MIZZOU Spring 2023

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THE MAGAZINE OF THE MIZZOU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION mizzou.com | Spring 2023 16 Meet Scooter. His DNA Tells a Wild Story shakespeare’s turns 50 | cosmic chemistry | m-i-z, n-i-l! A
Mizzou researcher digs into the origin
feline friends


CROWDED COMPETITION When it was founded in 1944 by the Missouri School of Journalism, the prestigious annual competition now known as Pictures of the Year International (POYi) was guided by a mission “to pay tribute to those press photographers and newspapers which, despite tremendous war-time difficulties, are doing a splendid job; to provide an opportunity for photographers of the nation to meet in open competition; and to compile and preserve … a collection of the best in current, home-front press pictures.” The POYi competition features not only breaking news photos but also images that capture for posterity day-to-day life, moments that will be kept safe in MU’s archives and digitized for educational research and historical record purposes.

POYi recently announced the winners for its 80th annual awards, which were chosen from more than 35,000 entries from around the globe. Among the winners was this photo by Getty Images staff photographer Ezra Shaw. Taken in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, during the swim portion of the 2022 Men’s Ironman World Championship, Shaw’s image earned an Award of Excellence in the Single Image, Sports Life & Recreational Sports category.

1 SPRING 2023

Hudson was an MU Health Care patient even before he was born. Ultrasounds showed bilateral limb differences and issues with his heart, kidneys, spine, esophagus and lungs. His first surgery was 24 hours after his birth; over the next two years, he’d require additional surgeries, weekly checkups and complex support. He’s now thriving, thanks to his dedicated team of specialists and caregivers. (And, perhaps, a little encouragement from his hero, Truman the Tiger.)

Our new Children’s Hospital, opening in Summer 2024, brings our world-class pediatric resources under one roof — allowing even more children like Hudson to receive the care they need, while remaining close to home.

“He quickly went from taking just a few steps to squatting, running, and jumping... he’s a typical, rambunctious little boy now. His energy only drops when he’s asleep.”
- Kristen, Mother of Hudson (age 3) , Children’s Miracle Network Champion Child
We’re building up the future of health care. Join Us Today You can make a difference for children in mid-Missouri and beyond. 573-882-3276 mizzougivedirect.missouri.edu/buildingup Scan to Give


A Time-Traveler’s Tale

It’s possible to find yourself in the same location you were years prior and, by twisting your mind a certain way, time travel, if only for a moment, into your former self.

That’s been happening often since I returned to my alma mater last summer after spending much of my professional life researching and reporting compelling stories and news as a music journalist, critic and editor at the Los Angeles Times and, before that, a writereditor in St. Louis. Walking through the Quad on the way to Jesse Hall. Singing along to REM’s “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville” while headed up Providence. Strolling down Ninth Street for billiards at Booches after a thing at Memorial Union.

Not long after my wife, Jenny; our 7-year-old daughter, Liza; and I moved from Pasadena into our new Columbia home, we were in the front yard when a neighbor waved. “Hi, Speer Morgan,” he said, extending his hand. I recognized him immediately.

In another era, I might have owed him an assignment. The longtime English professor and editor of the acclaimed literary institution the Missouri Review, Morgan taught a formative contemporary fiction class my senior year (BA ’88) that introduced me to writers including Salman Rushdie, Joyce Carol Oates and David Foster Wallace. He helped set me on my path.

More than a quarter century into chasing stories in the Midwest and Los Angeles, last spring a query arrived in my inbox from MU. It read, in essence, MIZ? I wouldn’t be writing this had I not responded with a vocal ZOU! My LA mission involved amplifying those artists and trends rewiring our musical brains on a regular basis. Here, I was offered the chance to help tell stories whose protagonists — MU faculty, researchers and students — encourage a kind of global rewiring by tackling innovative endeavors through research and education.

My former professor’s a neighbor, which is still weird to write. What drew me here, though, isn’t. Mizzou, as you know, is a miraculous microcosm,

one whose mission is fueled by individual and collective stories that demand documentation and amplification.

In this issue, for example, you’ll meet MU researcher Leslie Lyons, who’s working to understand how one of the world’s most inscrutable creatures, the common house cat, evolved. You’ll travel into outer space with cosmochemist-author Greg Brennecka, whose MU education helped facilitate his current work with cosmic rocks during a momentous moment in exploration.

How are the university and its studentathletes adapting to new rules allowing for students to earn income from their names, images and likenesses? Writer Tony Rehagen reports. Students in the Department of Textile & Apparel Management are tapping danceractor Ginger Rogers’ dresses for contemporary fashion inspiration, writer (and editor emeritus) Dale Smith explains. In honor of its half-century anniversary, MU writer Marcus Wilkins has compiled an oral history of Shakespeare’s Pizza.

Chomp down a slice or four, and maybe pair it with a glass of cabernet from Spence Vineyards (See Semper, Page 64). Rumor has it if you chant MIZ three times while doing so, you can beam yourself into the ZOU realm to wonder on its many marvels.

Editorial and Advertising

Mizzou Alumni Association

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Columbia, MO 65211

phone: 573-882-6611


Executive Editor Ashley Burden

Managing Editor Randall Roberts

Art Director Blake Dinsdale

Class Notes Editor

Jennifer Manning Editors Emeriti

Karen Worley and Dale Smith


Scott Dahl: 573-882-2374

Mizzou Alumni Association

123 Reynolds Alumni Center Columbia, MO 65211 phone: 573-882-6611, fax: 573-882-5145

Executive Director, Publisher

Todd A. McCubbin, M Ed ’95

Opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the official position  of the University of Missouri or the Mizzou Alumni Association. ©2023

Statements of Purpose

The Mizzou Alumni Association proudly supports the best interests and traditions of Missouri’s flagship university and its alumni worldwide. Lifelong relationships are the foundation of our support. These relationships are enhanced through advocacy, communication and volunteerism.

MIZZOU magazine reports credible and engaging news about the University of Missouri community to a global audience.


President Jeff Vogel, BS Acc ’90

President-elect Mindy Mazur, BA ’99

Immediate Past President Sabrina McDonnell, MBA ’15

Treasurer John Gamble, BS ’00

Secretary Todd McCubbin, M Ed ’95

Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Chair Joe Valenciano, BA ’95 Directors Clarissa Cauthorn, BS ’15; Morgan Corder, BA ’18; Renita Duncan, BS Acc, M Acc ’08; Pete Ferretti, BA ’93; Matt Jenne, BS CiE ’97, MBA ’15; Chuck Kaiser, BA, BJ ’93; Emily Kueker, BS ’02; Christine Mathews, BS BA ’10, MBA ’17; Daniel Pierce, BA, BJ ’99; Martin Rucker, BS ’07; Mark Russell, BJ ’84; Jim Simmons, BS ’93, MD ’98; Dawn Smith-Popielski, BA ’96; David Townsend, JD ’00; Kim Utlaut, BS ’89; Vanessa Vaughn West, BA ’99; Janet Wheatley, BS HE ’77

Student Representative Ben Henschel

MIZZOU magazine

Spring 2023, Volume 111, Number 3

Published triannually by the Mizzou Alumni Association

3 SPRING 2023
Your new managing editor, right, in a galaxy far, far away: the old Blue Note on Business Loop 70


POYi Slideshow The 80th Pictures of the Year International winners have been announced (see First Look, Page 1). Above: Nina Roth of Team USA competes at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. The picture, called “Hard!,” was made by David Ramos, a finalist for Sports Photographer of the Year. MIZZOU readers can view a slideshow of more striking winning images. mizzou.us/POYi2023

Wendy Sims video Watch Wendy Sims, director of music education at the University of Missouri School of Music, share her love and knowledge of music with students of all ages. mizzou.us/wendysims


Greg Brennecka, BS ’03, is the author of Impact: How Rocks from Space Led to Life, Culture, and Donkey Kong (William Morrow, 2022). A staff scientist and cosmochemist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, he lives in the Livermore Valley wine country. He wrote about the new frontiers in space exploration. Page 34.

Tony Rehagen, BA, BJ ’01, has written for GQ, The Columbia Journalism Review and Next Wave: America’s New Generation of Great Literary Journalists. He explores how student-athletes are embracing NCAA rule changes regarding name, image and likeness usage. Page 42.

David Boelke’s work has been commissioned by clients including Disney-Pixar, Lexus and Hewlett-Packard. Although based in Ventura, California, the illustrator captured the essence of Mizzou’s 9th Street neighbor, Shakespeare’s Pizza. Page 22.


1 First Look

Winners of the MU School of Journalism’s annual Pictures of the Year International were recently announced. Among the victors was an aerial-view image of the frantic first moments during the swimming leg of an annual Ironman competition.

6 Around the Columns

A 13.1-hour nonstop dance marathon raises more than $122,000 for MU Health Care’s Children’s Hospital; the Mizzou chess team reaches the Final Four; an MU researcher on fighting Type 1 diabetes with an approach that, if successful, “would be a game-changer, a cure.” And Mizzou’s power plant celebrates its centennial.

52 Mizzou Alumni News

Honoring the Geyer Award winners, Mizzou alum Amy Bonner’s ascent to NCAA men’s basketball officiating, planting a Mizzou flag in Antarctica and two MU business school grads on the success of their natural pet market

53 Class Notes

Alumni add into Our Historical Record their recent anniversaries, job advancements, accomplishments, weddings and babies.


Semper Mizzou

How MU grad Dave Spence moved from plastics and politics to wining and dining

Council for Advancement & Support of Education Awards

Although his kind are famously unherdable, cat model Scooter was gracious enough to sit for a recent portrait session with MU photographers Abbie Lankitus and Sam O’Keefe. He was accompanied by his owner, Leslie Lyons, whose MU research on feline DNA is revealing a fascinating journey. See Page 16.

facebook.com/mizzou twitter.com/mizzou


2022: Bronze, Periodical/Magazine Design

2021: Gold, Feature Writing

(“Who Was I in College?,” Winter 2020)

2020: Bronze, Feature Writing (“Forever Young,” Spring 2019)

2019: Bronze, General Interest Magazine

Society for Publication Designers Awards

2022 merit awards

“The Long Quiet,” Winter 2021; “International Reach,” Spring 2021; Spring 2021 cover

2021 merit awards

“Eli’s Calling,” Fall 2020; “A Third Act,” Spring 2020

16 Meet Scooter. His DNA Tells a Wild Story A Mizzou Researcher Digs into the Origin of Our Feline Friends
About the cover


Twenty-one years ago, astronomer and MU Department of Physics and Astronomy Associate Professor Haojing Yan (above) reserved time on an upcoming space telescope. He’s finally secured an observation slot with the machine, now known as the James Webb Space Telescope. Page 41.

Meow and Then

How and why did ancient cats ingratiate themselves with humans? MU feline geneticist Leslie Lyons has traced a common house pet’s evolution.

story by dale smith, bj ’88

The 50-year Pizza Party

In 1973, a pizza joint named after a bard snagged a choice location near the Mizzou campus. An oral history of Shakespeare’s Pizza. story by marcus wilkins, ba ’03

Remixing Ginger’s Gowns

MU textile and apparel management students are updating iconic actress Ginger Rogers’ dress wear using 3D imaging and contemporary inspiration.

story by dale smith, bj ’88

The Cosmochemist’s Guide to the Galaxy

Author-scientist-alum Greg Brennecka explores how gravity and a few lucky cosmic bounces may have helped create life on Earth. And: a conversation with MU astrophysicist Haojing Yan about his Webb telescope research.

story by greg brennecka, bs ’03

The Name Is the Game

Tiger student-athletes in all sports find a way to capitalize on new name, image and likeness laws.

story by tony rehagen, ba, bj ’01

16 34 42 30 22

Dancing for a Purpose

Although they hardly look worse for the wear, students danced for more than 13 hours straight in early March. The reason for the grooving? Supporting MU Health Care’s Children’s Hospital.

College students have a reputation for engaging in outrageous antics. A 13.1-hour nonstop dance marathon can be added to the list. But this stunt was for a good cause: to raise money for pediatric patients and their families in mid-Missouri.

Hundreds of students gathered in the MU Student Recreation Complex March 4 to participate in MizzouThon, which raised more than $122,000 this year to support MU Health Care’s Children’s Hospital. The largest student-run philanthropy at the University of Missouri, the organization hosts fundraising and awareness events throughout the year, culminating in what’s called Main Event, where participants meet some of the “Miracle Families,” learn about the programs their fundraising dollars support, play games — and, of course, dance.

“I dance for those who can’t,” says junior jour-

nalism major Halle Paulus. “If a child can go through countless surgeries and procedures to get better, then I can stand on my feet and dance for 13.1 hours to support them.”

Now in its 15th year, MizzouThon has raised more than $2.25 million to support programs at Children’s Hospital. It completed a $1 million pledge to the neonatal intensive care unit, now named the MizzouThon NICU, in 2018. In 2021, the organization pledged to raise $1.25 million in five years for the new Children’s Hospital NICU and the music therapy program.

“Even when kiddos are in the hospital, we want to make sure they get to enjoy being a child,” says MizzouThon president and senior health science major Nicole Lawson.

— Kelsey Allen, BA, BJ ’10



A century of the MU Power Plant

This year marks the centennial anniversary of the MU Power Plant, whose twin stacks jut toward the sky on the west side of campus to create remarkable sunset silhouettes.

Aesthetics aside, the plant provides energy to more than 200 individual MU facilities, in doing so eliminating the need that each building has its own boiler room and air-conditioning unit. The result? An increasingly energy-efficient system connecting the requirements of academic and administrative buildings, residence halls, University Hospital, the MU Health Care offices and elsewhere.

Below, the MU Power Plant by the numbers.


Our MizzouForward Trajectory

In 2022, MU’s research investments reached an all-time high: $432 million. A recent economic impact report also showed our research enterprise generated $988.8 million for Missouri, supported more than 6,800 jobs, and produced $55.2 million in state and local taxes.

We’re proud of our 10 consecutive years of research growth. That’s why we launched MizzouForward — a $1.5 billion, decadelong commitment to faculty excellence and infrastructure investments as well as student success and participation in the discovery process. Our Graduate School is a leading indicator of MizzouForward’s impact and a growing, global destination for talented graduate and postdoctoral students. Last year, seven students received National Science Foundation fellowships.

The number of electric dynamos that Thomas Edison gifted MU in 1892. After Mizzou Professor Benjamin Thomas and his students installed the device and the accompanying incandescent lamps, the team connected it to a steam boiler to provide heat and electric light for Academic Hall.

Number of boilers, along with two steam-powered turbines, the MU Power Plant employed when it opened in early 1923. Mizzou’s enrollment was 3,260 students. The plant now employs six boilers to service more than 31,000 students.

1 4 26 miles

The total mile length of underground steam and condensate return-piping systems used for heating, sterilization, production of chilled water, cleaning, humidification and other thermal energy uses. That steam is produced in boilers and by capturing the waste exhaust heat of the gas-turbine generators.

32,000 tons

The volume of chilled water produced by the campus district cooling system, which distributes it to air condition campus buildings and provide process cooling for research facilities

8% 40% 1956

The decrease in MU’s total energy use, thanks to aggressive energy conservation efforts, since 1990. The savings occurred despite the education and general building space increasing by 54% gross square feet.

The year that two prominent stacks rose over the Mizzou campus

The percentage of the energy MU uses annually that’s derived from renewable sources including biomass, wind power and solar

Osasu and Jessica Osaze are married researchers who joined our graduate student community from Nigeria in 2016. Osasu is a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering who’s finding new ways to turn plastic waste into usable material. Jessica is a PhD candidate in translational biosciences. Through MizzouForward, our campus is investing in these research areas and opening new opportunities for students.

A national survey showed that first-year MU students participate in undergraduate research at a significantly higher average rate than our Carnegie peer group, which includes nearly 50 research-heavy doctoral institutions. To further support all undergraduates, we’ve hired new academic advisers and expanded resources for mentorships and fellowships.

