MIZZOU Winter 2020

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mizzou.com | Winter 2020

of Colleugleture, Agric Natural Foode& ces R sour


Who Was I in College? An author ponders how old haunts hold a mirror to a younger self. 16 BY W R I G H T T H OM P S ON, B J ’ 0 1



FIRST LOOK EVEN NOW, 34 years after the shutter snapped, Oliver Schuchard vividly recalls the day he photographed the frosted woods on his farm outside of Holts Summit, Missouri. A heavy, wet snow had blown in hard out of the northwest that morning. “When it stopped, the sun came out, and everything was light,” says the decorated art professor, who retired in 2002 after three decades at MU. “It looked like a fantasyland. Even the shadows were light. When the light comes alive, that’s what really makes a good photograph.” A selection of Schuchard’s 52 years of luminous photography will be on display through April 4, 2020, at the Center for Missouri Studies in Columbia. The center archives Schuchard’s work. His retrospective, The Landscape in Black and White (2005), is available from the University of Missouri Press.







Editorial and Advertising Mizzou Alumni Association 123 Reynolds Alumni Center 704 Conley Avenue Columbia, MO 65211 phone: 573-882-6611 mizzou@missouri.edu executive editor Ashley Burden managing editor Dale Smith art director Blake Dinsdale editors emeriti Steve Shinn and Karen Worley advertising phone: 573-882-6611 Mizzou Alumni Association 123 Reynolds Alumni Center Columbia, MO 65211 phone: 573-882-6611, fax: 573-882-5145 executive director 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. ©2020


Mizzou Is Open for Business Since arriving at Mizzou, I have experienced some of the many ways our community serves the world and provides incredible opportunities for our students. Our industry partnerships are a big part of this charge. I am grateful for the lasting collaborations across campus that enable us to strengthen our expertise, make our university a hub of innovation, and enhance the discoveries that benefit Missouri and beyond. When the University of Missouri is open for business, everyone benefits. For the past 10 years, our students, faculty and staff have worked with Cerner to apply digital medical advances that lower costs and enhance health care access for all Missourians (More: Page 22). And in newsrooms from Brussels to Washington, D.C., our School of Journalism students excel in the global media sector. Companies are drawn to Mizzou because of our distinct combination of assets: our unique mixture of schools and colleges with disciplines across the arts, humanities, social sciences and STEM fields, as well as our 10-megawatt research reactor, the largest of its kind in the country. But when others decide to partner with us, it’s because of our people. Our community’s creativity and innovation reflect an immense ambition that isn’t limited by our campus. Partners from across the globe want to be

part of this boundless possibility. Together, we generate more opportunities and build more pathways for the discoveries that may happen at Mizzou but that change lives around the world. Our new NextGen Precision Health Institute is a project we are tackling with this impact in mind. In July, we announced a revolutionary $133 million alliance with Siemens Healthineers to strengthen the transformative learning and life-changing research that happens here. This alliance will give our students access to state-of-the-art technology and industry knowhow as we prepare the next generation of health care leaders. And it will bring our scholars the revolutionary tools they need to tackle the world’s grand health care challenges. These partnerships are just a few in a strong history of industry collaboration — from engaging our community with works of art through our Artist in Residence program to the joint efforts of Bayer Crop Sciences and our College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources to combat crop drought and disease. By continuing to forge new partnerships that connect our campus to experts around the world, we can bring the best resources to our people and the best results to society. That’s what it means to be the University for Missouri — where a commitment to service drives everything we do for our people, our state and the world. — Chancellor Alexander Cartwright

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. GOVERNING BOARD President Steve Hays, BS BA ’80 • President-elect Robin Wenneker, BS BA ’91 • Secretary and MAA Executive Director Todd McCubbin, M Ed ’95 • Immediate Past President Andrea Allison-Putman, BS BA ’85 • Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair Joe Valenciano, BA ’95 • Finance Committee Chair Sabrina McDonnell, MBA ’15 • Mizzou Legislative Network Committee Chair Jeffrey Montgomery, BS Ed ’89 • Appointed Directors Cristin Blunt, BS Ed ’02; Pete Ferretti, BA ’93; Bobby Hofman, BS ’15; and Chuck Kaiser, BA, BJ ’93 • Elected Directors Kia Breaux, BJ ’96; Susan Combs, BS ’01; Leigh Anne Taylor Knight, BS HES ’89, BS Ed ’90, M Ed ’91; Rusty Martin, BS CIE ’84; Jackie Mejia, BJ ’11; Craig Moeller, BS ’93; Howard Richards, BA ’88; Bill Schoenhard, BS PA ’71; Jim Simmons, BS ’93, MD ’98; Dawn Smith-Popielski, BA ’96; Peggy Swaney, BS Ed ’71; and Patty Wolfe, BA, BS Ed ’77, MBA ’80 MIZZOU magazine Winter 2020, Volume 108, Number 2 Published triannually by the Mizzou Alumni Association 2019 Bronze Award General Interest Magazine, Council for Advancement & Support of Education






1 First Look

Spectacular landscape photographs by retired faculty member Oliver Schuchard grace the new Center for Missouri Studies, 605 Elm St. in Columbia (across from Peace Park).

6 Around the Columns

Enrollment surges again, campus sidewalks become artists’ canvases and four women’s basketball Tigers are children of former Mizzou athletes.

