SEPTEMBER 26, 2017
Mizzou community, supporters, and friends,
I am writing today to share with you the first in a series of weekly communications to tell you about my observations since I joined the University of Missouri. I hope you will share these observations with your friends, family, colleagues, and prospective students and their parents on social media using the phrase #MizzouMade.
I have been at Mizzou for almost two months, and it has been exhilarating. I have heard many stories from students, faculty, staff, and alumni that have demonstrated how being a part of Mizzou has:
|•||helped them to be successful;|
|•||enriched their lives with lifelong friends and, in some cases, partners;|
|•||impacted their culture with new music, art and literature; and|
|•||encouraged path-breaking technologies.|
I am inspired by these stories, and I think you will be too. I encourage you to visit our #MizzouMade site to see for yourself. You’ll see perseverance, hard work, and integrity—stories that exemplify Mizzou’s core values of Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, and Excellence. I want to hear your story too. I encourage you to submit your story online.
To get started, I’ll share my story. For me, getting a university degree changed my life. When I was young, I never thought I would have an opportunity to attend college and certainly didn’t dream I would have the opportunity to lead the University of Missouri. I grew up in the Bahamas. Later, my mother and I moved to the U.S. My first of many jobs was to clean farm buildings. As I worked, I completed my GED. I took a job as a custodian in a factory to earn enough money to be able to attend a community college and take classes part-time. Eventually, I went on to pursue my bachelor’s in electrical engineering, and then my PhD. While in school, I was also fortunate enough to meet my wonderful wife Melinda, and we just celebrated a thirtieth wedding anniversary in July. I still remember how difficult it was for me as a first-generation college student to navigate it all. But the nurturing faculty and friends who challenged me to bring out the very best deserve a lot of the credit.
Many students and alumni have told me that the student experience at MU is similarly transformative. With world-class faculty, amazing staff, exceptional students, and award-winning curriculum and research opportunities, Mizzou can bring out the very best in you. For many of us, higher education truly changed the trajectory of our lives. We all have had different paths, but Mizzou has played a part.
Do you remember when you were making the decision to come to Mizzou? If so, tell us about your experience and how it has made a difference in your life. Submit your story here, or at the bottom of each story look for the Facebook or Twitter icon to share one already posted. Be sure to follow @Mizzou on Facebook and Twitter.
Until next time…M-I-Z!
University of Missouri