and farmers.

Come visit this exhibit in the Traditions Lounge of the Student Center.  It will be on display through the summer.
Blogpost authored by Rachel Lewis, Curatorial Intern of Public Arts at the University of Missouri Student Unions