Leaving Houston: View a video profile of Heartland Scholar Sevanna Rowland, a sophomore from Houston, Missouri, who helped rear her younger siblings. Mizzou’s Heartland Scholars Academy offers rural first-generation business students financial assistance and hands-on learning. More: tinyurl.com/heartland-scholar

Wright Thompson, BJ ’01, a senior writer at ESPN, is the New York Times bestselling author of The Cost of These Dreams: Sports Stories and Other Serious Business (Penguin Books, 2019). His cover story looks at the value of revisiting scenes of college life. Page 16

Scott Wallace, MA ’83, is a regular contributor to National Geographic and the bestselling author of The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes. His essay details learning the craft of journalism in a war zone. Page 38

Carson Vaughan’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Paris Review Daily and Outside. Based on current scholarship, his narrative-form story offers a new look at Pocahontas. Page 26

Mark Godich, BJ ’79, a senior editor at The Athletic and Sports Illustrated veteran, wrote our profile of basketball Tiger Torrence Watson — 3-point shooter extraordinaire. Page 42






































mizzou.com | Winter 2020

Who Was I in College?



An author ponders how old haunts hold a mirror to a younger self. 16 BY W R I G H T T H OM P S ON, B J ’ 0 1



Mizzou conducts millions in rural research.

50 Mizzou Alumni News

Meet this year’s crop of distinguished FacultyAlumni Award winners and find out how thousands of smaller gifts added up to $21.3 million.

51 Class Notes

Anniversaries, jobs, weddings, babies — alumni buzz about the latest in their lives.


Semper Mizzou

About the cover After class, what parts of yourself did you discover while hanging out with friends in downtown Columbia? Author Wright Thompson, BJ ’01, revisits Shakespeare’s and Booches to reconnect with his former self. Page 16. Photo by Notley Hawkins, MFA ’90

7 Data

facebook.com/mizzou twitter.com/mizzou instagram.com/mizzou

Decorate a page from a new Mizzou-themed coloring book by art Professor Deborah Huelsbergen.




16 22 26 30 36 M I Z Z O U AT H L E T I C S

38 42

Who Was I in College?

Torrence Watson storms into his second Mizzou season. See Page 42.

A globetrotting author ponders the hold college haunts have over him — who is the younger self he recalls in Columbia, and what compels him to revisit student days? story by wright thompson, BJ ’01

High-Tech Health Care

A decade of collaboration between MU and Cerner not only has saved lives and millions of dollars but also launched numerous research studies. story by joe walljasper, BJ ’92

Rethinking Pocahontas

Think you know Pocahontas? Think again. Colonial scholar Karen Ordahl Kupperman, BA ’61, rejects Disney clichés to deliver a harrowing new portrait of a young woman caught between cultures. story by carson vaughan

150 Years Strong

Greek life at Mizzou celebrates its sesquicentennial with a renewed dedication to the best of what it has always been. story by erik potter

Hoofing It

Lace up the old hiking boots and walk out onto the soil you’re studying with an awardwinning teacher. story by erik potter

Under the Gun

A veteran journalist looks back on his early years learning the trade in the war zones of Central America. story and photos by scott wallace, MA ’83

Grin and Bury It

Sophomore sharpshooter Torrence Watson was born to smile and sink 3-pointers. story by mark godich, BJ ’79




More Tigers on the Prowl



“With 600-plus student organizations and more than 5,400 campus events annually, there is something for everyone,” Stackman says. Nine out of 10 students participate in campus activities or are involved in student organizations, or both, which contributes to a higher sense of belonging and higher academic success, he says. “We’re all about helping students succeed and find their place.” —Kelsey Allen, BA, BJ ’10

For the second year running, Mizzou has seen double-digit increases in its freshman class. Retention hit record levels, as well.

First Night with a Concussion

Research is rapidly adding new knowledge about brain injuries, and Michael Mohrland is here to bust the common myth that children with a concussion should not sleep through that first night because they might slip into a coma. To the contrary, says the pediatric neuropsychologist at MU’s Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, a healthy sleep schedule seems to promote recovery. What’s more: “When we are evaluating concussions, we look at all aspects of a child’s life, including things happening at home and school. Concussions are not one-size-fits-all.” More: thompsoncenter.missouri.edu


It’s never been a better time to be a Tiger — and 5,431 first-time college students agree. The vast majority of last year’s freshmen thought so, too, with 87.9 percent returning to Mizzou as sophomores — the highest retention rate on record. Transfer enrollment increased as well, with a 21 percent increase in students coming to MU from community colleges. With that, as college enrollment declines nationally, MU is seeing double-digit percentage growth for the second year in a row. The freshman class increased by 16 percent, and overall enrollment increased by approximately 1 percent, for a total of 30,046 students. “We’ve worked hard to transform the student experience via a centralized move-in process, exclusive programming, in-residence academic success programs and sense-of-belonging initiatives,” says Vice Provost for Student Affairs William Stackman, MS ’82. For example, incoming students join Welcome Groups based on their residence hall, and they discuss topics related to transitioning from high school. Participants say these small groups help them feel like a Tiger and understand what it means to be part of the Mizzou community. Another belonging initiative, Involvement Ambassadors, features students offering one-on-one consultations about how to get involved on campus.