Rucha Kelkar — a health science major, Discovery Fellow and Cherng Summer Scholar — offers one example of undergraduate excellence. A future physician, she began studying the effects of e-cigarettes in high school, continued her research at Mizzou and now works with mentors from the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and our School of Health Professions to understand the effect of cancer treatments on swallowing.

Prospective students should know that they can start researching right away. The results speak for themselves. Mizzou’s job placement rate is 95%.

Investing in research is the right move for our students and Missouri.


WeMake’s MizzouForward Upgrade

For years, the WeMake Design & Learn Lab in Townsend Hall has been the 3D-printing hub of campus. The only problem was the sole spoke led to the engineering school. Students from other specialties were either unwilling or unaware that the technology was available to them.

That changed last year with a $30,000 MizzouForward student success grant geared toward remaking WeMake into a more versatile, open-ended space. “Making things is not just for engineers and artists; it’s for everyone,” says Cindy Dudenhoffer, associate teaching professor in the School of Information Science & Learning Technologies and faculty adviser in charge of WeMake. “The idea is to shift the point of view from the technical side of 3D printing and AutoCAD and make this a place for successful entrepreneurs, designers and critical thinkers.”

The grant enabled Dudenhoffer to do just that by expanding the lab’s offerings to include two new 3D printers, one that works in silk (and can be used in biological functions) and another with wood. There’s also a precision CNC carver; a Glowforge Pro laser cutter, etcher and engraver; and a commercial embroidery machine. Labgoers can go old-school, too, with clay pottery, crocheting needles, a sewing machine, soldering irons, paint and markers to mock up prototypes of any designs they might pursue.

Notably, an early victory for the new WeMake lab has been a partnership between the lab and health professionals. Students studying physical therapy and occupational therapy are planning to use the facility to design and create assistive

technology — rehab and adaptive devices for people with disabilities and older adults — customized to their patients’ needs.

Dudenhoffer also harnessed the grant money to bring in two aides, one an engineering student and the other studying library science, to help facilitate collaboration between the mathematically minded and those steeped in the humanities. It’s indicative of Dudenhoffer’s hope that WeMake becomes more than just a lab where students and faculty can access manufacturing and prototyping technology but also a meeting place where minds from different disciplines can converge. “It’s really neat to see that synergy,” she says. “You can bring your ideas, feel comfortable sharing and maybe even find a project partner.”


The University of Missouri has embarked on an initiative to build a new, larger research reactor that will expand critical cancerfighting research and medical isotope production at MU. Medical isotopes are used in cancer treatments and imaging agents to diagnose cancers and heart disease.

Called NextGen MURR, the initiative commences this month, with a request for preliminary designs and partnerships. “NextGen MURR will produce advanced cancer medicines for the next 75 years and solidify the University of Missouri’s position as the most important resource for medical isotopes in the United States,” University of Missouri President Mun Choi said in the announcement.

Twitter Buzz About



SEC Champion has a nice ring to it

Allow us introduce your 2023 SEC Vault Champion Jocelyn Moore!!!


@NCAAWrestling 165 LBS. CHAMPION

Keegan O`Toole is a 2x NCAA Champion! #NCAAWrestling x @MizzouWrestling


@Mizzou’s new Institute of Fisheries, Wetlands & Aquatic Systems will ensure that Missouri continues to lead national conservation efforts by training the next generation of conservation professionals through workforce development, research, and public policy.




Kim English was hired at Providence five days ago and is already getting his players out of the transfer portal by beating them 1-on-1


This summer, the School of Health Professions is changing our name to the College of Health Sciences. To go with our new name, we'll also be undergoing a $5 million renovation project in Clark Hall.



Mizzou chess team captain Grigoriy Oparin is one of five Tigers with a Grandmaster rating. The team made this year’s President’s Cup, the Final Four of collegiate chess.

MU to F4

In January, the Mizzou chess team checkmated their way to second place in a field of 80 teams at the 2023 Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship held in Seattle. “For the first time since the program began, we qualified for the Final Four, also known as the President’s Cup,” says Cristian Chirila, the team’s coach and general manager.

In addition to building a nationwide reputation for its maneuvering in classical, over-the-board chess, the team has proven itself adroit in highspeed competition. Last year, it took home several individual and team awards in the U.S. Online Collegiate Rapid and Blitz Championships.

Born only four years ago in partnership with the renowned Saint Louis Chess Club, which, like the Mizzou squad, was founded through a generous gift from Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield, the Tiger chess team is a newcomer to collegiate competition. But its players are hardly rookies. Team captain Grigoriy Oparin and four other players hold Grandmaster ratings, as does Chirila. Of the millions of chess players throughout the world, only a handful — about 1,500 — have been awarded the Grandmaster title by the

World Chess Federation.

It takes multiple skills to excel at collegiate-level chess. “Not everyone has the patience and inclination to sit in front of a chess board for five or six hours at a time,” Chirila says. “It comes down to a commitment to master the game and to keep improving.”

As with other Mizzou competitive teams, regular and sometimes grueling practices are essential for building skills needed to win championships. The chess team holds two or three practices a week, each lasting about four hours. Players put in more hours in front of the board on their own, frequently playing against an “engine,” a computer program that uses artificial intelligence to plot each move.

The computing power, of course, can’t replace the human element that bonds the team. Oparin, an economics grad student, credits a strong camaraderie among his teammates as an important factor in their success. “This is my fourth year on the team, and I’m enjoying every minute of it,” he says.

At the beginning of April, Mizzou took home fourth place at the President's Cup in St. Louis.

— Jack Wax, BS Ed ’73, HES ’76, MA ’87

• Marie Concannon, head of government information for the University of Missouri Libraries, was recently awarded the 2023 American Library Association Catharine J. Reynolds Award from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) for her project “Prices and Wages by Decade.”

• The University of Missouri respiratory therapy program was recently recognized among the best in the nation after receiving several competitive awards, including the American Association for Respiratory Care’s elite Apex Award for 2023–24 and two awards from the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care.

• Ric Ransom has been named CEO of MU Health Care. Most recently, Ransom served as president for University of Wisconsin hospitals in the Madison region, where he started as vice president in December 2018.

• Vellore Gopalaratnam, a professor in the University of Missouri College of Engineering, has been elected a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). ASCE represents more than 150,000 members of the civil engineering profession. Fellows represent just 3% of membership.


Disposing Needles (For Good)

In Type 1 diabetes, or T1D, the body’s immune system goes rogue and kills the pancreas’s insulin-producing cells. For a century, the lifesaving treatment has meant enduring the multipletimes-daily jab — costly and painful injections of insulin that normalize blood sugar levels. Now, Haval Shirwan and colleagues have won a $3.2 million grant as they knock at the door of a groundbreaking new method of transplanting insulin-producing cells.

However, research is often a bumpy road, and their path is no exception.

The team recently tested a promising method of transplanting pancreatic beta cells from donors. To their delight, insulin flowed in the preclinical studies. But two big barriers remained. The immune system recognized the transplants as outsiders and eventually destroyed them. Patients would have had to commit to a lifetime drug regimen shielding the transplant from bodily defenses. Those agents also lower resistance to a range of threats, including cancer. To boot, donor cells are too scarce to scale up this method.

Undaunted, the team sought out a new supply chain. They opened a collaboration with Washington University in St. Louis, where researcher Jeffrey Millman has figured out how to turn stem cells into a limitless supply of insulin-producing beta cells.

As for the immune system riddle, the team engineered a remarkable protein that, in a mere 10 minutes’ time, trains the immune system to accept the transplant as part of the body. Immune cells transform from attackers to allies that defend the transplant, which sits near the liver. This worked perfectly in early tests, which has caused quite a stir in the field.

The National Institutes of Health funding allows Shirwan and the team to combine the stem beta cells with the protein and examine the new transplant in preclinical trials.

Bumps may lie ahead, but, if the new process pans out as well in human patients, “It would be a game-changer, a cure,” Shirwan says. Patients with insulin-resistant T1D would be an early target for care. Children could be screened for genetic markers showing a predisposition to diabetes and receive preventive treatment. Beyond that, the approach could well adapt to many other autoimmune diseases such as lupus and multiple sclerosis. — Dale Smith, BJ ’88



Mary Beth Bernardin noticed a strange trend during the pandemic. While COVID-19 was keeping most would-be patients at home and out of the emergency room, the number of children coming into the ER with gunshot wounds actually seemed to be going up.

Bernardin had witnessed the impact of gun violence on children firsthand during her residency in pediatric medicine at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Now an assistant professor of pediatric emergency medicine at the MU School of Medicine, she decided to act. She led a team of researchers from Washington University, St. Louis Children’s and the University of Vermont in a retrospective study that found the monthly injury rate of pediatric firearm injuries jumped by 51.5% during the pandemic from five years prior, from an average of 6.8 shootings per month to 10.3. Deaths rose by 29%.

The paper also found that this violence disproportionately impacted Black children. “Some people might assume that these kids are out there getting in trouble,” says Bernardin. “But these kids are mostly just bystanders. The violence is all around them. During the pandemic, people lost jobs, businesses and loved ones. We know crime increased because of these same economic issues.”

Bernardin hopes these findings draw attention to the issue of gun violence and lead communities to take preventative measures. “I had never confronted it prior to my residency,” says Bernardin. “But when you take care of children, it’s hard to witness a child who’s been shot and not want to do something.” — TR


Record-breaking Growth for MU Research

The University of Missouri set a record for research expenditures in fiscal year 2022 by investing more than $432 million. The figure marks the 10th consecutive year of growth. A recent economic impact report showed that MU’s research generated $989 million for Missouri, which, in turn, funded more than 6,800 jobs and produced $55 million in state and local taxes.

Finding the Sales ‘Sweet Spot’

Acquiring new customers is the sink-or-swim task for any business — an endless project that keeps sales staff and their managers in the hot seat. Although typical sales studies analyze firm-level data, marketing Professor Srinath Gopalakrishna of the Trulaske College of Business finds that lens limited. He sees the work as a people-level job, so his sometimes surprising new study takes the tack of drilling down to individual staffers.

Gopalakrishna looked at 538 commission-only salespeople working for Shelter Insurance, a $1 billion company headquartered in CoMo and operating in 14 states. His question: How well did these salespeople find potential customers and convert them into clients? The goal: to offer data-based advice to managers hiring and supporting staff on the perpetual quest for clients.

It turns out experience isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as Gopalakrishna found that newer agents landed more customers. Especially for companies with small advertising budgets, he reasons, “It may be a good idea to seek newer, more energized salespeople, who are more likely to actively network and aggressively seek out new prospective customers as opposed to just letting them come to you.”

Next, flip the advertising strategy upside down. Ads introducing products and salespeople boosted sales across the board, an indicator that all staff should get a share of the advertising pie. But resist the intuition to favor the newbies, Gopalakrishna says. More seasoned staff did better than newer people at converting advertising dollars into customers. Similarly, he discovered that incentives, raises and bonuses more successfully increased customer acquisitions for longer-term agents.

All the youthful enthusiasm spent looking for leads can be too much of a good thing when it robs time from converting prospects into clients. Gopalakrishna suggests that managers work individually with their employees to find the best balance — the sales “sweet spot.”

More: Check out Gopalakrishna’s study “Hunting for New Customers: Assessing the Drivers of Effective Salesperson Prospecting and Conversion” in the Journal of Business Research. — DS


Surging Through Gates

When Whitten Family Men’s Basketball Head Coach Dennis Gates was hired in March 2022, the Tigers hadn’t earned an NCAA men’s tournament victory since 2010 and were trying to recover from a 12-win season in 2021–2022. The coach’s first move was to start crunching data. “Analytics is the way of the world,” Gates told MIZZOU in the fall ’23 issue of his approach to winning. “The numbers steer you in the right direction. They help you make decisions as a coach and help players eliminate risk and put themselves in the right position to succeed.”

Less than 12 months later, Gates and a seventh-seeded Tigers lifted the 13-year drought with an 11-point tournament win over Utah State — before taking a loss to Princeton in the second round. Gates’ record with the Tigers now stands at an impressive 25–10, due in no small part to power forward Kobe Brown, who led the Tigers roster with 15.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. That success earned Brown a slot on the All-SEC First Team. The bonus: Brown also earned the conference’s ScholarAthlete of the Year award, the first Tiger to do so.

The campus enthusiasm is palpable, and not just in the increased decibel level at Mizzou Arena. During Gates’ first season, MU averaged 11,571 fans per game, up from 6,168 in 2021–22. To paraphrase Coach Gates, numbers suggest the program’s being steered in the right direction.

Stat Sheet


Wins — Mizzou’s most victories in 11 years, while Dennis Gates has the fifth-most wins ever by a first-year SEC coach The Tigers finished the season ranked first nationally with a turnover margin of +5.8 Dennis Gates became the first MU head coach to win an NCAA Tournament game in his debut season. Steals by D’Moi Hodge, becoming Mizzou’s all-time single-season steals record holder
GPA of Kobe Brown, the first-ever Tiger to earn SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors
1st 1st 91


As a Minnesota farm girl, Dawn Sullivan never felt more at home than when she was on a court with a ball. She pursued that feeling with all she had. If that meant joining the boys teams because there were only three girls in her elementary school grades, she would. If that meant petitioning to join the girls high school varsity teams as an eighth grader, she would do that, too.

“Sport allowed me to be who I am and be a little more free and find joy and feel accepted,” Sullivan says. “It allowed that aggressive side to come out.”

She carried that passion for the power of sport to Kansas State, where she became an All-American volleyball player, and then into a coaching career. Sullivan accepted an offer from athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois to become the head coach at UNLV in 2018. After five successful seasons there, she heard again from Reed-Francois, who was now Mizzou’s AD.

The chance to work with Reed-Francois at a school with a strong volleyball tradition was too good to pass up. Sullivan was announced as Mizzou’s head coach on Dec. 18. Her belief in the power of sport hasn’t dimmed, and she hopes to instill her love into the Tigers.

“I want to impact people the way I was impacted,” she says. “I think sport allowed me to become who I am as a person.” — Joe


10 — Perfect score posted by sophomore Jocelyn Moore in the vault during the Missouri gymnastics team’s victory over Auburn Feb. 19

12 — Consecutive years the Missouri wrestling team has won its conference championship. The Tigers began the streak in 2012 in the Big 12, continued it from 2013 to 2021 in the Mid-American Conference and then resumed it in the Big 12 the past two seasons. This year Rocky Elam’s individual title at 197 pounds helped Mizzou score 148 total points, 14 points ahead of second-place Oklahoma State.


In the first 56 Super Bowls, former Mizzou Tigers often shined in football’s ultimate event. Linebacker Mike Jones made the game-clinching tackle at the 1-yard line to lift the St. Louis Rams over the Tennessee Titans in 2000. Defensive end Kony Ealy tied a Super Bowl record with three sacks and intercepted a pass in the Carolina Panthers’ loss to the Denver Broncos in 2015. Cornerback Eric Wright helped the San Francisco 49ers win four titles, and linebacker Andy Russell helped the Pittsburgh Steelers win two.

But no former Tiger accomplished what Nick Bolton did in the 57th Super Bowl: He scored a touchdown.

In the second quarter, the Kansas City Chiefs’ second-year linebacker met Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts at the line of scrimmage, and when Hurts fumbled, Bolton scooped up the ball and ran 36 yards for a score. It was one of the biggest plays in the Chiefs’ 38–35 comeback victory. The Super Bowl capped a stellar season for Bolton, who set a franchise record with 180 tackles in the regular season. —JW

MINOR LEAGUE VICTORY Last year brought three breakthrough victories for minor league baseball players, and former Tigers pitcher Garrett Broshuis, BS ’04, helped lead the charge. In August, MLB agreed to pay $185 million to the more than 20,000 current and former minor leaguers.

The league also rescinded its policy of refusing to pay for their work during offseason. Then, in September, the MLB Players Association agreed to accept minor leaguers into its union.

Broshuis was picked up by the San Francisco Giants in the 2004 MLB draft. He didn’t expect a glamorous life in the Giants’ minor league system, but the reality was truly bush league.

