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175-year Relationship

Between MU and Columbia

Joining Chancellor Loftin on stage were Mini Mizzou, cheerleaders and Truman the Tiger. The group led the crowd in the Missouri fight song at the end of the event. Photo by Rob Hill.

The membership breakfast of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 4 roared to order with a truck, a tiger and a squeal.

Heather Hargrove, chair of the commerce’s board of directors, arrived on stage with help from Truman the Tiger and Truman’s Taxi, a 1954 fire truck painted black and gold that awoke the sleepy-eyed breakfast crowd as it rolled by, siren blasting.

As the event’s gold sponsor, the University of Missouri held a prominent spot in the proceedings. This included the audacious start to the popular networking event, held in the airplane-hangar-sized Expo Center of the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia. Draped along walls were reminders of MU’s four key values (respect, responsibility, discovery, excellence) and its 175th anniversary this year. 

Hargrove gave chamber updates and prize giveaways, and introduced chamber membership committees and Rep. Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia), who spoke briefly about Missouri infrastructure problems.

Next, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, sporting his signature black-and-gold bow tie, talked about the donations given by Boone County residents in 1839 that laid the financial groundwork for the University of Missouri. Among the donors was Mary Kirtley Rogers. The family also donated funds after Academic Hall burned in 1892.

Read the rest at the Mizzou Weekly >>