Rural Research When Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright said that Mizzou is the University for Missouri, researchers listened. In the past year, they’ve been awarded more than $35 million in grants to help train primary care doctors and specialists, mental health professionals, health librarians, and STEM educators in rural communities throughout the state. — Kelsey Allen, BA, BJ ’10

$4.95 million

$22.4 million

Rural Missouri needs more doctors — 49,300 by 2030 to be exact. The best way to get them? Recruit medical students from the state’s small towns and rural areas, then train them there so they know how best to serve their communities. The MU Rural Track Pipeline Program has been doing that for 20 years, with a record of sending 68 percent of participants into rural practice. Two new grants totaling nearly $5 million will help expand the program as well as fund a new rural residency program in Sedalia.

A high-quality science, technology, engineering or medicine (STEM) education can be a foundation for opportunity. But many rural students live in STEM deserts without access to rigorous and engaging math and science courses. Two new grants and private-sector matching funds totaling $22.4 million will help MU increase STEM education in 58 high-need, rural middle schools as well as implement active learning in fifth-grade math and science classrooms in seven districts in rural Missouri. A total of 29,316 students and 526 educators will benefit from these programs.

$1.2 million

$12 million

The opioid epidemic claimed the lives of more than 950 Missourians in 2017. To increase access to evidence-based opioid use disorder prevention and treatment, the Health Resources and Services Administration awarded the MU Department of Health Psychology $1.2 million to expand its clinical training from 4 to 25 predoctoral interns through 2022 in underserved Missouri communities.

Rural primary care providers are stretched thin. But now when a patient comes in with a complex condition — chronic pain, autism, asthma, dermatology or hepatitis C, among others — they have access to the School of Medicine’s Show-Me ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes). Through the videoconferencing program, specialists share research-based expertise with outstate providers. Since 2015, the 3,594 participating providers have diagnosed more than 60 melanomas, cured 250 cases of hepatitis C and reduced asthma-related health care costs by $12 million.






$10 million

TO SUPPORT THE MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS OF RURAL K–12 STUDENTS One in 5 children has a serious mental illness, and schools often don’t know how to help. So researchers at the College of Education developed a way to identify mental health concerns in their early stages so students can get the help they need sooner. Now, with a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, they’re establishing a National Center for Rural School Mental Health and deploying the training system to 110 rural schools throughout Missouri, Virginia and Montana.


Health care can be difficult to navigate, and in rural areas, public health information is sparse. To better equip public libraries as accurate sources of information, MU will train and embed 12 health librarians in underserved and rural communities in the Midwest. The new Librarians as Catalysts for Community Health program within the School of Information and Learning Technologies is supported by a $500,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.





What skater could resist vaulting a cavernous faux hole in the Bond Life Sciences Center plaza on a lovely September day. To whet the appetite for Chancellor Alexander Cartwright’s Artist in Residence program launching in spring 2020, two trompe l’oeil (pronounced

Makin’ Whoopee!

tromp loy) artists spent days chalking trick-the-eye images around campus. The first cohort of official artists-in-residence will include a documentary filmmaker, a musical theater actor and a pianist cum psychiatrist. Cartwright says such programs cultivate creativity across disciplines.

Norris Crutchfield arrived at Mizzou from Oklahoma in the 1920s, probably with his Gibson banjolele in tow. Before long, hand-drawn art and lettering decorating the instrument’s skin head declared Norris’ affection for the Tigers, as well as a number of friends and notable moments. “He was a gregarious guy,” recalls Norris’ grandson Dave Crutchfield, whose daughter Laurel gifted the banjo-uke to MU in October. A rich kid who was perhaps more gregarious than studious, Norris skipped quite a few classes. But he did give his full attention to a certain Kathleen Fountain, whose name appears on the instrument. They later married. She was “a mighty church soprano,” Dave says. He still cherishes childhood memories of Grandpa Norris sitting in a rocking chair strumming his old banjolele to the tune of “You Are My Sunshine.” 8


S K AT E B O A R D E R : M I C H A E L C A L I ; B A N J O L E L E : N I C H O L A S B E N N E R

Watch Out for That … Hooooooooooole

More Moves, Less Luck



Although many businesses have responded to criticisms of inequality, in part, by boosting diversity on corporate boards, that move hasn’t led commensurately to leadership positions for women and minorities, according to Adam Yore’s new study. In his analysis of 2,000 public firms from 2006 to 2017, the assistant professor of business found increases in gender and racial diversity. But when it came to leadership roles on the boards, white men were about 30 percent more likely to sit in those powerful positions. Relevant experience and education boosted chances for white men, but that effect diminished significantly for women and even more so for minorities. “While we are making great strides, women and minorities are still not being put in positions of real decision-making power,” Yore says. “Simply adding diversity does not automatically remove the glass ceiling.”