“At Mizzou, I was living in a normal apartment, but then I got into professional baseball and I’m sleeping on a futon in a host family’s house,” he says. After six years in the minors, Broshius entered Saint Louis University School of Law. After getting his law degree, he began to explore improving the fortunes of minor league players.

Broshuis eventually co-founded the nonprofit Advocates for Minor Leaguers and filed a class-action lawsuit with lead plaintiff (and former Mizzou baseball star) Aaron Senne, BS BA ’13 that accused MLB of numerous wage violations.

“This was not the legacy I expected,” Broshuis says of the victories. “But in many ways, I’ve had a much bigger impact on the game than I ever could have imagined.” — JW

14 — The number of former Mizzou players and coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame after wide receiver Jeremy Maclin was named to the 2023 induction class. Maclin set the Big 12 record with 2,776 all-purpose yards in 2007 and broke it the next year with 2,833. Maclin joins former Mizzou players Paul Christman, Darold Jenkins, Johnny Roland, Bob Steuber, Ed Travis, Roger Wehrli and Kellen Winslow and coaches Frank Broyles, Dan Devine, Don Faurot, James Phelan, Gary Pinkel and Bill Roper.

146 — Number of games played by women’s basketball player Haley Troup in her Missouri career — a program record. Because of COVID-19’s impact on the 2020–21 sports seasons, the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility to athletes who wished to use it, which allowed Troup to remain as a fixture in Mizzou’s lineup for five years.


When Giving Becomes a Family Affair

“B” and Peggy shared their love of their alma mater with all six of their children. For Christmas one year, many decades ago, the children chipped in for something special: a scholarship in their parents’ name.

Since their parents’ passing, the Bearman siblings have continued to hear from recipients of the Bernard L. and Peggy K. Bearman Scholarship — even getting to meet some, on occasion. And thanks to additional investments through a sibling’s charitable gift annuity, the scholarship fund has continued to grow. It’s a family tradition that’s even better with age. “B” and Peggy would be proud.

Charitable gift annuities support the causes you love while providing dependable income in your retirement years. Contact the Office of Gift Planning at 573-882-0272 or giftplanning@missouri.edu to learn more.

All life membership rates are increasing this summer. Order by April 30 to lock in our lowest pricing — a

15 SPRING 2023
by April 30 for a Mizzou art print, along with a greeting card for easy gifting at graduation!
mizzou.com/GradGift | (573) 882-6611 Jump-start your student’s connection to Mizzou with a life membership to the Mizzou Alumni Association! All new life members receive our exclusive Life Member Kit in the mail with the completion of their membership payments. Make sure your Tiger updates their mailing address after graduation! Searching for that perfect graduation gift? Give the gift of Black and Gold! Scan to lock in your savings! mizzou.com/GradGift
$500 savings!

Meow and Then

MU feline geneticist

Leslie Lyons has traced a common house pet’s evolution back to the source. Her conclusion?

“Everything you need to learn about human genetics you can learn from cats.”


“Lo and behold,” she says, “there were a cat and her litter of kittens living under my porch.” Both a cat lover and the world’s leading feline geneticist, she developed relationships, some closer than others, with the mother and her offspring — connections that illustrate a key element of her latest study looking at the origins of cats around the world.

Published in November, Lyons’ research lays critical groundwork for improvements in the health of cats and, therefore, humans, as the species share numerous diseases and genetic characteristics. “Everything you need to learn about human genetics you can learn from cats,” she says.

Her life revolves around cats, whether through her comparative medicine research in the College of Veterinary Medicine or her home life, which includes former under-porch dwellers Prince Harryhausen, Meow Meow Kitty and BratCat.

And then there are her trips to cat shows. “She is highly revered in the cat-fancy community,” says Jonathan Losos, a geneticist at Washington University in St. Louis and fellow lover of felines. He touts her extensive research, as, among other things, the basis of popular cat DNA tests. Based on a mouth swab, such tests can inform adoring owners about their cat’s breed and reassure them about blood type, predisposition to diseases and more.

Lyons has admired feline beauty and athleticism since her days as a three-sport high school athlete, but her academic career began in the genetics of human beings. Finding that field less than collegial, she considered research positions dealing with fish, cows and, fatefully, Felis catus. With all she has come to know as a scholar and loving owner, her estimation of cats has risen. She extols them as “moving artwork” and “God’s perfect little specimens.”

Writing an Origin Story

Part of that perfection, she says, lies in how cats synchronized their evolution with that of humans some 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent. The area was a more lush and pleasant place then, she says of the bountiful lands between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is now Iraq and Syria. It is where people began remaining in place yearround, growing sorghum and wheat. With that came grain stores and refuse piles that not only attracted mice but also made them prolific. And problematic. Mice dined on grains the people had worked so hard to grow and store for leaner times.

Then as now, the Fertile Crescent was also home to a species of wild cat looking much like today’s household tabby, only larger. Their hunger for the rodents put them in proximity to the ancient farmers. The cats saw the food and realized that, to get to it, they had to venture near humans. “They thought to themselves: ‘Either I have to raid into the village to hunt mice and get back out. Or, if I’m friendly, maybe humans will take me in and help protect my babies,’” Lyons says.

But living among humans? Becoming allies? That’s a big reach for a wild animal.

She thinks that people, seeing how effectively cats hunted, offered the mousers extra encouragement to stick around, perhaps with gifts of milk and meat. Lyons did the same with her family of strays. “A couple of kittens would eat the food I left them. Some would let me touch them and eventually realized they weren’t harmed. But the mother never let that happen during the seven years she was around the house. One of the siblings still doesn’t let me touch her. But Prince Harryhausen won’t get out of bed with me.”

The difference between these family members

Leslie Lyons arrived at her new home in Columbia a decade ago to the happiest of coincidences.
Little does Scooter know that his owner, Leslie Lyons, is the world’s leading feline geneticist.

Cats from around the world — from left, Maine Coon, Turkish Van, Siamese — may look different. But you’d have to search long and hard to find the differences in their genetics.

is codified in their DNA. All those millennia ago in the Fertile Crescent, she says, “A mutation enabled a group of cats to be bold and come in and be tolerant of humans. They domesticated themselves. The ones with the mutation who lived near humans got help procuring food and were able to propagate better.” Archaeological evidence supports this survival-of-the-friendliest scenario.

Scientists know that, for cattle, instances of domestication played out independently in different parts of the world, and now we have both Angus and Indian cattle species from different progenitors. It’s a similar plot for rabbits and other species. But for cats, the origin story has remained unanswered, Losos says. Researchers had created competing theories of whether cats domesticated once or multiple times in various places.

Lyons set out to answer that question in her latest study, which appeared in the journal Heredity If cats could domesticate in one early agricultural setting, Losos adds, then why not elsewhere, such as China and Southeast Asia? There were plenty of mice to go around.

Losos says that Lyons’ study would “put the final nail” in one of the theories.

Gathering DNA

To figure it all out, Lyons gathered genetic samples of almost 2,000 random-breds — think feral, alley, house, community, street or barn cats. Then, like the forensics experts on the TV series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, she built and

analyzed a 138-marker DNA profile on each cat to learn how much they shared with one another and how much was unique.

Some markers track genes that mutate quickly to tell the story of changes over the past few centuries. Other markers mutate slowly and reveal a cat’s lineage going back millennia to their wild progenitors. Because samples came from 40 countries covering the planet’s distant reaches, Lyons could discover how far afield descendants of those early domesticated cats migrated from the Fertile Crescent, if at all.

And wander they did. First stop, Egypt. By about 600 B.C., Egyptian priests had exploited the popularity of Bastet, the warrior goddess of feline fertility, by becoming the first for-profit cat breeders, Lyons says. They sold mummified cats as a sort of votive offering. Inexpensive versions came wrapped in fabric. Pricey mummies could be housed in carefully painted caskets.

“Buying one was like lighting a candle in church. You chose the big one or the little one,” Lyons says. They were made by the millions, she

“A mutation enabled a group of cats to be bold and come in and be tolerant of humans. They domesticated themselves. The ones with the mutation who lived near humans got help procuring food and were able to propagate better.”

Maine Coon



Middle East

Near East

South Asian

Southeast Asia


Western European

Northern European

adds — so many that sailors used them as ballast.

During the first 1,500 years of the current epoch, cats likely traveled with traders along the Silk Road from East Asia to Europe. From there, they traveled along with European explorers, traders and colonizers. Perhaps due to the British Empire’s dominance after 1600, felines in Kenya, to this day, carry more European feline genetic material than other cats in the region.

The farther cats roamed from the Fertile Crescent, the more they evolved away from their ancestors through typical random mutation, Lyons says. In India, cats shed the tabby pattern. Long-haired angoras popped up in the Near East. On the Isle of Man, the tail disappeared.

Stalking the Mousers

Clearly, cats in various places around the world are genetically distinct, and Lyons set out to map those differences for two big reasons. First, she needs good data to build genetic tools that improve cat health.

Second, the study contributes to her broader


goal of using cats as a biomedical model to improve human health. Both species suffer from polycystic kidney disease, for instance. When in 2004 she and others launched a genetic test for the disease, 38% of Persian cats had it. “Now the number has gone down considerably thanks to our efforts,” she says. That success could pave the way to medical advances for humans.

Even though cats have developed some genetic diversity since their domestication, it’s just a few thousand genes out of billions. “That’s nothing,” Lyons says. They’ve continued to hunt vermin in their symbiotic relationship with humans, and, like Prince Harryhausen and the rest of her porch family, they can still live and breed in the wild. Perhaps it would be better to call them semidomesticated.

Only during the past two centuries have people bred cats for their looks as a sort of fashion statement. “People want to think their cat is some special breed,” Lyons says. But her planet-wide data turned up just one progenitor. And so your cat — whether behaviorally friendly or aloof, whether visually common or exotic — descends from the friendly mousers of the Fertile Crescent 10,000 years ago, she says. “It’s really ancient.” M

Japanese Bobtail

21 SPRING 2023
Iberian 1500s 1700s
RESEARCH The farther cats roamed from the Fertile Crescent, the more they evolved away from their ancestors through typical random mutation. CATS HIT THE ROAD
Felines were domesticated in the Fertile Crescent about 10,000 years ago and then moved across the planet as part of human migrations.
Cats domesticated here
Siamese Abyssinian Norwegian Forest Turkish Van

50-year Pizza Party The

An oral history of Mizzou’s iconic neighbor, Shakespeare’s Pizza, which is celebrating 50 years of Masterpieces, meetups and merriment.

Story by Marcus Wilkins, BA ’03 | Illustration by David Boelke


University of Missouri alumni of a certain age might remember the sights, sounds and smells of the early days. Squint your mind’s eye. Hear the echoes of Marching Mizzou rehearsing in nearby Peace Park, the Doobie Brothers blasting from the Monte Carlo down the block. See the bell-bottomed patrons exiting the signature khaki-and-green storefront with steaming boxes of crispy, melty pie. Inhale.

in 2016, purchased three Shakespeare’s Pizza restaurants in 1976, including Kansas locations in Manhattan and (gasp) Lawrence.

Nancy Lewis, owner

My husband and I married in ’73, and we subleased a little house on Nelwood Drive. The lease was up, and our new place needed work. We discovered this new pizza place downtown, and it was really good, so we ordered it every other night while we were fixing up the house.

What’s in a name?

Original Shakespeare’s owners believed the Bard’s branding would lend an erudite essence to the pizzeria they imagined proliferating in college towns nationwide.

Since June 4, 1973, Shakespeare’s Pizza and Mizzou have shared the intersection of Ninth and Elm like a pair of rollicking college pals shouting Saturday night plans through the CoMo bustle. Stationed at the downtown gateway connecting campus and city, it’s considered by local real estate experts to be one of the most commercially coveted tracts in the state. Strictly a delivery and carry-out business at first, the Columbia spot was one of three early bi-state locations — and the only one to survive. Its original brick-and-mortar home grew in size and reputation as a campus rite of passage until one bittersweet day in 2015.

But ideal location is just one part of a trinity that has made Shake’s an indelible college hangout. The others? Obviously, there’s the legendarily delectable, award-winning pizza (as in Good Morning America’s top vote-getter on “Best Bites: College Edition”). But there’s also a less tangible “vibe” or “-ness” or je ne sais quoi — usually attributed to the hip and happy employees.

MU students have represented an overwhelming percentage of those pizza wranglers. Shakespeare’s has nourished innumerable campus assemblies, commencement celebrations and late-night cram sessions. Countless Tigers have realized academic trajectories, career paths and romantic relationships within the pizzeria’s fragrant brick- and wood-paneled confines.

Read on for a firsthand account of Shakespeare’s Pizza from the people who’ve collectively lived it for 50 years.


Shakespeare’s was established by the Star Corp., a New Orleans company aiming to set up locations in every Big Eight Conference city. Jay Lewis, who died

Kurt Mirtsching, BS BA ’81, general manager and employee since 1978

The original building was built in the 1920s. It had four bays, rented to butchers, bakers and candlestick makers.

Nancy Lewis

We were in our 20s, and we got to know the original owner, Bill Hahn, because we all hung out and partied together. One day, Bill told Jay he needed to sell it and move back to St. Louis. Jay said, “I’ll buy it!”

Zennie Reynolds, prep cook and Shakespeare’s longest-tenured employee since 1976

Jay was a hard worker and a great guy. I tell the younger employees around here that I saw him get down on his hands and knees to clean around the toilets — he wasn’t above doing those things.

Alycia Lewis, BJ ’09, Jay and Nancy’s daughter and director of operations

Dad would get up early and be back home, as I got ready for school, rhythmically stamping checks in the kitchen. He’d take me along sometimes, and I’d look for quarters under the pinball machines.

Kurt Mirtsching

Shakespeare’s started in bay No. 3. We expanded into the units closest to the J-School in 1978 where the restaurant Campus Edge had been. The partitioning wall had holes cut in it to make two units one usable space.

Nancy Lewis

The décor was a function of not having a lot of money. We bought the retro metal signs at flea markets and antique malls; the wood paneling was discounted from my dad’s lumber business, and the exposed brick was underneath the drywall.

Slice of History

(a Shakespeare’s timeline)

June 4, 1973

Shakespeare’s Pizza opens.

Jan. 12, 1976 Jay Lewis buys Shakespeare’s from Bill Hahn.

Jan. 13, 1978

Shakespeare’s moves from 223 S. Ninth into 225-227 S. Ninth, taking over the Campus Edge space with a dining room.

Oct. 10, 1978 Kurt Mirtsching gets tired of working in the dorm cafeteria; gets a job at Shake’s delivering.

June 15, 1981 Shake’s knocks a hole in the bricks between 225 and 223, takes the space of 223 (previously occupied by Al’s Tapes and Records, which moves up the street) and turns it into a bar.

July 9, 1981 Bar opens; Shake’s takes over 223 S. Ninth


Kurt Mirtsching

Eventually, we occupied all four units when Dawson’s Shoe Shop left No. 4. We purchased the Lone Sock laundromat to the west and filled an alleyway to create a party room and second kitchen.


Meet the people who make the pizza that make the place.

Zennie Reynolds

I met Jay when I moved here from Chicago in 1976 at Bogarts Bar and Restaurant on Seventh Street. Jay offered me a job and picked me up at 5 a.m. every day to set things up.

Andrew Weir, MM ’20, manager and IT director and employee since 2006

Zennie stories have become almost folk tales — like Paul Bunyan or Babe Ruth. He’s been here forever. I loved spending time with him in the mornings when I used to open.

Bryan Simmons, BS ’04, south location manager and employee since 1999

How many restaurants have a prep cook who is also a top-notch kickboxer? Zennie has traveled the world for international competitions. He was in the movie Kickboxer — with Jean-Claude Van Damme!

Zennie Reynolds

I still run into so many Mizzou and Shakespeare’s alumni at Homecoming or downtown and they say, “Zennie! You haven’t changed a bit!”

