High in the lobby of the Reynolds Alumni Center hangs a work of art entitled Spirit of Mizzou. Having worked in Reynolds for more than 25 years, I’ve passed beneath that noble rendering of our mascot thousands of times. But recently I really noticed it. And I kept noticing it.
As many of us have searched over the past few months for a manual on handling the pandemic, the spirit of Mizzou has shined brightly. My column in the spring magazine reported the administration’s decisive preventive health measures as well as a general yearning to return to normal campus life. That desire remains as we have accomplished a great deal toward reopening this fall.
In May, we celebrated the class of 2020 during our first-ever virtual graduation celebration. More than 5,000 alumni answered our call to welcome the class to the Mizzou family. Each new graduate received a personal note from a past graduate, and notable alumni provided inspiring and fun congratulations videos. Until then, I’d never seen a virtual graduation celebration, but we really nailed it.
We have closed the Mizzou: Our Time to Lead campaign with our third-largest fundraising year in history. What a testament to alumni support! We look forward to celebrating — virtually, of course — in September.
Campus recently welcomed two new leaders. University of Missouri System President Mun Choi has taken on a new role as MU chancellor. He has been a great friend to alumni, and we look forward to working with him in this new dual position. Jackie Lewis arrived to lead MU Advancement, replacing Tom Hiles, who retired. She’s a Midwest native who is excited about the big things going on at Mizzou.
Every ounce of Mizzou spirit has gone into reimagining the campus experience, learning environment and our traditions to keep Tigers safe this fall. Truly, the efforts of faculty, staff and students along with the support of alumni and friends to renew our campus are remarkable.
Yet, there is still uncertainty. I suppose that is a constant. Then again, so is the piece of art presiding over the Reynolds Alumni Center lobby. It has always been there, just waiting for the right moment to remind me about the overwhelming power that is the spirit of Mizzou.
Be safe and M-I-Z!
Todd McCubbin, M Ed '95
Executive Director, Mizzou Alumni Association