Mark Swanson loves board games — but he doesn’t enjoy playing them the same way most people do. For instance, in his youth, he memorized which Monopoly properties statistically offer the best return on investment (orange) and which space was landed on the most (Illinois Avenue). But when even America’s classic real-estate simulator proved too fickle and luck-dependent, Swanson, an associate professor of strategic communication at the MU School of Journalism, began searching the world for the perfect challenge. And when he couldn’t quite find it, he invented it. The result is Feudum, a multilayered game of medieval resource management that has monopolized the admiration and adulation of board game geeks across the globe. Based on socalled Euro-style games such as The Settlers of Catan, Feudum is set in the Middle Ages. It pits two to five players, each controlling several characters, against one another in pursuit of power. Competitors tend farms, tax towns, seize outposts and quarrel among one another, all the while taking care not to upset the king and face disastrous consequences. Swanson’s creation prizes Machiavellian machinations above all else. “Games like Monopoly and Risk are about 50 percent luck,” Swanson says. “You can know all there is to know about Monopoly and still lose to your 9-year-old daughter if she rolls better. I wanted a game that rewarded clever strategy and your intellectual investment.” Feudum has certainly rewarded Swanson’s investment. What began as a circle drawn on a piece of paper is now a game with a series of expansions that have earned Swanson more than $1 million in gross revenue. With more than 25,000 games in print, translations into 11 languages and a third print on the way, Swanson is just getting started. (In fact, he’s already working on a brand new game.) And as a bonus, the years of conceptualizing, self-publishing and marketing his product have provided Swanson with a semester’s syllabus of material for his advertising classes. “The gaming business really accentuates the work I do at MU,” he says. “I can share that experience with my students.” — Tony Rehagen, BA, BJ ’01 WINTER 2020




@AAUniversities A team of scientists @Mizzou is using sonar technology as inspiration to develop a rapid, inexpensive way to determine whether the drinking water is safe to consume

When Barb Kuensting takes her animal companion for a walk around the Columns, she knows she’s going to get mobbed. But it’s not Doug the Pug they flock to. It’s Luna, Kuensting’s scarlet macaw. “We’re biology people,” says Kuensting, who grew up in St. Louis with her parents, a dog, some reptiles and amphibians, and two Amazon parrots named Max and Mac. “In the wild, macaws have one mate for life. In captivity, they bond to one person. Max bonded to my dad. Mac bonded to my mom. I felt left out.” So, the spring of her freshman year at Mizzou, Kuensting adopted Luna from the St. Louis Avian Rescue and drove home every weekend to ensure they bonded. Kuensting loves Luna’s

sassy, curious personality. “I call her Looney Tune,” she says. “She’s my little sidekick.” There was no question then that when Kuensting moved back to Mizzou for her sophomore year that Luna would join her — and her three roommates — in an off-campus apartment. But it’s not easy being a biology and documentary journalism double major and a macaw’s single mom. “I’m always worried about what she’s getting into at home. I’m worried about her health. I even thought about getting a baby monitor for my room.” Known as the giants of the parrot world, macaws can live up to 75 years in captivity. Kuensting doesn’t know how old Luna is, but she does know one thing about parenting a wild animal: “I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.” —Kelsey Allen, BA, BJ ’10

Caffeinated Coursework Coffee was always key to Tricia Zim-

mer Ferguson’s college experience. Every morning, before heading to the College of Business for class, she’d stop by Brady Commons for a latte that would fuel her through the day. So, it’s only fitting that, 15 years later, she is giving back to the business school through the power of the coffee bean. On Oct. 1, Kaldi’s Coffee, the St. Louis-based company owned by Zimmer Ferguson, BS BA ’03, and her husband, Josh Ferguson, BS ’03, opened a location in Cornell Hall. But this coffee shop does more than keep students caffeinated. It is a classroom in and of itself, allowing students to earn credit through experiential learning. Through coursework, students have full access to Kaldi’s financial books — for the entire company — which gives them realworld experience with global supply chain management, human resources, accounting and other aspects of running a business. “When you’re a student, you read about these case studies in your textbook,” Zimmer Ferguson says. “But this is something hands-on, where your decisions can directly affect the outcome. What better way to teach students.” 10 MIZZOUMAGAZINE

@Dave_Matter Max Scherzer joins 2B Ian Kinsler (2018), catcher Tim Laudner (1987), LHP Darold Knowles (1973), OF Art Shamaky (1969), OF Charlie James (1964), OF Homer Summa (1929), SS Glenn Wright (1925) as World Series winners who came from Mizzou. @5thYear YOUR 2019 #OneBiteContest NATIONAL CHAMPIONS: @ShakesPizza of @BarstoolMizzou

B I R D, C A L D I ’S : RO B H I L L


@SherylCrow #tbt: 1998 hanging out with Tommy Hilfiger and Brad Pitt after opening for @RollingStones at The Joint in Vegas. Excuse me while I pick up all the names I just dropped.... (fun fact: Brad and I went to @Mizzou together!)


Ready for School?


College of Education researchers have developed an academic and social readiness test for kindergarteners. In a study, 19 teachers used it to rate 350 kindergarten students. By the end of first grade, children who had rated poor in academic readiness were up to 10 times more likely to have low reading scores, and those who rated poor in behavioral readiness were six times more likely to have displayed disruptive behavior and poor social skills. The screening tool can benefit children in the long run by alerting teachers about the need to develop lessons and interventions for students having difficulties, says Melissa Stormont, professor of special education.

• MU and the University of Missouri System are investing up to $20.5 million in 19 projects across UM System campuses to support studies in medicine and public health. MU researchers will lead 12 of the projects with funding of $10.6 million. Another venture in collaboration with the University of Missouri-Kansas City will receive up to $5 million. •A $6 million donation from Jim Fitterling, BS ME ’83, is among the first major gifts from an individual to the NextGen Precision Health Institute. Fitterling has spent his career at Dow, where he serves as CEO.