Jan. 1, 1984

June 6, 1989

Toby Epstein, BA ’05, manager and employee since 2005

Our average employee has been here three-and-half years and our management staff a collective 100 years. Of course we have turnover, but when people don’t stick around, I think it’s because the industry is not for them.


Shakespeare’s marketing has a style. But in the end, as the menu reads: “It’s the pizza, stupid. And maybe the beer. Everything else can go fly.”

Kurt Mirtsching

We try to be authentic. We don’t want our messages to sound like they’re vetted by a home-office focus group. If you’re honest — say what you mean, admit when you’re wrong, follow through — then people will buy into your message. We’re consistent with everything else, too: colors and font, logo, hand-painted signage, quirky ads, the cups that everyone keeps and reuses. It’s all part of the image. It might seem like it was thrown together, but there’s careful thought behind it.

Toby Epstein

We use unsmoked provolone instead of mozzarella because we think it’s a higher quality and better-tasting cheese. We slice the pepperoni ourselves, which few outfits bother to do, so it’s thicker. We cut vegetables daily, and the Italian sausage is a special recipe made just for us. We also don’t abide by the “pizza matrix” — the idea that the more toppings you order, the less you distribute on a pizza. You get 28 pieces

Oct. 15, 1991


June 15, 1994

The first eight Shake-


Pepperoni slices since the beginning of time (1973)

* 150,520,069

Employees since the beginning of time (1973)

* 12,569

Number of large pizzas the first-string crew can crank out every 18.5 minutes, all locations combined

* 168


* 1,916,250 pounds


* 512,983

coffee-can-sized cans

Cheese * 2,612,001 pounds

Beer * 1,314,333

Shake’s cups

Frozen pizzas * 1,877,326


Shake’s signs lease for entire building but does not yet occupy it all. Lone Sock Laundry starts. takes over the parking lot (date is an estimate). speare’s frozen pizzas are made and sold at the Pierpont Store.
SPRING 2023 25
In the Shakespeare’s Pizza dining room circa 1981, original tabletops were made of lacquered plywood and topped with paper napkin dispensers that predate the now signature pink (sauce-stain resistant and reusable) cloth napkins.

Clever Clippings

Shakespeare’s developed a longstanding relationship with The Add Sheet, a print coupon periodical distributed across campus and Columbia. The witty and wacky blurbs were intended to stick in customers’ minds.

of pepperoni, whether you order a pepperoni pizza or one with seven additional toppings.

Zennie Reynolds

The pizza is good because it’s so simple, made with good ingredients: sugar, yeast, flour in the dough; garlic, onion and a little cayenne pepper in the sauce. Simple.

Kurt Mirtsching

When advertising, our brand is so established we don’t need to shout, “We use fresh toppings.” We run funny ads that stick in people’s minds. In the ’80s, we did an Add Sheet ad proclaiming “We make our own window cleaner!” because we used to mix ammonia, detergent and water. The Late Show with David Letterman picked it up for his “Dumb Ads” segment. The next day my phone blew up.

David Bailey, BA ’10, bartender and manager from 2003 to 2017

During Mizzou Homecoming 2012, we were so busy downtown that we had a two-hour wait for pizza and the fire marshal told us we had to stop letting people in. I worked the bar, and we did more than $4,000 in sales that night. I pretty much had a 10-hour panic attack. But the best part is you see your crew in the trenches the whole time — having fun and working hard.


Shakespeare’s branches out to keep up with demand.

Toby Epstein

One year, during Tiger Walk [the annual event at which new Tigers run through the Columns], the ovens couldn’t keep up with the pizza output. They were cooked on top but raw underneath. Now we have the other two loca-

tions deliver pizzas downtown to help out.

Alycia Lewis

Dad decided to open the West Broadway store in 2004 when we had expanded all we could downtown. Then the same thing happened for the south location in 2012. We needed to find a much bigger production space for our frozen-pizza operation, so Peachtree Drive was perfect.

Toby Epstein

For Tiger Walk, we serve about 2,000 students. In the beginning, we made pizzas in the old kitchen and carried them to the parking lot and the line of freshmen around the block. We ultimately asked students to line up down the alley because when they wrapped around the building, customers would drive by thinking we were busy, but the dining room would be dead.

Alycia Lewis

Dad joked about being tired of people asking him when he was going to expand, but he didn’t like to start big new projects until loans were paid off. I appreciate that philosophy now.


The end of an era marks the beginning of a new generation.

Kurt Mirtsching

In October 2014, we learned the property owners would demolish the building downtown to build apartments, and that was tough. But we agreed to occupy the first floor, and we set about preserving the important details. The contractors kept the demolition date secret and scheduled an early-morning start because there was genuine concern that fans would make a human chain of

June 15, 1995

Lone Sock Laundry closes. Shake’s takes over that space for a badly needed second kitchen. The alley between 809 Elm (the laundry space)

and 227-223 S. Ninth is enclosed and becomes a party room.

Jan. 1, 2000

Kurt becomes minority owner.

Oct. 15, 2002 Lori Group starts as office manager.

May 17, 2003 West Shake’s opens.

Nov. 15, 2011 Shake’s wins Good Morning America’s “Best Bites: College edition”

July 25, 2012

South Shake’s opens.

Oct. 15, 2014

Shakespeare’s learns its original building will be


Shakespeare’s Pizza’s status as an iconic college-campus hangout is legendary, and thus it has been featured in many industry magazines over the years. From opposite left: staff photo circa 1980, June 2001 cover of Restaurant Marketing magazine, staff photo 1999 and feature article in Pizza Today (1998).

linked elbows singing “Kumbaya, we love Shakespeare’s.”

Toby Epstein

During that time, I walked around with a tape measure measuring things so that we could closely recreate the restaurant. People often asked me why I was measuring, and for three months, I would say the same thing: “Me and Bryan [Simmons] are trying to settle a bet.” Then I’d walk away.

Kurt Mirtsching

Talk about landmark events, CoMo history and how much Shakespeare’s shook the tectonic plates of our community. This was it.

Toby Epstein

The property was torn down on June 17, 2015. We made the announcement on April Fool’s Day, so many people thought it was a joke. From May 2015 until August 2016, we occupied “Tempspeare’s” next door — currently Las Margaritas.


The downtown location reopens.

Kurt Mirtsching

The construction company separated the building material for us, so we used the original bricks when we rebuilt the place. The tin-plate ceiling tiles from the ’20s were preserved. We added a larger party room; 8,000 square feet of overall space; and the nifty yellow-brick road to direct customers to the restrooms. But otherwise, it’s the same.

demolished; this is kept secret until all plans are made.


May 24, 2015

The last day of partying at the original downtown location.

Alycia Lewis

People say to me all the time “I was in Florida wearing my Shakespeare’s T-shirt and someone stopped me” or “I was in Paris …” Mom and I visited the world’s oldest pharmacy in Florence, Italy, and a woman there had worked for Shakespeare’s!

Jessica Kelty Weir, BA ’06, employee from 2002 to 2012

I often joke that Shakespeare’s was my sorority; my entire social circle centered on Shakespeare’s. I met my husband there, and I was one of the first employees to have a baby while employed at Shakespeare’s. We joke that our son Calvin is made of pizza.

Toby Epstein

I’ve had about 800 people work for me since I’ve been managing, so I’ve probably interviewed thousands. When I ask, “Why did you apply here?” they usually say, “Because the people are so cool!” Sometimes I wonder if they think I’m actively looking for someone who is “cool.”

Kurt Mirtsching

I lived in the dorms at Mizzou, so I use this analogy. We always wanted to go to “Bob’s room” on Friday night, early in the evening, before we’d hit the town. Bob had that killer stereo and Bob had the fun posters on the wall and Bob was cool. Nobody wanted to go to “Joe’s room” down the hall.

That’s what Shakespeare’s is — Bob’s room. Shakespeare’s is the cool place where you want to hang out with your friends, laugh and eat good pizza. M

May 29, 2015

“Tempspeare’s” Pizza starts partying.

July 17, 2016

Godspeed, Jay Lewis.

Aug. 15, 2016

Shakespeare’s reopens in a new building at Ninth and Elm.

June 4, 2023

* Best customer pseudonyms used for pick-up pizza orders

• [insert name of current popular sports coach here]

• [insert profane reference to opposing sports team here]

• Travis Bickle

• Arthur Fonzarelli

• The Gipper

• Hall and Oates

• Chuck E. Cheese

• Salacious Crumb

• Baby Spice

• George “T-bone” Costanza

• Marsellus Wallace

• Free — i.e., “Pizza for Free” (this one is a major pain)

Three-way tie

• Gary Pinkel

• Norm Stewart

• Don Faurot

27 SPRING 2023

AS YOU LIKE IT | Shakespeare’s pizza style is “classic American handtossed.” Management celebrates the slightly irregular edges and imperfections in each unique creation, resulting in a “perfect” pie. Opposite: Hand-painted signage and repurposed retro metal advertisements have become a trademark, and the motorcycle — displayed at the Shakespeare’s Pizza west location in Columbia — belongs to general manager Kurt Mirtsching, who once rode it for deliveries.



Ginger’s Gowns

Fans of golden-age movie musicals are quick to deliver a classic quip about the era’s most famous dancing pair — Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. On a backdrop of the tux-clad and trig Astaire spinning the graceful Rogers through jawdroppingly difficult numbers, the punchline goes: Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, except backward and in high heels.

(Rimshot please.)

But that’s not the half of it.

Despite the athleticism required, Rogers labored in constricting garments, aka shapewear, such as girdles.

And dancing in those magnificent gowns — gowns she proudly helped develop — sometimes entailed a world of logistical troubles. The feathered pieces she so loved had a habit of shedding on Astaire’s garments and flying into his face.

He was not amused.

She was not deterred.

They had entered “Let’s call the whole thing off” territory.

In the end, the price she paid for the feathers was spending precious energy and attention herding the exotic plumage as she danced. She wouldn’t allow it to so much as tickle her partner’s chin.

Rogers’ most taxing costume may have been a heavily beaded stunner of a gown that weighed in at 25 pounds. The garment hampered her balance to the point that she referred to its presence as the “third person in the act.”

Glamour Comes to Campus

Appearing in the trendsetting dresses was worth

every ounce of preparation and accommodation to the Missouri-born performer, once a household name who rose to the top not only as a dancer and singer but also as a dramatic actor. Her look and star power inspired the tastes of millions of women who bought sewing patterns adapted from her dresses and stitched themselves into the Rogers fashion portfolio.

Now, Mizzou students are getting in on the action but with a curricular twist that has commandeered the imaginations and ambitions of design students across the Department of Textile and Apparel Management. And it all started with a polka dot dress Rogers wore in the 1959 TV film Tender Shoots. Said speckled dress is one of eight Rogers garments newly acquired by the department’s Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection, which specializes in garments of famous Missourians (and Tigers).

A Special Assignment

Enter the enterprising junior faculty member Mackenzie Miller, who saw in the polka dot dress an engaging project for her introductory sewing course. She wanted to offer students a special assignment, something “beyond the usual pencil skirts and button-up shirts.” So, museum-style, Miller donned white gloves, measured the dress and fed the numbers into CLo3D software to make patterns printable at any size. Students’ task would be to use the existing dress as a springboard to create their own garments.

In the meantime, costume collection Curator Nicole Johnston, BA ’97, MS ’11, had written a

Using movie star Ginger Rogers’ elegant dress wear as inspiration, MU textile and apparel management students are refashioning an icon’s style. | Story by Dale Smith, BJ ’88
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were among Hollywood’s most iconic dancing movie stars.

Clockwise from top left: A polka dot dress Ginger Rogers wore in the 1959 TV film Tender Shoots gave faculty member Mackenzie Miller an idea for a novel course assignment. She measured the dress, fed the data into a design program and made the pattern available to her class. Students took inspiration from the pattern and other Rogers items in the department’s Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection, which specializes in garments of famous Missourians, as well as alumni. On the opposite page, find two examples of the dresses students designed and created for the course. Far left: Three original Rogers dresses belonging to the Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection.

presentation about Rogers and took it on the road to Miller’s classroom. The hurdle? In fall 2022, few students in the department knew Rogers’ name, much less the scale of her legendary career.

With the patterns at the ready, Johnston’s talk catalyzed a major plot twist.

The class became an instant fan club, Miller says. “They really connected with Ginger, this Hollywood star from Missouri. She was so fashionable and glamorous, so feathers-and-beads. So wow.” Students now had a muse, and their design ideas came in a rush. “Some were inspired to create a dress Ginger might have worn.”

Others, Miller adds, wanted to give her garments a modern twist. “One student came up talking about how she wanted to do something pink in satin with feathers. She hesitated, though, wondering if it might be too much. Then she said, ‘But Ginger is too much!’”

Enthusiasm was so strong that Miller jettisoned the course’s final project and expanded the Rogers assignment to fill the rest of the term. Her 11 students spent six of the course’s regular three-hour sewinglab sessions workshopping ideas and perhaps 30 to 60 hours more outside of class constructing the dresses, adding details and polishing designs.

Taking It Home

For Johnston, this intensity is about much more than a sprinkling of Ginger Rogers stardust. It


derives in part from the presence of her dresses — the artifacts themselves — which were on display in the department. “The language of dress contains so many factors of the time: technology, social structure, economics, politics, religion, communication, ideals of body types, even the period’s sewing techniques. It’s all there as a sort of time capsule telling us what that era looked like beyond the clothing.” Few universities have historic costume collections. Even fewer offer students a chance to work with such garments, and the opportunity to design from patterns painstakingly created from them is unique.

Hands-on sewing classes also give students a lesson on the value of clothing. “You can sit in a lecture and learn that people sewing your $5 T-shirt are only paid a dollar a day,” Miller says. “But by sewing for themselves, students realize that, ‘Hey, it took me 30 hours to make a dress. Making clothes is hard.’ Then they can look in their closet and see that garments are often worth more than we’re paying for them.” The knowledge coming in through the fingertips becomes part of their personal and professional repertoire ever after.

The Rogers vogue soon spread. Once students and faculty across the department got wind of the Rogers-inspired dresses, they wanted a chance to do the same. Now five other classes have taken up the design task. The project has generated so

Dressed to Thrill

The polka dot dress assignment appears custom-tailored to Rosario’s lineage of sewing and history of watching old movies with her father, who introduced her to Ginger Rogers. Inspired by a Rogers coat — long and black with black fur trim — Rosario kept the basic fit of the original polka dot design but gave it a boat neckline, lengthened the skirt and lowered the back. She used dyed turkey feathers to trim the bottom and make a matching shawl that includes a phone pocket to avoid the visual distraction of carrying a clutch. When the time comes, Rosario adds, she hopes to have a daughter and hand it down.


Owens Freshman, Kansas City

In high school, Owens upcycled vintage skirts and sold them to friends, rather than logging hours at a mall job. She’d buy a long skirt for next to nothing, transform it at her sewing machine into

See more Ginger Rogers’ dresses and students’ designs

A webpage featuring the Ginger Rogers Collection (mizzou.us/ GingerRogers) includes all of her dresses in MU’s collection. In July, some student designs will be on display in Gwynn Hall and online. Mizzou’s Golden Gala in April 2024 will be an evening of dinner, dancing and design showcasing creative scholarship, including students modeling their Rogers-inspired garments. The Center for Missouri Studies exhibition Ginger Rogers: Dressed to Impress, running February through June 2024 at the State Historical Society of Missouri, will include up to five student designs and a virtual exhibit of all student designs from multiple classes. You’ll find the exhibits at mizzou.us/MHCTCexhibits.

Eliana Rosario Senior, Kansas City
How gravity and a few lucky cosmic bounces are informing the research of authorscientist-alum Greg Brennecka and other asteroid chasers



At the end of 2020, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully returned about 5.4 grams of the asteroid Ryugu. NASA’s sister mission, OSIRIS-REx, is currently flying back to Earth with what is projected to be more than 100 grams of a different asteroid named Bennu.

We’ll have to wait until the spacecraft arrives home in September to know exactly how much material was scooped up from Bennu, but as a member of the team that will examine bits of the asteroid, I’m one of many people eagerly awaiting its successful landing.

