Updated: Aug 7, 2020
Alumni and friends of Mizzou,
I can safely say this is not the year anyone imagined when I began my tenure last July. These past few months have challenged us all to take stock and examine the impact of our actions.
Amidst these challenges, though, I find myself with a newfound respect and admiration for this institution and the volunteers that support it. Mizzou is a family — and when we are hurting, we care for each other.
As President, my goal was to encourage us all to be advocates and ambassadors for MU; to encourage donations, volunteer efforts, and participation. In the midst of campus closures and the postponement of commencement ceremonies, this call took on a newfound urgency — and I was proud to witness Tigers around the world reaching out to support both our students and our mission.
Thanks to the efforts of the Mizzou family, our Board was able to grant the gift of MAA membership to every graduating student in the Class of 2020. Each graduate received a personally written congratulatory note from a Tiger, as well.
This is in addition to the many friends and alumni who submitted videos, photos, messages and other forms of support during Mizzou's first ever Virtual Commencement. I was honored to help represent us as one of the commencement speakers, and though our community was physically apart, our Tiger spirit has never burned so brightly.
I would like to thank my fellow Board members, who have been so instrumental in reaching out and encouraging participation - both in their own local communities, and through social media. While this was a goal from the beginning of our tenure, the importance of outreach, particularly online, helped pave the way for our calls to action in the last months of the semester.
Also, a huge thanks to our MAA team, led by Executive Director Todd McCubbin. Their passion for our University and its mission are greatly appreciated.
I would like to end by encouraging you all to continue the work — there are a variety of opportunities available at Mizzou.com/TigersSupportTigers for those looking to help.
It has been my honor to serve as your Mizzou Alumni Association President, and I hope you will join me in welcoming our friend Robin Wenneker (BS BA '91) as she leads us into a new chapter. I look forward to rejoining you all on campus soon, as the best is yet ahead.
Steve Hays, BS BA '80
Mizzou Alumni Association President
Des Peres, MO