HOT PANTS In 2017, volcanologists approached Abby Romine with an interesting dilemma. Apparently, while the scientists were off exploring fire-breathing, cinder-spewing mountainous fountains of molten rock, their minds periodically returned to one recurring problem — their pants. The generic work pants they typically wore were flimsy, lined with insufficient and ill-placed pocket space, and unable to withstand the heat. Fortunately for the fire walkers, Romine had just started her master’s program in textile and apparel management at Mizzou. She worked with the geologists and geology students to design “volcano pants” made of breathable, lightweight fabric for easy movement but with Kevlar patches for friction and heat resistance. They also feature strategically placed pockets for notebooks, pens, phones and a compass, along with clips for bigger gear, such as chisels, hammers and helmets. Romine’s creation, which includes one prototype design for men and three for women, won the Golden Shell Award for User-Centered Design at a competition in China last October. More importantly, the garments have been field-tested by geology students on a research trip to Colorado. Her next goal is to send her volcanologist-approved patterns to FirstSpear, a Missouri-based manufacturer of tactical gear, to see if the company is interested in putting the pants into production. Although the market for volcanologists might be limited, the idea that other scientists, as well as amateur explorers and outdoors people, would be interested in pants that can take the 2,000-degree heat isn’t far-fetched. And at the very least, these pants will give volcanologists dangling hundreds of feet above rivers of liquid hot magma one less thing to think about. — Tony Rehagen, BA, BJ ’01

•The documentary Only the Educated Are Free: The Journey of Mike Middleton premiered Sept. 13 at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia. Now retired, Middleton, BA ’68, JD ’71, has long been an activist for racial equality. As a student, he helped found the Legion of Black Collegians, then practiced civil rights law and worked at MU as a professor and deputy chancellor. •After careful study, the university has decided it must demolish Pickard Hall. In the early 1900s, Pickard was home to the Department of Chemistry, where for two decades Professor Hermann Schlundt and others studied radium. Officials had closed off that basement laboratory and restricted entry. Any replacement structure will honor Francis Quadrangle’s historic significance, says Gary Ward, vice chancellor for operations. WINTER 2020 11

AROUND THE COLUMNS Miss a Game? Not Likely

When the No. 22 jersey became available last Four Tiger basketball year, Missouri women’s basketball player Jordan players are daughters of Roundtree claimed it after wearing No. 2 her first former Mizzou athletes: two seasons. It’s her way of honoring her father, Bill They and their parents Roundtree, BS Ed ’87, who wore that number when are, from left, Micah Linthacum (Larry), he played for the Tigers from 1982 to 1986. He instilled in her a love of the game and coached Elle Brown (Natasha her YMCA teams for six years. But he also knew Kaiser-Brown), Jordan Roundtree (Bill) and when to quit and just be a father. Aijha Blackwell (Ernest). “She was in the sixth grade, and I told her to do something in a game, and she gave me the dad look and not the coach look,” Bill recalls. That was when they agreed to have a “normal father-daughter relationship,” Jordan says. He gave basketball advice when asked but left the coaching to others. She developed into a star high school player and followed his footsteps to Missouri. Roundtree is part of a trend with the Tigers. Coach Robin Pingeton has filled her roster with legacy players. Junior guard Elle Brown’s mother, Natasha Kaiser-Brown, BA ’90, was an All-American sprinter for the Tigers from 1985 to 1989 and a 1992 Olympic silver medalist in the 4x400meter relay. Freshman guard Aijha Blackwell’s father, Ernest Blackwell, Arts ’97, was a standout fullback from 1994 to 1997. Freshman forward Micah Linthacum’s dad, Larry Linthacum, BS BA ’91, M Ed ’04, EdD ’16, played tight end from 1988 to 1990. Roundtree, a senior guard, is now one of the leaders of a team trying to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight year. Her role has expanded each year. She started 24 games last season and made the decisive free throw in an overtime victory over Drake in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Bill has watched with a father’s pride, not a coach’s critical eye. “In the offseason, he’ll work me out and we’ll get shots up and talk about things I need to work on,” Jordan says. “But we have this rule: Once the season starts, he’s very hands-off. He has all the trust in Coach P.” — Joe Walljasper, BJ ’92 12 MIZZOUMAGAZINE


Every True Daughter

When Jerald “Thumper” Chaffin, MD ’77, began attending Missouri football games, he was a freshman student playing the French horn in Marching Mizzou. That was Sept. 21, 1963. He gave up the marching band after that year, but he never quit on the Tigers. Chaffin, an emergency physician from Branson, Missouri, has attended 342 straight home football games. He has witnessed two-thirds of the games ever played at Memorial Stadium. What brings him back is the chance to reconnect with the friends he met as a medical student at Mizzou. Chaffin has sat with the same group since the 1970s, always on the east side of the stadium close to the 50-yard line. “The neat thing about it is we would have remained friends regardless, but this has been the catalyst,” he says. His favorite games include Missouri’s 2003 victory over Nebraska, which broke a 24-game losing streak against the Cornhuskers, and a 2010 win over Oklahoma when the Sooners were the top-ranked team in the BCS standings. But he also noted that sometimes the importance of a win is only obvious after the fact. For example, he recalls the victory over Oregon in the 1972 season opener that helped establish Al Onofrio after he went 1–10 in his first season as head coach. And in 2005, freshman Chase Daniel, BS BA ’09, filled in for an injured Brad Smith, BS BA ’05, MPA ’16, and rallied the Tigers to an overtime victory over Iowa State. That game calmed some of the discontent with Coach Gary Pinkel, who went on to win more games than any football coach in Mizzou history. Chaffin, who earned the nickname Thumper as an active baby, says he’s had a few close calls making it to Columbia by game time, particularly when he worked late Friday shifts in the ER. But he’s never been sick on a home football Saturday nor had any commitment that was more important than watching the Tigers. He hopes to continue his streak for as long as possible. “I’m in good health,” he says. “I’m 74 and don’t take any medicine. Hopefully, I’ll be around a while.”