What makes asteroids like Ryugu and Bennu so special? Why were two separate missions selected to collect and return some of the solar system’s most pristine material to Earth? Because these types of asteroids contain not only the building blocks of our planets but also the building blocks of life.

Pristine pieces of the solar system, such as the material found in Ryugu and Bennu, are so intriguing because they formed far away from the sun and remain effectively unchanged after more than 4.5 billion years, preserving things like amino acids, ketones and nucleotide bases — organic compounds that form in the cold areas between stars and planets and yet make up proteins and comprise our DNA.

These truly are the ingredients for life, con-

tained on a torpid bit of rock floating around space. This stuff made life on Earth possible and makes life potentially possible in many other places in the cosmos.

On a rock. In space.

AMy career as a cosmochemist involves researching what rocks from space can teach us about our origins. Until very recently, us cosmochemists have mostly been studying meteorites: time capsules of solar system history delivered to Earth by, well, gravity and a few lucky cosmic bounces.

But space agencies around the world are now targeting extraterrestrial samples for study, collecting the most interesting bits of the solar system to help unlock how we got here. This is just one of the wildly exciting advances currently occurring in modern space science. Ongoing and planned space missions are once again upending the ways we think about our origins and our place among the stars.

The orbiting observatory known as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has only been operational since July 2022, but it’s already sparked the imagination of scientists and the public in a way not seen in generations.

For example, Mizzou Associate Professor Haojing Yan led a team of astronomers who, using data from JWST, recently announced the discovery of 87 galaxies that could be the earliest known in the universe (see Page 41). “James Webb already allows us to do a lot more than ever before,” he said after the January announcement. “We are basically making breakthroughs at every front. It’s going to be revolutionary.”

Ryugu. Bennu. JWST: A revolution is indeed happening in space science, one that’s greatly expanding our understanding of the solar system and the universe.

as for my own tiny part in the cosmic saga, I arrived in Columbia as a chemistry major at Columbia College, but I was drawn to Mizzou for its geology department. It didn’t hurt that the geoscience building was a stone’s throw from Shakespeare’s and the Heidelberg, but I like to tell my parents — and readers of this alumni magazine — that it was the electrifying curriculum (which is true) and world-class educators (ditto) that pulled me into Mizzou’s orbit.

As I found out early in my time at Mizzou, when geologists aren’t quenching their thirsts and eating pizza, they can be found looking at samples and trying to figure out what happened in the deep past, a forensics exercise with million-year


timescales. I like to think of geology as traveling through time but obeying the laws of physics — but perhaps that’s a bit grandiose for someone who’s essentially concocting longwinded stories while looking at rocks in roadcuts along Highway 63.

As with any Mizzou geology student worth their, ahem, basalt, my professors trained me to look at, feel, break, smell and sometimes lick to taste the rocks I studied. However, when I began studying meteorites and lunar material in graduate school at Arizona State University, the tried-and-true methods of mineral identification I’d learned as an undergrad had to evolve.

For my PhD research, I worked on the oldest objects that formed within our solar system, objects born right around the time the sun was starting to emit light. I was hooked. The grand dimensions of the protoplanetary disk, its complexity and timescales, and the influence of it all on the history of life on Earth made me want to learn more about the formation and evolution of our stellar neighborhood.

But as you may guess, rock-licking or not, it is very difficult to do precise geologic reconstructions without physical samples to investigate. And that’s why, as a laboratory cosmochemist, I’m so excited about the trajectory of space exploration.

“to infinity … and beyond!”

While the physics of Buzz Lightyear’s memorable catchphrase may be debatable, the sentiment it captures is unmistakable: Explore!

The drive to do so is by no means restricted to animated characters created by humans, but perhaps this drive created humans in the first place. It’s not inconceivable that a primal curiosity and an adventurous spirit found deep in our ancestral primates drove our forebearers out of the trees in Africa, putting us on the path to inventing things like stone tools, the wheel and, eventually, stuffed-crust pizza.

And after humanity got going, boy howdy, has it included numerous adventurous leaps. Consid-

ering the Earth’s age (4.5 billion years), it took a mere blink of an eye (a couple hundred thousand years) for Homo sapiens to expand our territory from the plains of Africa to encompass almost the entire planet. Some of these adventures were born of survival. Some adventures were encouraged by hopes of treasure. Others have been simply exploration for the sake of exploration.

After modern humans had settled into the most hospitable parts of the globe, just for fun

Researchers such as Greg Brennecka, BS ’03, are targeting extraterrestrial samples for study, collecting the most interesting bits of the solar system to help unlock how we got here.




some took to checking out the least hospitable places: Missions to the polar ice caps, the highest mountains, the deepest oceans and the most forbidding jungles were the rage as we rounded the turn into the 20th century. Once we checked those terrestrial extremes off humanity’s bucket list, adventurous eyes turned upward to the moon and to outer space.

It’s hard to overstate the global intrigue and consequence of the space race, but perhaps one of the least predicted, but most important, outcomes were the throngs of schoolchildren and adults alike who flocked to science and engineering careers, wanting to play a part in the exploration of space. The technical advancements we’ve seen since are unparalleled in scope or speed.

I was not of the generation directly inspired by the women and men working brilliantly to place Neil Armstrong and subsequent astronauts on the moon. The last living person to set foot there was Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, and that occurred 50-plus years ago. As such, most researchers only know about the moon landings from history books.

And although my birth year dictates that I only know the space race secondhand, in perhaps one of the stranger occurrences of my life, I found a way to share some gut biome with someone who spent time on the lunar surface. Jack Schmitt was visiting Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (where I work), and we were collaboratively studying some of the lunar rocks he collected during the Apollo 17 mission.

Following some nice discussions of lunar geol-

ogy with a true expert, a small group of us went to lunch. Jack ordered the lasagna, but he only ate half. As one does with leftovers, the astronaut politely (or sarcastically?) asked if anyone wanted the remaining portion. In addition to lasagna being probably my favorite dish, who would turn down the chance to finish the pasta of a man who walked on the moon? Judge all you want, but Schmitt’s leftovers were delicious.

lucky for us, lasagna-eating octogenarian astronauts are not all we have left of an amazing space program. NASA and other agencies around the globe have been far from idle in the half-century since, even if their work doesn’t often get amplified by mass media outlets.

Why haven’t these successes been more widely broadcast? Perhaps the lack of human heroes to root for? Post-Apollo space adventures have been uncrewed, the types where the payload doesn’t require a return journey to Earth.

This robotic revolution may not have grabbed as many headlines or hearts, but it has included rovers roving, landers landing and orbiters orbiting around comets, asteroids, distant moons and most of the planets in the solar system — including everyone’s favorite, Mars.

Planetary science missions within the solar system haven’t been the only avenues to space excitement; I remember images from the Hubble Space Telescope on the news when I was a kid

An artist's rendition of Bennu’s collection process. Known as a “touch and go” sample collect, the job involves a blast of nitrogen gas, which stirs-up the material and makes it easier to gather. Inset: the tool that collects the loose sample.

and realizing that the actual universe was considerably larger than the 12-acre plot I considered my universe when I was growing up in northern Missouri.

I share a similar awe seeing the mind-bending images from the recently activated JWST. Maybe the force that drove our ancestors out of East Africa fuels the same sense of wonderment and curiosity that propels us to study distant galaxies and cosmic happenings beyond our stellar neighborhood. This curiosity is shared by academics and amateur stargazers alike. Whether through backyard telescopes or billion-dollar supercomputerpowered instruments, my fellow space-brained peers relentlessly search for answers to the basics of how the universe works.

We’ve learned a staggering amount from remote planetary science and astronomy, but after a half-century of remote work, space exploration within our solar system is evolving. While astrophysics is experiencing a revolution with JWST and other deep-space observatories to places inaccessible to humans, for places we can get to, NASA and its partner agencies are again focusing on crewed space missions and those that return samples to Earth.

there’s just something intangible about, well, the tangible. Landing a human on the surface of another planetary body or touching a physical piece of another world evokes that primal sense of adventure inside us, and, to my great excitement, that’s where we are headed (again) in the next chapter of space science and exploration off our planet.

In addition to the return of asteroidal material, upcoming twin 8-million-pound gorillas of sample return are on the horizon: the Artemis program and Mars sample return.

The former aims to land a crew on the moon in 2025, including the first female astronaut and first astronaut of color to set foot there. But the goal isn’t to get there just to get there. The crew’s there to explore and understand and — to my excitement — return with gobs of samples, which us geo-types will explore our own way in the laboratory.

We’re going back to the moon, and history tells us that along the way we’ll again learn an immense amount about the solar system and its evolution. This time, no doubt a new generation will be inspired by the technological marvel that is space travel and by the live broadcast of a diverse crop of astronauts exploring another planetary body.

Beyond the moon is Mars, both in its location from Earth and in our adventuresome aspirations. The literal alignment of the planets plays a major role in when Mars missions can be launched, and a lot of difficult engineering feats must be perfected before embarking on much beyond a one-way trip. But human exploration of Mars is no longer limited to science fiction. It’s just a matter of time.

The Perseverance rover on Mars has already cached samples for future collection and return to Earth. Sample retrieval from Mars, a talking point for decades, will occur within my career. That’s not just an exciting prospect from a scientific perspective — it’s also just frickin’ cool.

There is no doubt that the direction of space exploration includes humans setting foot on other planetary bodies, and we are actively collecting pieces of other parts of the solar system to help us figure out how it all started. It makes me smile that perhaps our most human drive, the drive to explore and learn about our surroundings, is alive and well.

And, if he weren’t just a digitally created depiction of a molded plastic toy, I think Buzz Lightyear would be smiling, too.

Greg Brennecka is the author of the 2022 book Impact: How Rocks from Space Led to Life, Culture, and Donkey Kong M



An astronomer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at MU may have helped change everything we thought we knew about the universe.

Astronomer Haojing Yan was anxious. The president and vice president were more than an hour late to a press event where NASA would release the first images from its new James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Unlike the Hubble Space Telescope, which only sees visible light, ultraviolet radiation and near-infrared radiation, the JWST uses infrared light, enabling it to detect objects up to 100 times fainter.

Yan had been waiting to work with data from the telescope since he was guaranteed observation time with it 21 years ago as a graduate student on a research team. Now an associate professor at MU, he’s spent his career searching for early-universe galaxies. Scientists like Yan study distant galaxies because their light — sent out billions of years ago but only now reaching us — can tell us about conditions early in the universe’s 13.7-billion-year history.

“When we are looking at a galaxy that is so far away, we are actually looking into this picture from billions of years ago,” Yan says. “This is how we can recon struct the history of our universe. By looking at the galaxies farther and farther and farther away, we are looking deeper and deeper, or earlier and earlier, in the history of the universe.”

But Hubble can only see so far back in time — about 400 million years after the Big Bang. Although scientists knew there were faraway galaxies beyond Hubble’s observational limits, previous research suggests that the number of galaxies sharply decreases the farther back they look.

So when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris finally arrived and the deep-field image was finally displayed, Yan was shocked. Sitting in his home in Columbia, Missouri, on that sweltering July afternoon, Yan saw “something really exciting, totally unexpected,” he says. Compared to an image of the same speck of the universe taken by Hubble, the JWST image featured many extraordinarily bright red objects — and Yan thinks they’re some of the earliest galaxies to form in the universe.

In a study published in December in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, Yan reports that he and his colleagues identified 87 candidate galaxies, some of which could date back to about 13.5 billion years ago, just 200 million years after the Big Bang. These findings might force scientists to rethink how galaxies begin forming within the universe.

“It’s important and exciting news for the whole astronomical society,” says Yicheng Guo, an assistant professor of astronomy at MU whose research focuses on how galaxies were formed. “We didn’t expect the galaxies to form that early and to form that bright in the early universe. Finding the first galaxies, or the candidates, can place very strong constraints on our understanding of the whole universe.”

The galaxies are considered candidates until their distances are confirmed using a time-consuming and expensive technique called spectroscopy. In January, Yan submitted a proposal for more observation time with the JWST so he can gather this critical spectroscopic data. He’ll find out in May if his proposal is selected. But he’s confident that a majority will be confirmed as ultra-distance galaxies. At a press conference at the American Astronomical Society meeting, he even offered a wager: “I’ll bet $20 and a tall beer that the success rate will be higher than 50%.”




Tiger student-athletes in all sports find a way to capitalize on new name, image and likeness laws.

WRITER Tony Rehagen, BA, BJ ’01 ILLUSTRATOR Blake Dinsdale, BA ’99

Jenna Laird has never been one to put herself out there. She’s never had any aspiration to be a social media influencer or a YouTube star. Her performance on the softball field has always spoken loudly enough, first at East Meadow High School in New York, where she was a Premier Girls Fastpitch All-American, and then at Mizzou, where she is a Gold Glove and All-SEC shortstop. For Laird, it’s always been about the helping the team rather than promoting herself.

Then in 2021, Laird’s sophomore year, the Missouri State Legislature, following NCAA rule changes, joined states across the country in passing a law enabling college student-athletes to profit on commercial use of their names, images and likenesses (NIL) without losing eligibility. Student-athletes could now not only seek out and accept endorsement deals just like the pros, but they could also market themselves, their emerging individual brands, directly to their fans.

Seemingly overnight, there were stories about quarterbacks at some schools signing multimillion-dollar contracts with various companies.

Incoming Mizzou wide receiver Luther Burden III was in uniform (altered and scrubbed of MU trademarks) on bags of Old Vienna potato chips

before he caught a college pass at Faurot Field. College sports had suddenly changed forever.

The new opportunity was available to all student-athletes, not just football players. Still, Laird was leery about singling herself out. Besides, softball wasn’t a high-revenue, high-visibility sport like football or basketball — what was the point?

Laird’s parents saw the bigger picture. “They told me: ‘Kids know your name; if you put a shirt out there, people are going to want to buy it. You could make some money,’” says Laird. “‘But more importantly, you’re going to be able to get your name out there. Other young girls are going to know who you are and come out to see you play. You’re going to benefit Mizzou in the long run.’”

Laird hired an agent, settled on a slogan (“Trust the Process”) and built her own website, jennalaird3.com. She posted her bio, photos, signups for private softball lessons and hitting camps she runs with teammates. Her “mom-ager” designed a logo, the silhouette of Laird rearing up to throw to first, and emblazoned it on shirts, balls and water bottles, which Laird sold online, donating 5% to charities for childhood illnesses that had impacted her family and friends. Along the way, the health science major learned how to market herself, build a brand, and essentially start and run a business.

This educational component is part of the reason the Missouri Legislature amended the state’s NIL law last summer to permit school involvement in these deals. This allows the university to bring in businesses to meet with and pitch ideas to student-athletes, work with other companies on broader multiplayer projects like jerseys and trading cards, and perhaps most crucially, offer workshops and counsel on debt management, budgeting, marketing strategy, social media, contract negotiations and other entrepreneurial tools that will help student-athletes manage their affairs — and learn invaluable real-world skills.

To facilitate this, the University of Missouri athletics department has created an entire NIL program, headed by new assistant athletic director and former Mizzou football player Brandon Lee, MS ’18, MBA ’20. “When I was on campus, I always recognized that if you were a general student and you wanted to be an entrepreneur and start your own business, no one would say anything. But student-athletes didn’t have that opportunity. It wasn’t fair,” says Lee, who played from 2014 to 2018, before serving on the Federal and State Legislative NIL Working Group as the student-athletes

“They are very similar to all our entrepreneurs on campus. We ask them about the ‘Four Ps’ of marketing [product, price, place and promotion] and take those elements and do some strategic planning.”
Katie Essing, assistant teaching professor of marketing at the Trulaske College of Business

representative, on behalf of the SEC, that helped break ground on these NIL policies. “This is long past due. We’re still ironing out all the wrinkles all across the country. But I’m happy that studentathletes are finally able to take part in a program that provides a fair platform for all students.”