J E R S E YS : M I Z Z O U AT H L E T I C S ; H A R R I S : J E R E M Y S T E WA RT

TO THE RAFTERS John Brown, BES ’14, was an All-American basketball player at Missouri. He earned a spot as an alternate on the 1972 U.S. Olympic team. He was a first-round draft pick who played seven years in the NBA. But none of those thrills from his glory days compared to what he felt March 9, 2019, when MU retired his No. 50 jersey. “There are a lot of NBA players and a lot of Olympians, but there are only eight retired numbers,” Brown says. “That’s pretty select company.” Brown, a 6-foot-7 forward from Dixon, Missouri, was the first great star of Norm Stewart’s coaching career at Missouri. From 1970 to 1973, he averaged 19.7 points and 10 rebounds a game. He and Derrick Chievous, BGS ’00, are the newest members of Missouri’s exclusive retired basketball jersey club. Chievous’ No. 3 was retired

Minor Leaguer, Major Potential

Feb. 19, 2019. The 6-7 forward from New York who starred from 1985 to 1988 is Missouri’s alltime leader in points (2,580) and ranks fourth all-time in rebounds (979). Brown and Chievous join Doug Smith, Agric ’91 (No. 34); Willie Smith, BGS ’00 (No. 30); Bill Stauffer, BJ ’52 (No. 43); Stewart, BS Ed ’56, M Ed ’60 (No. 22); Steve Stipanovich, BES ’89 (No. 40); and Jon Sundvold, BS BA ’83 (No. 20), as the only players whose jerseys have been retired. “I’ve been basking in this ever since it happened,” Brown says. “I have the replica jersey that was given to me at the ceremony hanging in my house downstairs where I watch TV, so I walk by it a couple of times a day. Honestly, I’m thrilled every time I see it.” — Joe Walljasper, BJ ’92

When the Atlanta Braves picked Trey Harris in the 32nd round of the 2018 draft, he was confident he could beat the odds and eventually play in the big leagues. Just in case, though, he had a backup plan — selling insurance. Harris, a Mizzou outfielder from 2015 to 2018, won’t be writing policies anytime soon. In August, he was named player of the year in the Braves’ minor league system. He hit .323 with 14 home runs and 73 RBIs, was promoted twice and finished the year with the Double-A Mississippi Braves. Despite the glowing numbers, he’s not getting rich just yet. “I just want to get a comma in my bank account,” he jokes. But he knows he’s on the right path toward his Plan A destination — Major League Baseball. “I’m going to keep riding the wave.”

6 — Number of men’s basketball games scheduled between Missouri and Kansas in a resumption of the Border War rivalry. The teams haven’t played since 2012 when Missouri left the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference. More: mutigers.com 25-25 — Track record of Coach Barry Odom after four years leading the football Tigers. At press time, MU Athletic Director Jim Sterk dismissed Odom and hired Eliah Drinkwitz. 6 — Members of the 2019 class of the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame. The new inductees are diver David Bonuchi, BHS ’15; football player John Clay, Nat R ’86; baseball player Kyle Gibson, Arts ’12; baseball player Ralph Hochgrebe, BS Ed ’59; volleyball player Molly Kreklow Taylor, BS HES ’13; and wrestler Tyron Woodley, BS Ag ’05. 7 — Sarah Luebbert’s position on the Missouri soccer team’s all-time goals list. Luebbert finished her career with 29 goals and earned firstteam All-SEC honors twice. WINTER 2020 13

A Leading Impact In 2019, the generosity of Mizzou supporters through the Mizzou: Our Time to Lead campaign has opened new doors for students, faculty and citizens in Missouri and beyond. “Again and again, the halls of Jesse have echoed with applause and cheers as we have celebrated the role of philanthropy and how this truly has become our time to lead,” said Mizzou: Our Time to Lead campaign cabinet tri-chair Richard Miller, BA ’70. Check out highlights from the year.

MU Professor Establishes Music Center During nearly four decades at MU, music scholar and teacher Michael Budds has touched the lives of more than 10,000 students, many of those in his popular Jazz, Pop and Rock course. The Curators Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus of Musicology donated $4 million to create the Budds Center for American Music Studies, which will focus on research and performance. Budds, a prolific author and expert on American music, came to MU in 1982. He was the first scholar selected for the Missouri Music Hall of Fame, and he was named a William T. Kemper Fellow for Teaching Excellence in 2000. “Music is both an emotional and an intellectual experience,” he says. “It is my hope that the new center will help expand the understanding and impact of all music through performance, composition and research. From my perspective, without music, the world would be flat.”

For 37 years, Professor Emeritus Michael Budds has captivated MU students across disciplines with lectures that connect music to culture.


NASA Physicist Hits 50 Years of Giving Retired NASA physicist Ron Boain, BS ’65, MS ’67, made his first gift to Mizzou’s physics program in 1969, the same year he had a hand in the first manned mission to the moon. The gift to MU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy was small — $5 — but his annual gifts since then have totaled nearly $25,000. Until August, that is. That’s when he marked 50 years of giving to the department with his largest gift to date: $1.28 million to support student success. The Ronald J. Boain and Catherine J. Rangel Boain Endowment fund supports the professional development of the department’s students with a $1.25 million bequest. He also supported graduate students by donating $30,000 for the Boain PhD Dissertation Award in Physics and the Boain PhD Student Travel Fund. “Throughout my career working in a field that I loved, I faced new problems and challenges,” he says. “In many cases, the solutions drew from the basic principles I learned during my study of physics at MU.”

Cathy and Ron Boain, left, chat with Chancellor Alexander Cartwright after announcing a $1.28 million gift to support physics and astronomy students.

Nobel Laureate Donates Prize Money Mizzou’s first Nobel Prize winner paid the prize money forward to the next generation of students. George P. Smith, Curators Distinguished Professor Emeritus of biological sciences and recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and his spouse, Professor Emerita Marjorie Sable, gave more than $243,000 to support students in the College of Arts and Science.

Professors Emeriti George Smith and Marjorie Sable recount their Nobel Prize experience at the Jefferson Club Annual Dinner on campus in April.

“This might surprise some people, but my first degree was a Bachelor of Arts, not a Bachelor of Science,” Smith says. “My liberal arts education was the springboard for a lifetime of learning and cultural engagement. Margie and I hope that supporting the liberal arts will enrich the lives of future Mizzou students, whatever careers they choose.”

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Who Was I in College? By Wright Thompson, BJ ’01

Now at the peak of his career, a globetrotting author ponders the hold college haunts have over him — who is the younger self he meets upon returning to Booches and Shakespeare’s, and why is he compelled to revisit student days? story by wright thompson, bj ’01

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Every Mizzou graduate knows the most important two places in their memories of college aren’t the Quad or the Columns or a dorm or even part of the actual campus. When we come back, we must get burgers and pizza because they’re delicious, sure, but mostly because they prompt an emotional response that is as complex to articulate as the food is simple to love. It’s part of a cultural language Mizzou people speak. A shibboleth. When my friend and then Head Ball Coach Barry Odom won the recruiting battle for transferring star quarterback Kelly Bryant, I texted him a note of congratulations. The HBC, as he’s saved in my phone, replied in TigerCode with a joyous answer that only a Mizzou grad would think to write and one only a Mizzou grad could decipher. “I’m gonna eat two Booches burgers with a Shakespeare’s slice between them,” he said, and I leaned back and smiled because I knew how he felt. I also know why he felt it because with middle age comes a legion of introspective quests, including trying to understand the ways in which a pizza joint and a pool hall run through the story of my life and the lives of my friends and the lives of many who will read this. Here’s the best way I can explain. Not long ago when my wife and I brought our 18-month-old daughter to Columbia, we brought her to Booches and Shakespeare’s, and I took pictures of her first bites of both. I don’t know what I’ll ever do with those pictures, which mostly show a slightly blurry toddler chewing, but I know it felt like a moment to document. I was much more diligent in photographically stalking those bites than her first steps, I’ll tell you that. She had partaken of the sacraments — the body of Brock and the blood of Norm — and was now a member of the tribe. A side effect of nostalgia is fear, so I spend an irrational amount of time and energy worried that Shakes or Booches or both will be swallowed by whatever new-construction fungus has become endemic to the downtown Columbia cityscape. Most people forget that the news about Shake18 MIZZOUMAGAZINE

speare’s being torn down broke on April Fools’ Day. It set off a storm of a text thread in our group of college friends. We all lost it, predictably. Tony wrote, “Downtown Shakes to be demolished?” That pretty much destroyed whatever else we’d planned on doing the rest of the day. Honestly, if I had to choose between Shakes and Booches versus the Columns … you know what, I shouldn’t finish that sentence because of how things live forever on the internet, but you get the idea, and so I wrote back: “What??” Justin sent a link to the Trib story. “April Fools,” I wrote confidently. “I hate that,” Tony said. “Not April Fools,” Justin wrote. “You sure?” I said. “Yup,” Steve wrote. “Apparently building a new building on top of it. Shakes will be back in first floor. It’s for real.” “I don’t buy it,” Seth wrote. “Any other day, I would.” “Dear Seth!” Tony cracked. “I’ll miss you most of all.” “It makes sense they’re going to try to recreate it,” Daimon wrote, “but I can’t believe a new space will have the same feel.” “It won’t,” Tony said. “You can never go home. Once they recreate Booches and the Blue Note, I’ll be completely homeless.” At this point, I decided to use the training I got at Mizzou and do some reporting. I called Shakespeare’s and got the owner on the phone. Before long, I wrote the group back with the sad news. “It’s real,” I wrote. “I just called.” “I still don’t buy it,” Seth said. “I talked to Kurt,” I replied. “Torn down by end of May. This is real.” “Seth is in deep denial,” Tony wrote. “If it’s true, we have to all get there before it goes,” Seth said, finally accepting reality. “We have a month and a half.”