Lee sees the new NIL rules as a win for all parties involved. The university can now provide a gateway for companies and would-be sponsors that want to explore licensing deals with individual student-athletes (under state law, no school representative can act as agent for or be otherwise compensated by the athlete or the sponsoring company). The athletics department can also work with third-party, nonprofit/forprofit collectives that pool booster money to fund potential endorsements, like Every True Tiger Foundation, a collective started in 2021.

Meanwhile the university benefits by showcasing the unique opportunities available to studentathletes in Columbia, a college sports-crazy town surrounded by two nearby major metro business and media hubs in St. Louis and Kansas City.

The NCAA still outlaws the use of NIL money in recruiting new students and transfers, but prospective student-athletes obviously take note of other athletes’ successes in particular markets. Plus, anytime a Mizzou Tiger is featured in an ad campaign or other prominent endorsement, they are often wearing the uniform and/or featuring, in certain cases, the school logo (with permission) and at the very least drawing attention to an MU field, pool or arena.

Of course, the greatest beneficiaries of these new policies are the student-athletes themselves. And Lee says it’s vital that the students, faculty and general public all understand that NIL isn’t just about big-money deals for athletes playing big-revenue sports or future pros getting a head start on building their fame and fortune. It’s also a chance for student-athletes in any sport, from swimming to track to wrestling to softball, to grow their sport, their brand, their resume and their skill set in preparation for whatever field they’ll go into after college. “NIL gives them a way to express themselves and share themselves a little more,”

45 SPRING 2023

Brand Practice

New rules regarding student-athletes’ ability to capitalize on their name, image and likeness allows individual Tigers to market their brands to fans. Below, a few of the new products for sale by studentathletes, including, from top to bottom, Mizzou softball’s Jenna Laird, Tiger football’s Harrison Mevis, Mizzou basketball’s Kobe Brown and Mizzou football’s Luther Burden III.

Lee says. “They are more than just athletes; they all have stories and backgrounds. NIL gives them a way to shine a spotlight on what they value and care about. And it gives the real-life skills before they step out into the world.”

To that end, Mizzou announced last summer a partnership between the athletics department, School of Law, Trulaske College of Business, the Missouri School of Journalism, and the Robert and Shelly Family Griggs Innovators Nexus, the MU Student Center’s entrepreneurial incubator, that brings the university’s vast expertise to bear in service of student-athletes. Faculty from these sectors have since held workshops for student-athletes covering everything from how to pay taxes on earnings to the law of licensing and branding to how much to charge for personal appearances. “Through NIL, we are catching these student-athletes earlier in their careers than we used to,” says Katie Essing, BS BA ’96, assistant teaching professor of marketing at the Trulaske College of Business. “They are very similar to all our entrepreneurs on campus. We ask them about the Four Ps of marketing [product, price, place and promotion] and take those elements and do some strategic planning. There’s such a great ecosystem at Mizzou. We can really help these student-athletes succeed.”

And because these athletes’ images often are their product, they can get help in building, protecting and curating their brand on social media. “You can’t just post a picture anymore,” says Kathryn Lucchesi, BJ ’09, MBA ’20, assistant professor of social media and audience strategy at the J-School who has participated in several workshops with student-athletes. “You have to be aware of who you’re reaching and what you’re doing. You’re not just posting to your friends — there might be millions of people following this and seeing this and some of them might want to invest in you.”

Lucchesi says, in general, the biggest overall takeaway for many of these student-athletes is that being your own business is a job in and of itself. And if you want to do it right, you have to work at it. “But that’s all right,” she says. “You’re getting paid.”

If it’s too much work or too much of a distraction, Lee says that’s OK, too. One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding NIL, he says, is that it’s compulsory. “NIL is what you make it,” he says. “And all student-athletes don’t have to participate, and all don’t want to. Some just want to focus on their classes and their sport.”

But dozens of Tigers like Laird are finding the time and energy — and being rewarded for it.

Laird says that so far, she’s made about $1,000 selling merchandise through her website. She also believes that she’s building a softball brand that might help her continue with camps and lessons and keep her in the sport that’s defined her life a little bit longer even after she graduates from Mizzou. NIL is also helping her connect with fans and bring more people to follow her, her team and her sport. “Before this, you knew people supported you, but you couldn’t see it,” Laird says. “Now people from home in New York who can’t make it to a game can buy a shirt. And on the flipside, when a little girl comes to watch you, she can wear your shirt, come up to you after the game and have you sign your own jersey. As this grows, the environment at the game is going to be so much better.” M

“You’re not just posting to your friends — there might be millions of people following this and seeing this and some of them might want to invest in you.”
— Kathryn Lucchesi, assistant professor of social media and audience strategy at the Missouri School of Journalism
47 SPRING 2023 tigertech.themizzoustore.com The Mizzou Store is owned and operated by the University of Missouri. Every purchase you make at The Mizzou Store supports students, faculty, staff and campus initiatives. MU alumni qualify for educational discounts on Apple®, Dell and more. Order online today. FREE SHIPPING on all orders $99+ ALUMNI ASSOCIATION MEMBERS SAVE *10% DAILY *Valid on Mizzou gear only. Not applicable to tech. ONE MIZZOU GEAR OR GIFT ITEM Expires Dec. 31, 2023. One-time use. OfficialTiger Outfitters


Andrew Abele, M.D.

Alexis Ackerman

Jessica Adams

Johanna Adams, Ph.D.

Noah Adams

James Aladham

Yvonne Marie Albright, RN

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Brett Anders

Maria Joan Anders

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Anthony Ashe

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Heather Bailey

Camille Baker

Emma Bales

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Jannie Thomas Barron

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Everett Belvin

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Christine Bohr

Ken Bohr

Alex Boland

Sam Boland

David William Bonderer

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Alexander Boren

Charles Bowen

Janis Erin Brackett

Edmund James Bradford, Ph.D.

Annette Bradley

Courtney Brand

George Brand

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Isabella Brickey

Lauren Briggs

Chris Brinkman

Lora Brinkman

Trever Brothman

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Kreg Brown

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Nancy Hause Bunge, M.D.

Barbara Bunton

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Herbert Colcord III

Chris Cole

Heidi Joanne Colench

Casey Leigh Conklin, D.V.M.

LeeAnn Conway

Nicole Cope

Catherine Corley

Mark Coulter

Sue Cox

Maxwell Coy

William Carroll Cremins

Victoria Crismon

Karen Crnkovich

Mindy Cummings

Marta Cunningham

Esther Curry

Ari Dattel

Clara Davis

Jennifer Lee Davis

Dennise Day

Kenneth Day

Kimberly Dean

Thomas Dean

Malorie Deeken

Emily Dehner

Michael Dempsey

Mary Sayers Denny

Walter Denny

Rev. Michael Diamond

CDR Jonathan Aaron Dien

Jane Dill

Thomas Edward Dill

Kathleen Dixon

Connie Marie Dochterman

Becky Ingrum Dolph

David Allen Dolph

Denny Lee Douglas

Casha Drake

David Lynn Duke

Sue Ann Duke

Derek Duncan

Renita Duncan

Kathryn Dwyer

Steven Edwards

George Eichenberg

Jessica Ekhoff

Madalyn Elam

Samantha Enchil

Greg Lee Englert

Sue Englert

Ashlee Erwin

Lexi Eskijian

Taylor Esler

David Fague

Samuel Fearn

Adam Ross Fedyk, M.D.

Daniel Feldmann

Paul Fernandez

Gene Ferner

Julia Ferner

Sophia Ferretti

Kayla Fichtel

William Fischer

Peggy Fisher, D.V.M.

Lauren Fletcher

Grace Folkins

Gerald Forbach

Everett Forkner

Brooke Foster

Clinton Foster

Margaret Fox

Allegra Franklin

Jenna Franklin

JoAnn Franklin

Veronica Franklin

Veronica Fritz

Bobby Frost

Kolten Fulks

Jonathan Fuller

Kathleen Fuller

Carol Furrer

Lawrence Furrer

Randy Gallick

Ken Gambaro

Pam Gambaro

Nicki Nichols Gamble

Todd Gangel

Nathan Gargas

Patrick Garth

Genelle Garverick

Henry Garverick, Ph.D.

Lesly Conaway Franke Elliott

Matthew Gauthier

Karin George

Richard George, Jr.

Pamela Langston Gevecker

Karen Sue Gillespie

E. Todd Glover

Stacy Glover

Atzin Gonzalez Andrade

Lauren Goss

Keri Gottberg

Robert Erman Graves

Dave Green

William Robert Greenfield

Brian Keith Greenwood, Ph.D.

Cynthia Greenwood

Terry Greiwe

Mary Hallberg Griffin

M. Leslie Griffin

Amy Griffith Brown

Michael Griggs

Sophie Gurfinkel

Nemesio E. S. Gutierrez, M.D.

Laurie Hachting

Scott Hachting, D.V.M.

Jill Horn Hamacher

Samuel Hamacher

Michael Hamilton

Erin Michelle Hannink

Joshua Hannink

Sam Hardiman

Jodi Kay Hardman

Jennifer Harper

Chad Harris, Ed.D.

David Allen Harris

Dick Haslag

Taylor Hayes

Larry Haynes

Holly Elizabeth Henderson

Jeffrey Henegar, Ph.D.

Grace Henley

Heather Henning

Joel Henning

Holly Henry, Ph.D.

Hannah Henze

Holly Hepting

Stephanie Hermes

Madison Herweck

Lauren Hieger

Joseph Hirner

Emily Hock

Anna Hoemann

Katherine Hoey

Adam Holferty

Michael Hollander

Donald Hollingsworth

Craig Holtzen

Michelle Kirtley Holtzen

Hiram Hoover

Philip Horn

Mike Howard

Thomas Howard

Laura Howarth

Elizabeth Huenefeldt

Sam Huenefeldt

Laurie Jean Huff

Mark Devin Huff, D.V.M.

Jan Owen Humphreys

James Hunter

Tate Hutter

Nancy Hutton Haynes

Hannah Hyslop

Michelle Illig

Samuel Imhoff

Brian Jackson

Riley Jackson

Roger Jackson, M.D.

Sandy Stevens Jackson

K. Ann Jarrett

Mary Kay Jiloty

Beth Joffe

Gunnar Johanson

Billy Johns

Jacey Johnson

Peter Johnston

Jennifer Jones-Tibbetts

Benjamin Jordan

Mark Joseph Jostes, M.D.

James Judd

Madeline Kaiser

Emma Kapp

James Kaseta, D.V.M.

Erin Keiter

Emily Keith

Joshua Kelahan

Kelsey Kelly

Sue Ann Kelly

Corinne Kennedy

Jackson Kent

Lindsay Kent

Barry Kessler

Isaac Khamis

Michael David Kieffer

Christopher Kilbourne

Caitlin King

Ann Kinsey, D.V.M.

Steven Kirsch

Clayton Kittle

Dian Kittle

Noah Klein

Grayson Knight

Morgan Knuckey

Jacob Koenigstein

Jessica Kolditz

Barry Samuel Komm

Lily Kraxberger

Andrew Krivanek

Lauren Krueger

Martin Christian Krueger IV

Susan Krumm

Morgan Kruse

Brian Kuhlmann

Joseph Kuhlmann

Ashley Kuntz

2LT Daniel LaFountain

Rebecca Dublin Landolt

Katherine Langen

Jeffrey Lascoe

Blythe Launder

Jamie Lawless, M.D.

Neal Lawless

Emily Claire Leiker

Tyler Lennemann

Charles Leonard, Ph.D.

Linda Lerner Levin

William Levin

Caleb Lewis

Shelby Lewis

Lynn Aaron Limback

Maria Linardos

Hannah Loesing

Marc Loftus

Ellen Baker Long

Ashley Lovell, Ph.D.

Bethany Maas

Aaron Maassen

Christine Madden

D. Joseph Madden II

Michael Maher

Riley Maher

Linda Malinski

Thomas Malinski, Ph.D.

Dennis Martin

Kathy Martin

Sean Martin

William Marx

Logan Mathews

Mariah Mathews

Megan Matty

David Mbang-Kollo

Jennie Meyer McCafferty

Nick McCleave

Susan McDermott-Griggs

Sharon McDonald, M.D.

Mark McIntyre

Casey McVey

Chase Medley

Eric Merriman

Michelle Lynn Merriman

Nancy Joan Messina

Garland Middendorf

Sydney Middendorf

Allison Miles

Tyler Milhouse

Sarah Miller

Ella Milligan

Jim-Pat Mills

Paula Mills

George James Mitsch

Rozanne Mitsch

Alex Mittendorf

Elijah Mobley

Roy Moeller, Ed.D.

Paula Mohan, D.V.M.

Peter Montgomery, M.D.

Gina Morss-Fischer

Thomas Mosier

Cole Mountain

Emily Mulkerin

Matthew Murray

Regan Muth

Logan Myers

R. Douglas Myers

Scott Myers

Joseph Naumann

Charles Nemmers, P.E.

Judith Nemmers

Jeffrey Neu

Carlos Nevarez

Rachel Newman

Brenna Noble

Harold Oakley

David Lee O’Dell, M.D.

John Paul Ohlms

Grace Oliver

Jennifer Ott

Barb Ottwell

Brad Ottwell

Janet Lynn Page, D.V.M.

Isabelle Paley

Lauren Palmer

Dane Paneitz, M.D.

Christian Pantaenius

Ellen Jacobson Pantaenius

Komini Pardalos

Nick Parks

Dillon Parrack

Sasha Pass

Keith Alan Patterson

A. Guy Patteson III

Mark Patty, Ph.D.

Andrew Peebles

Betsy Peimann

Seth Peimann

Erik Petersen

Carisa Petris, Ph.D., M.D.

Michael Petris

CJ Pfaff

Emmett Pickard

Mark David Pilley, M.D.

Christy Pourney

49 SPRING 2023

Matthew Pourney

Jackson Ryan Powell

Kathleen Price

Rebecca Price

Thomas Prindiville

Matt Pritchard

Lisa Prokopf

Linda Ramey-Greiwe

Ashley Ramsay

Ethan Rasnic

Stephanie Raymond

Vinaya Kumar Reddy, M.D.

Kyle Redmond

Kristen Reese

Lindsey Reichert

Barbara Relford

James Renfrow

Paula Renfrow

Grant Ressel

Kristi Ressel

Donna Reynolds

Jeanne Davis Reynolds

Daniel Rhea

McKenna Riddle

Ashlynn Roberts

Herbert Roberts, M.D.

Brian Scott Robinson

Bridget Rene Robinson

Jonathan Robnett

Lauren Rocca

Kelly Rockholm

Nathan Rockholm

Christopher Rodenbush, Ph.D.

Alex Rodman

Manuel David Rodriguez, Ph.D.

David Rogers

Kristen Rogge

Payden Rost

Matthew Rothe

Jennifer Roy

Matthew Roy

H.C. Russell, Jr.

Mark Russell, Sr.

Susan Russell

Isabella Salerno

Brandon Salmons

Lindsay Salmons

James Saltat

Jessica Saltat

Steven Sanocki

Samantha Scantlebury

Rosella Schad

Camille Schaefer

Katy Schamberger

Adam Schieber

Stephanie Schirding

Elyse Schoenig

Charles Schranck, Jr., M.D.

Brenda Schreck

Margaret Schutte

Eric Schwarz

Christina Search

Kirk Search

Joey Seibel

Cynthia Shaw

John Shaw

Stephen James Shearer

Logan Simmons

Amanda Sims

Victoria Singh

Delores Sinquefield

Jerome Sinquefield

Robert Skiles

Angela Smith

Jennifer Smith

Rodney Smith

Robert Smithson

Samantha Snavely

Elisabeth Sobczak

Janet Spain

Richard Spain

Maranda Spangler

Kaitlyn Spiker

Thomas Springer

Elizabeth Stecher

Kevin Stecher

Richard Stenger

Shannon Stice

David Stratmann

Gayle Stratmann

Martha Stricker

Robert Stricker

Donna Dee Strnad

Dennis Stroer

Vici Stroer

Kennedy Stroker

Emily Ann Surber

Nancy Swick

Kathleen Sydow

Daniel Szy

David Taylor

Erin Taylor

Donald Thompson

Sarah Thompson

Benjamin Thornhill

Sandra Thornton

Claire Tingleaf

Joseph Trammel

Kristina Tripp

Andrew Tueth

Adama Tukuli

Cynthia Van Arsdale

Jim Van Arsdale

Michael Allen Vantrump

Heather Vaughn

Matthew Vaughn

The Honorable Rudy Veit

Megan Velten

Steven Velten

Briley Vessell

Blake Vlasak

Andrew Waldholtz

Eugene Walker

Zachary Walker

Ann Elizabeth Walters

Joshua Ward

Margaret Ward

Jillian Ward-Colston

Holly Weaver

Rev. Tamsen Whistler

Samuel White

Colleen Whitlow

Cathy Mason Whitworth

Melissa Wiechmann

Richard Lee Wieman

Bonita Williams, Ph.D.

Christopher Williams

Amanda Willmeth

Jamie Wilson

Reng Vanderslice Winters

Steven Winters

Preston Wolfe

Kathy Woolf

Randy Woolf

Daniel Wynkoop

Katie Yaeger

Shannon Yokley

Carol Kouba Young

Elena Zuchowski

Jane Zuroweste

50 MIZZOUMAGAZINE It’s the deal of a lifetime. Our life membership rates are increasing on July 1, 2023. Upgrade today to lock in our lower pricing, and see your name here next year! mizzou.com/life or 573-882-6611


At the MU Sinclair School of Nursing we don’t just create amazing nurses, we create Mizzou Nurses. We understand the critical need for clinical nurses and our unique calling to educate future nurse educators, as 30 percent of nursing faculty and nurse scientists will be of retirement age by 2030. Our newly opened, state-of-the-art building offers the latest technology and teaching resources to support immersive learning, research and innovation. Our graduates are ready to make an impact in the communities they serve both nationally and internationally.

We are improving health care systems for today and helping sustain nursing education for tomorrow. We are building the next Mizzou Nurse.

nurses are needed, you can help support a Mizzou nurse at nursing.missouri.edu/giving

51 SPRING 2023
MizzouNursing 573-884-9542 nursing@missouri.edu nursing.missouri.edu

Lifting Education Higher

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer and Pat Thomas, a longtime political staffer, have received the Mizzou Alumni Association’s 2023 Henry S. Geyer Award.

Each year, MAA presents the Geyer Award to one elected official and one citizen who exemplify the dedication and spirit of Henry S. Geyer, a state representative from St. Louis. Geyer, who believed education was the key to progress and prosperity in Missouri, authored the Geyer Act of 1839, which established the University of Missouri.

“We are proud to recognize two individuals who value MU’s contributions to the state of Missouri,” says Jeff Vogel, BS Acc, ’90, president of the Mizzou Alumni Association board of directors. “Congressman Luetkemeyer and Pat Thomas have been staunch supporters of higher education throughout their careers and have helped move Missouri and Mizzou to new heights in education.”

Luetkemeyer has represented Missouri’s 9th and 3rd congressional districts since 2009 and has long supported MU, both on Capitol Hill and as a member of Missouri’s legislature. His most recent funding request allocates $20 million to begin the preliminary work necessary for NextGen MURR, a proposed 20-megawatt research reactor that will produce critical medical radioisotopes used to drive research, education and drug discoveries.

Thomas, a 1997 graduate of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, has been engaged in Missouri politics for years, serving as chief of staff for two Missouri senators and treasurer of the Republican Party of Missouri. She has mentored countless staff members and interns at the Capitol, including MU students and alumni.

“Pat has been labeled by the Missouri Times as the 35th Senator; a high compliment that she brushes aside.,” wrote Robin Wenneker, BS BA ’91, vice chair of the University of Missouri board of curators, in her nomination for Thomas. “Her pride rests in our government working well. Pat is quick to find ways for our university to benefit from the process; she has a deep appreciation for the value of higher education and specifically the land-grant mission of the University of Missouri.”

Of the recipients, University of Missouri President Mun Choi says: “Like Representative Geyer, our Geyer Award recipients understand that public education is the key to progress and prosperity. Together, we continue his vision as a vital partner in research, learning, engagement and economic development for Missouri. I am proud and thankful to honor two more recipients of this prestigious award.”

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (right) and Pat Thomas, a longtime political staffer, hold their 2023 Henry S. Geyer Award trophies. Each year, the Mizzou Alumni Association honors one elected official and one citizen who exemplify the dedication and spirit of Geyer, a state representative from St. Louis.

Trademark of Quality

Supporting athletes who are working to advance their brands while playing collegiate sports

I just finished watching the Tigers win their first NCAA Tournament game since 2010. What a moment for Whitten Family Men’s Basketball Head Coach Dennis Gates and the basketball team. The energy and passion of a turnaround season have alumni cheering!

We’re at the start of a new era in college athletics, one bigger than Coach Gates’ impressive first year. Profound changes now allow student-athletes to monetize their name, image and likeness (NIL) while playing collegiate sports. Several Tigers have signed deals. Organizations have been built so alumni and fans can support NIL initiatives. (See the story on Page 42).

How this will impact intercollegiate athletics remains to be seen. I’m excited about the opportunities this provides our student-athletes. They’ll learn how to market themselves, build a brand and manage a small business. No doubt our alumni and fans will be cheering for their success, just as we do when they’re earning kudos on the field. As a Tiger fan and alumni association member, I encourage you to educate yourself about these new opportunities.

As a member of the Southeastern Conference, the premier athletic conference in the country, Mizzou has a tremendous opportunity to showcase our university. Our athletes proudly wear “Mizzou” across their chests, perform on the biggest stages, and represent the university and state we love. Now their success can be supported in new, creative athlete-driven ways.

Just like today, I know we will be cheering them with a hearty M-I-Z!

Email: mccubbint@missouri.edu

Twitter: @MizzouTodd

Class Notes


HNancy Thompson Tipton, BJ ’44, of Centennial, Colo., celebrated her 100th birthday Feb. 8, 2023.


Gary Bugh, MA ’95, of Texarkana, Texas, wrote Incorporation of the Bill of Rights: An Accounting of the Supreme Court’s Extension of Federal Civil Liberties to the States (Peter Lang, 2023).


HMargaret L. Phillippe Kelley, BS Ed ’63, M Ed ’74, of St. Peters, Mo., was recognized for 50 years of service to Alpha Delta Kappa.


Daniel Gooder Richard, MA ’78, of Arlington, Va., wrote The Fishhook Rebellion: Hawai’i 1847 (Inkspiration Media, 2023).


HHMonte Dunard, BS Ag ’80, of Woodbridge, Va., retired in November 2022 after 34 years as a Boeing 787 pilot for American Airlines.

HSheryl Crow, BS Ed ’84, LHD ’11, of Nashville, Tenn., is a 2023 nominee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


HHRobin Wenneker, BS BA ’91, of Columbia, Mo., received the 2023 Lieutenant Governor’s Women of Achievement Award from Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe.

Randy Moehlman, BA ’94, of St. Louis is the public address announcer for the St. Louis Battlehawks.

HHGina Lamb, BA, BJ ’95, of Jersey City, N.J., is deputy editor of special sections at The New York Times.

Mark Snyder, BS CiE ’95, of Kansas City, Mo., is vice

president of engineering at Jorban-Riscoe.

HHNicki Webber Moore, BS Ed ’96, MA ’98, PhD ’02, of Ithaca, N.Y., is director of athletics and physical education at Cornell University.

HAllyson Witherspoon, BS BA ’99, of Nashville, Tenn., is a corporate vice president for Nissan Motor Corp.


Brian Holst, BS ’03, BS Acc, M Acc ’07, of Kansas City, Mo., is a vice president at Allen, Gibbs & Houlik LC.

Maggie Reim, MBA ’03, of St. Louis is vice president of total rewards for the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co.

HHChristian Badger, BS BA ’06, of Chicago is senior marketing manager of innovation and strategy at Nestlè.

Patrick Forkin, BS BA ’08, of Chicago is first vice president at Matthews Real Estate Investment Services.

HHMeagan Kaiser, BS ’08, of Bowling Green, Mo., received the 2023 Lieutenant Governor’s Women of Achievement Award from Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe.

Laura Terrbonne, BA ’09, of Kansas City, Mo., is a business development manager at BHC.

2010 Cassandra Harter, BS ’12, of St. Louis is a data engineer at Anheuser-Busch.

Arthur Fykes, BJ ’13, of Chicago is manager of global advertising and social media operations for United Airlines.

Andre Brown, PhD ’14,

53 SPRING 2023

Support for the Mizzou Traditions Fund strengthens our most cherished traditions, including Senior Sendoff.

After gathering near the front steps of Jesse Hall, our graduating seniors make their symbolic exit through the historic Columns of Mizzou into the world beyond. The celebration continues with a party on the Quad — one last hurrah as students, and their very first welcome to the alumni family.

Help make Mizzou stronger with a gift to the Mizzou Traditions Fund.

Mizzou.us/TraditionsFund SCAN TO GIVE NOW:


of Columbus, Ohio, is assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion with the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University.

HHGrace McNamee, BA ’15, of New York is a senior editor at Bloomsbury USA.

Walt Scher, BS ’15, of Portland, Ore., is director of corporate communications for the Portland Trail Blazers.

HHMaddie McMillian Green, BA ’16, JD ’21, of Columbia, Mo., is assistant attorney general for special litigation in the Missouri attorney general’s office.

Emily Russell Montañez, BJ ’17, of Brussels is Europe communications adviser for public and government affairs for ExxonMobil.

HMorgan Corder, BA ’18, of St. Louis is director of field operations for United States Sen. Eric Schmitt.

HNathan Snodgrass, BJ ’18, of Chicago is an associate at Brunswick Group.

Trevor Woodland, BA ’18, JD ’22, of Detroit is a legal compliance specialist at Commonwealth//McCann.

Matt Beckwith, BS ’19, of Columbia, Mo., is chief meteorologist at KOMU-TV.

HHGretchen Metzger, BS BA ’19, of Kansas City, Mo., is marketing chair for the genKC leadership team.


HMark Bremer, BHS ’20, MPA, MPH ’22, of Columbia, Mo., is a health insurance specialist at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Hope Johnson, BJ, BA ’20, of New York is a

Hardwood Pioneer

It was the early 1990s, long before college athletes were allowed to profit from their name, image or likeness, and Mizzou triple-jumper Amy Bonner, BHS ’94, needed some supplemental income. “In truth, I needed extra cash for beer and chicken wings,” Bonner says. “I was a physical therapy major, and between practice and studies, I couldn’t take on a full-time job. So, a friend’s father suggested I take up officiating.”

Much to Bonner’s surprise, what started as weekends reffing local rec-league basketball games to fund trips to CJ’s eventually became a pioneering career. In 2021, she became the first woman ever to call men’s hoops in the Big 12 Conference. And last year, she became just the second to ref in the NCAA men’s tournament.

Bonner briefly hung up her whistle upon graduation so she could travel as a physical therapist. But when she returned to hometown Kansas City in 1996, both the Kansas and Missouri state high school athletics associations reached out in need of referees for junior high and high school. Her performance there drew the attention of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Then came the NBA’s

developmental G League, then women’s NCAA games, the WNBA and FIBA, the international league, which took her to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Bonner has been reffing year-round since 2005. “I thought, ‘I’ll chase these kids around for a couple years and come back to physical therapy,’” she says. “I’m still chasing kids around.”

Then three years ago, the Big 12 invited Bonner into its rotation for men’s games. She says the young players don’t seem to care that she’s a woman (“They just want the call to go their way.”), and even the older coaches have grown comfortable with her as she’s proven herself over the years. And the fans, well, they tend to see red when their team doesn’t get the call no matter who is blowing the whistle. “Contrary to what the public thinks, no one feels worse about a bad call than we do,” Bonner says. “People don’t realize how much work goes into officiating at this level and how competitive we are.”

Bonner says it’s that competitiveness and the adrenaline rush of performing in front of a crowd, much like the rush she felt as a Tiger track athlete, that will keep her in these stripes for the foreseeable future. — Tony Rehagen, BA, BJ ’01


senior designer for HGTV Magazine.

Jennifer Mosbrucker, BJ ’20, of Chicago is a photo editor for The New York Times.

HAllie Lock, BS ’21, of Washington, D.C., is policy analyst for the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.

HPaulina Crum, BS BA, BJ ’22, of Kalispell, Mont., is marketing and public relations associate for Glacier Symphony and Chorale Inc.

Pin oaks are one of the most short-lived oak species; with a lifespan of 70-90 years, Mizzou’s original trees were considered end-of-life.

HHLexi Eskijian, BJ ’22, of Minneapolis is a business management associate for General Mills.

Oswald Huynh, MM ’22,

of Columbia, Mo., composed “Gia Dinh,” which was performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in March 2023.

Our newly transplanted white oaks have a natural lifespan of over 200 years, and have been growing on MU’s South Farm for 6 years in preparation for their transplantation to our Francis Quadrangle.

Make a gift today to support the Legacy Oaks project, and ensure our campus remains beautiful for decades to come.


A DESTINATION that feels like HOME


HIsabelle Ledonne, BA, BJ ’22, of Roanoke, Va., is a multimedia journalist and weekend evening anchor at WDBJ7.

HHMichael Russel, LLM ’22, of Brentwood, Tenn., wrote Mediation Matters: Practical Negotiation Strategies from a Nationally Recognized Mediator (Clovercroft Publishing, 2022).


Rosie Hutchison, BJ ’17, and Nick Carlson, BS Acc, M Acc ’18, of Chicago Aug. 27, 2022.

Lauren Roberts, BS ’18, and Garren Dulka, BS Ed ’18, of Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 12, 2022.

Katie Nations, BA ’20, and HHLucas Smith, BS ’22, of St. Louis Dec. 30, 2022.


Annie Adrian, BS ’20, and Cullen Graham of Kansas

City, Mo., announce the birth of Kate Claire Jan. 31, 2023.

Faculty Deaths

HGeorge Garner, MS ’51, PhD ’57, of Columbia, Mo., Dec. 1, 2022, at 94. He served in the U.S. Army and was a professor emeritus of animal sciences and biochemistry.

HHJames Thorne, BS Ag ’60, DVM ’61, of Columbia, Mo., Nov. 21, 2022, at 85. He was an associate professor emeritus of veterinary medicine and surgery.


Giles A. Blair Jr., BS BA ’51, of St. Louis Feb. 21, 2022, at 93. He served in the U.S. Army.

HHerman F. Baechle, BS Ag ’52, of Morrilton, Ark., Jan. 18, 2023, at 93.

HHVernon Huestis, BS ME ’52, of Scarborough,

Maine, Feb. 10, 2023, at 95. He served in the U.S. Army.

HEugene Morris, BS Ag ’52, MS ’56, PhD ’62, of Columbia, Mo., Jan. 18, 2023, at 92. He served in the U.S. military.

HJohn Bardzik Jr., BS ChE ’53, of East Rutherford, N.J., Nov. 25, 2022, at 96. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force.

HHA. Bruce Colbert, BA ’53, of Riverside, Calif., Oct. 10, 2022, at 90. He was a member of Delta Upsilon and served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He flew four years in Marine One, flying Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

HHDennis Duewel, BA ’53, of Medford, Ore., Dec. 13, 2022, at 91. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta and served in the U.S. Army.

TUNDRA TIGERS Five Mizzou alumni were among seven travelers who recently planted a Mizzou flag on Antarctica (or at least unfurled it in all its glory). Counterclockwise from bottom left: Courtney Doll, BJ ’14; Christina Trester, BJ ’13; Chris Rucker, BS ’14; Emily Schmidt, BJ ’96; Jim Massey, BS BA ’96; and Schmidt and Massey’s two sons, Sawyer and Lawson.

57 SPRING 2023
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By investing in the Chancellor’s Fund for Excellence, you can ensure that no matter when opportunity strikes, Mizzou is ready to seize the moment. From star faculty recruits to unique research requests, these unrestricted funds can be tapped when time is of the essence.

Help ensure Mizzou remains nimble enough to compete and thrive as a leading research institution — no matter what the future holds.

Support the Chancellor’s Fund for Excellence today at mizzou.us/cfe or call 573-882-5394.

Chancellor’s Fund scholarships helped recruit Kate Wexell, who began working on research projects the very first day of her college career.

“I’d expected writing and multimedia production, but I hadn’t expected journalism to involve a ton of data science. This program has given me valuable insights; it’s definitely a stepping stone for future discoveries and opportunities down the road.”



“Half the time, we like our fur children better than our human children,” jokes Jessica (Jensen) Schlosser, BS BA ’04, MBA ’05. “They listen better than our two daughters, and they don’t talk back! Our pets — five dogs and one cat — are an integral part of our family, and we want all our children, whether they have two legs or four, to live their healthiest lives.”

Jessica and her husband, Kyle Schlosser, BA ’02, MPA ’06, became proud pet parents of Lizzi, a Yorkshire terrier, and Rocco, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel mix, during their time at Mizzou. While researching the very best food for their very good dogs, they realized that many brands contained artificial colors, flavorings, preservatives and low-end ingredients like corn, wheat soy and animal byproducts — stuff that’s hard for dogs to digest.

In 2009 after building a business plan, they launched Lizzi & Rocco’s Natural Pet Market in Columbia. Five years later, they opened a second location and are now a seven-figure company. On the horizon: expanding to offer nationwide shipping on their quality-made, ethically sourced natural pet products, including food, treats, supplements and toys.

The couple says their Mizzou coursework has been essential for making their dream a reality. “My classes shaped how I view all aspects of business ownership and gave me the necessary skills to make intelligent decisions,” Jessica says. “Kyle’s organizational-change courses have been invaluable as we navigate road bumps and effectively tweak things.”

The Schlossers credit their success to meeting the needs of an underserved population — health-conscious pet owners. “Many pet parents view their fur children as genuine family members who deserve the best quality of life,” Kyle says. “Like us, they were having trouble finding healthy pet products.”

Their success is part of the exponential growth of the natural pet food industry, which is expected to become a $21.5 billion industry by 2032, according to Future Market Insights.

“People are taking a more proactive approach to their health, and this is trickling down to their pets,” says Liz Schmitt, vice president of sales and co-owner of Packer Mellem, an independent sales group focusing on natural pet products.

The Schlossers’ dedication to helping pets has not gone unnoticed. In 2022, Jessica was named to COMO Magazine’s 20 Under 40, a list recognizing outstanding professionals under 40 who excel in their industry and are company leaders and committed community citizens.

But it’s not just Columbia that benefits from Lizzi & Rocco’s. Out-of-town pet parents can receive a free nutrition consultation via phone or email — whether they’re customers or not.

“We want the best for all pets no matter their location,” Kyle says. “We’re total pet-food nerds, and helping little creatures is what motivates us every day.” — Blaire Leible Garwitz, MA ’06

HHSuzanne Acuff Rhodes, BS Ed ’55, of Kansas City, Mo., Dec. 30, 2022, at 90. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi.

HWalter L. Ries, BS Ag ’55, MS ’66, of Bolivar, Mo., Sept. 12, 2022, at 89. He worked at the University of Missouri–Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology) for 28 years.

HThomas A. Burns, BS EE ’56, of Silver Springs, Md., Dec. 24, 2022, at 88. He served in the U.S. Air Force.

HJohn Fowler Jr., BS BA ’56, of St. Louis Dec. 9, 2022, at 92. He was a member of Pi Kappa Phi and served in the U.S. Army.

HDon Kuester, BS Ag ’56, MA ’61, of Richland, Mo., Nov. 26, 2022, at 89. He was a member of Alpha Tau Omega and served in the U.S. Navy.

HHRichard N. DeShon, BA ’57, of St. Joseph, Mo., Nov. 28, 2022, at 88. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta.

HHPhyllis Bailey Regnier, BA ’57, of Orange City, Iowa, Aug. 8, 2022, at 89.

HRichard Horn, AS ’58, of Houston June 21, 2022, at 86. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta.

HHAlbert J. Nyberg, BS Ag ’58, of Baltimore Nov. 27, 2022, at 84. He served in the U.S. Navy.

HDesta Marie Baker, BA ’59, of Kennett, Mo., Oct. 31, 2022, at 88.

Sally L. Hubbard, BA ’59, MA ’62, MD ’66, of Columbia, Mo., July 29, 2022, at 84.

Kyle Schlosser (left), BA ’02, MPA ’06, and Jessica (Jensen) Schlosser, BS BA ’04, MBA ’05, with pets Rocco (left) and Lizzi, namesakes of their natural pet market Lizzi & Rocco’s.
61 SPRING 2023 EARN YOUR STRIPES V-Neck Tee Tigers, it’s time to spring for your new fan wardrobe! Available in store and online Available in store and online Available late Spring THROUGH THE EYES OF MO LOUIS RADIO DJ, 102.3 BXR, DISC GOLF ENTHUSIAST Mo Louis is a man of many scenes — music, disc golf, social, culinary, microbrew — and for him, Columbia checks off all the right boxes. Whether it’s catching a live show at Rose Music Hall or trying to beat the world-renowned disc golf course at Harmony Bends, there’s a good chance you’ll find Mo making the most of his Columbia any day of the week. See his story and others at MeetCOMO.com MEET COLUMBIA

HGerald Pendleton, BA ’60, of Camdenton, Mo., Dec. 1, 2022, at 86. He served in the U.S. military.

HHRonald M. Sewell, BS Ag ’60, of El Dorado Springs, Mo., Dec. 20, 2022, at 89. He was a member of Farmhouse and served in the U.S. Army.

HJames L. Lemon Jr., BS Ag ’61, JD ’71, MS ’74, MS ’79, of New London, Mo., Dec. 31, 2022, at 82. He served in the U.S. Army.

HJohn “Jack” Bender, MA ’62, of Tulsa, Okla., Jan. 5, 2022, at 91. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 30 years.

HHJackie J. Whitlock, BS Ed ’62, of Springfield, Mo., Dec. 24, 2022, at 82.

HHJohn Vater, BS Ag ’62, DVM ’65, of Columbia, Mo., Dec. 20, 2022, at 89. He served in the U.S. Navy

and was a veterinarian for nearly 50 years.

HMadeline Jane Bartruff, BS Ed ’63, of Sarasota, Fla., Dec. 30, 2022, at 81. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma.

HJohn T. Ashley, BA ’65, MBA, MD ’70, of Charlottesville, Va., Jan. 9, 2023, at 80. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

HHMartin Lee O’Dell, BS Ag ’65, of Clinton, Mo., Dec. 27, 2022, at 79. He served in the Air National Guard.

HWilliam Sutter, JD ’65, of Kirkwood, Mo., Nov. 19, 2022, at 84. He worked as an attorney for 27 years.

HJoyce Eatherton, BS Ed ’66, of Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 24, 2022, at 78.

HMichael Alexander, BJ ’67, of Surprise, Ariz., Aug. 28, 2022, at 78.

HHCharles Heberer Jr., BS Ed ’67, M Ed ’72, of Zion, Ill., Dec. 12, 2022, at 78. He was a member of Marching Mizzou.

HDavid McCoid, JD ’68, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, Dec. 28, 2022, at 81.

HSandra Kirk Allen, BS Ed ’69, of Texas Charter Township, Mich., Dec. 21, 2022, at 76.

HRandall Relford, M Ed ’69, of Cameron, Mo., Dec. 26, 2022, at 79. He worked for the Cameron Public School system for 25 years.

HMary Voelz Chandler, BJ ’70, of Denver Jan. 10, 2023, at 74. She was an award-winning journalist and covered art and architecture at the Rocky Mountain News for more than 20 years.

HHCharles Kennedy, BS CiE ’71, of Dallas Nov.

28, 2022, at 73. He was a member of Sigma Chi.

HNoah Logan, EdD ’73, of Flemingsburg, Ky., Nov. 10, 2022, at 92. He served in the U.S. Air Force.

HHMark L. Pope, BA ’73, M Ed ’74, of University City, Mo., Jan. 29, 2023, at 70. He was a professor at the University of Missouri–St. Louis for more than two decades.

HSteven N. Craven, BS PA ’74, of Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 24, 2023, at 70. He was a member of Delta Upsilon.

HDennis Ulrich, BS F ’74, of Jackson, Mo., Dec. 15, 2022, at 71.

HFrederick Williams, MBA ’77, of Portland, Ore., June 13, 2022, at 73.

HHAllen Kurland, EdSp ’78, EdD ’82, of Council

Bluffs, Iowa, Dec. 17, 2022, at 73. He worked in education for 30 years.

HHDavid P. Yarger, BS BA ’79, of West Granby, Conn., Dec. 25, 2022, at 66. He was a member of Marching Mizzou.

Hugh Menown, BS BA ’80, of Houston Jan. 7, 2023, at 64.

HHJenny Ann Hosch, BS Ed ’82, of Chesterfield, Mo., Nov. 6, 2022, at 62. She was a member of Alpha Delta Pi.

HHNancy Manring Holman, BES ’82, of Columbia, Mo., Jan. 17, 2023, at 62.

HHMarie A. Ice, PhD ’83, of Bakersfield, Calif., Nov. 12, 2022, at 84.

HHJohn Calhoun, BS Ag ’85, of Clinton, Mo., Dec. 18, 2022, at 73.

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2023 By the Numbers

Mizzou Giving Day is the University of Missouri’s annual day-long campaign to raise support from our alumni and friends. In early March, we invited the Mizzou community to step up and support a school, college or program they were passionate about, and the response was fantastic.



Bachelor’s degrees:

BS Acc, accounting

BS Ag, agriculture

BA, arts

BS BA, business administration

BS Ed, education

BFA, fine arts

BS FW, fisheries and wildlife

BGS, general studies

BHS, health sciences

BS HE, home

BS HES, human environmental

Bachelor’s degrees in engineering:

BS ChE, chemical

BS CiE, civil

BS CoE, computer

BS EE, electrical

BS IE, industrial

BS ME, mechanical

Master’s degrees:

M Acc, accounting

MS Ag Ed, agricultural education

MA, arts

M Ed, education

MS, science

MSW, social work

MPA, public affairs

Doctoral degrees:

PhD, doctorate

EdD, education

JD, law

MD, medicine

DVM, veterinary medicine

Did not graduate:

Arts, arts and science

Bus, business

Educ, education

Engr, engineering

Journ, journalism

*For a more detailed list of current degrees, visit catalog.missouri.edu/ degreesanddegreeprograms.

63 SPRING 2023 Champion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 champion .com Drury Hotels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 druryhotels .com Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau 61 meetCOMO com Farmers National Company 63 farmersnational .com Les Bourgeois . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 missouriwine com Missouri Soybeans 58 MOSOY org Mizzou Advancement 14, 59 giving missouri edu Mizzou Alumni Association . . . . . 15, 48–50, 54, 57 mizzou com Mizzou MBA C-4 business missouri edu Mizzou Store 47 themizzoustore com MU Botanic Garden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 gardens .missouri .edu MU Health Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 muhealth org Sinclair School of Nursing 51 nursing missouri edu Spence Vineyards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C-3 spencevineyards .com ADVERTISING INDEX To advertise in MIZZOU, call MAA at 573-882-6611
BJ, journalism
BS Med, medicine
BSN, nursing BS, science BSW, social work
DESIGNATIONS 101* Contact your local FNC Real Estate and Land Management Professionals for a confidential consultation today! Call 316-400-5460 www.FarmersNational.com Real Estate Sales • Auctions • F arm and Ranch Management • Appraisals and Valuations • Insurance • Consultations Oil, Gas, and Renewable Energy Management • Hunting Lease Network • Forest Resource Management • FNC Ag Stock Daniel Roling Agent Armstrong, Missouri
Howard Audsley Agent Columbia, Missouri Greg Knedlik Agent Paola, Kansas David Peck Agent Kingdom City, Missouri Mandy Quinn AFM/Agent Shawnee, Kansas Enhance Your Family Legacy with the Expertise of Farmers National Company Lucas Robinson AFM/Agent Columbia, Missouri Matt Robinson Agent Vandalia, Missouri
AFM/Agent Maryville,
Ken Springer Agent Lee’s Summit, Missouri Keith Tucker AFM/Agent Baldwin
24 hours (March 8–9) volunteer ambassadors
total raised $5,036,246

Tiger in the Valley

It’s not only his business accomplishments that set Dave Spence, BS HE ’81, apart from other 65-year-old entrepreneurs. It’s his voice — bright, energetic and unmistakably authentic. During a phone conversation with Spence, you might mistake him for an eager college student at the beginning of a new adventure.

“I love the intellectual stimulation of learning something new,” Spence says.

This drive has led to a string of successful business startups and a future full of fresh challenges. For the past year, he has been overseeing his latest business venture, Spence Vineyards, located in Napa Valley, California. Spence bought the winery and its nearly 10 acres of grapes from cousin and MU alumnus Allen Spence, BS BA ’78, MBA ’80. Dave and his wife, Suzie, make regular trips to Napa Valley to keep tabs on the vineyards and to their four-star restaurant, Riverhorse on Main, in Park City, Utah. Spence enjoys discussing the climate, soil and altitude of his Napa vineyard and how the terroir affects the grapes and wine he produces. But he’s free of the pretenses that characterize some old-vine wineries. He refers to the frequent business trips he and Suzie now take as “following the hamster trail from Missouri.” As for the prestige associated with owning a vineyard and restaurant, he laughs it off, describing it instead as “pretty darn fun” and adding, “I was always in manufacturing, but talking about those businesses could put a person to sleep. People can relate to a winery and a restaurant.”

His business ventures haven’t been as boring as he portrays them. Not long after graduating from Mizzou, Spence, then

26, bought a struggling plastic bottle manufacturing company in St. Louis and turned it into a business with annual sales of $260 million. He also founded and is the current chair of Legacy Pharma Solutions, a St. Louis-based medical packaging company.

As a lifelong MU supporter, Spence has served on the Entrepreneurship Alliance advisory board and contributed to the launch of Every True Tiger Foundation, a collective linking MU student-athletes to charities and community nonprofits. Spence credits his Mizzou education with forging his character and setting his path. “I always had two or three jobs while going to school, and I made a lot of friends. As rush chair for my fraternity, I developed sales and social skills. Those experiences taught me how to be a young man versus a child,” he says.

The entrepreneur interrupted his business career in 2012 to lead the Republican ticket in the race for the Missouri governorship. Although Spence had hoped to apply his business acumen to state government, his eventual loss didn’t dampen his interests in politics. A few years later, he served as a state delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention.

Now that his four children are grown, Spence looks forward to spending more time traveling with Suzie. So far, Dave has been to 60 countries, a few more than Suzie. He’s reduced his workload but still thrives on business challenges. “With the winery and restaurant,” he explains, “you’re only as good as your last bottle of wine or last meal.”

How Dave Spence moved from plastics to politics to wining and dining

Napa Valley Wines ~with~ Missouri Roots

We took the Mizzou promise of “pushing the boundaries of what’s possible” all the way to the top of Howell Mountain in Napa Valley.

Here at SPENCE Vineyards, we hand-craft exceptional wines and are proud to bring a piece of this rugged Estate back to you.

spencevineyards.com • /spencevineyards •  @spencehowellmountain
Address change? Update at mizzou.com/update or call 800-372-6822. ELECTRONIC SERVICE REQUESTED 123 Fulton, MO 65251 Take the next step >> trulaskemasters@missouri.edu 573-882-2750 | business.missouri.edu/gpo MS IN BUSINESS 100% online MS IN FINANCE 100% online MASTER OF ACCOUNTANCY 100% online or 100% on campus Graduate degrees offered at the Trulaske College of Business FLEXIBLE. ACCESSIBLE. CONVENIENT. CROSBY MBA 100% online Now offering an accelerated Crosby MBA, allowing students to complete a bachelor’s degree and an MBA in five years or less!