My job for ESPN regularly brings me in contact with people who are forever building and repairing an identity, to allow them to compete, to deal with doubt and insecurity, to market themselves to consumers. Identity and memory have become themes that I return to again and again. Naturally, this fit seamlessly into my ongoing fascination with why exactly my friends and I care so much about a pizza parlor and a burger joint. Plenty of obvious possibilities come to mind: It’s comforting for aging men and women to visit the places

B O O C H E S : H E AT H C A J A N D I G ; WA L N U T S T R E E T: N OT L E Y H AW K I N S


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Ordering a slice or a burger and sitting knee to knee with me minus 20 years, stripped of my mask and its justification, is a rare gift. We almost never get to get reacquainted with the best version of ourselves, at this place where dreams began, before they got exposed to life and started to decay.

where they were once young, to go looking for that vanishing youth; it’s a place where memories are accessed more easily, where the physical space actually summons those buried memories to the surface. Maybe this is where we can laugh about things we’re glad to have left behind or ponder what might have been or who we might have become. But when I revisit those haunts — and Ernie’s and Sub Shop and so many others — I’m not convinced. Every time I go to Booches or Shakespeare’s, I am joined by the college kid I was when I first fell in love with them. Returning to such places puts us all across a narrow table from our younger selves. Ordering a slice or a burger and sitting knee to knee with me minus 20 years, stripped of my mask and its justification, is a rare gift. We almost never get to get reacquainted with the best version of ourselves, at this place where dreams began, before they got exposed to life and started to decay. I arrived in Columbia in the fall of 1996 with the dream of being a writer. But emotionally and spiritually, I was wandering and in search of a larger purpose. Before long, I met the men on the text thread — Seth, Steve, Justin, Tony, Daimon — and clarified my goal: I wanted to be a magazine writer who created the kinds of stories we loved — deeply reported and yet literary. By the time I left Mizzou, I was energized and nearly monastic in my desire to do right by this newly found and better self. When I think back to what I learned in college, the truth is I learned who I was and what I wanted and, as important, what I didn’t want. That ideas are preserved for inspection in caloric amber at my old college joints, and no matter how busy work or family gets, whenever I return, I am reborn in a way. Four years ago, a group of us flew back to Columbia in the last week before the original Shakespeare’s closed for demolition. We got a suite at the Tiger Hotel to act as home base, should we need a locale for late-night shenanigans. The first night, we emailed the Missourian sports reporters and invited them to meet us at Booches. They asked questions, we told stories, and all of us imagined a different world that seemed far away. I’m putting words in their mouths, but I suspect they wanted to be us and we wanted to be them. Before I went to sleep, one of the Missourian guys had already sent a note of thanks and another wrote in the morning. The next day, we all met at Shakespeare’s. We all have so many memories of the place,


from the smell of pizza to the crumbs on the floor to the Liquor, Guns & Ammo sign, that now it’s hard for me to remember anything that happened during this return meal. I don’t recall the scenes at all, just the feelings. I remembered feeling joy and regret, but I couldn’t pull out any specific image. It mattered enough to me that I flew to Missouri to eat pizza, yet in the manic circus of life, the details slipped away, like so many things. After running a thousand miles a minute for going on 20 years now, today takes up so much of my energy that it can be a struggle to remember. Maybe that’s why I’m so obsessed with it — and why I love just spending a day at Booches and Shakespeare’s. And yes, I often hit both in the same day. I’m not trying to make new memories as much as I am visiting old friends who grew up and disappeared a long time ago. I want back some of what I’ve forgotten or misplaced. Maybe that’s why my memories of these two places come as snapshots, separated by years and stripped of time and context, forming a gauzy, warm montage: I remember my friend Justin wearing a white Cardinals hat, but I can’t tell if he’s young or old. I remember the bar at Shakes on the day of Seth’s graduation, drinking a pitcher of Guinness. I remember balancing knives and forks, a salt shaker, a parm cheese shaker, and a red pepper shaker on a stack of white plates. I remember doing that at 21, at 31, at 41. Four faded pink napkins are slung over my forearm. Longnecks of Stag. Maker’s Mark in sawed-off whiskey glasses. Getting takeout on the Elm Street side with a college girlfriend. Boulevard Wheat and Pale Ale. A party before my wedding. The sound of raw beef hitting the flattop and of clicking pool balls. Pizza Time for Wright. The strange fever dream of the Los Banditos location. A motorcycle or old baseball stars on the wall. Three burgers with a bowl of red. Barbecue chips. Sometimes the fragments come in pairs. I’m at Booches with my dad talking over my classes and my future; then he’s been dead 15 years and I can’t remember the sound of his voice. I’m 43 and with my toddler daughter, and, in her eyes, I suddenly see my father and hear his voice again as she tries to find hers. I’m standing in line with friends for Shakespeare’s slices between classes; then it’s nearly two decades later and we are back with our sons and daughters. It’s senior year and we are at the round window table at Booches, wondering if we might ever find success; then we are at that same table as middle-aged adults returning for a speaking engagement, surrounded by students wanting to know how we went from their seats


to ours. Time really is a construct, a fragile one at that. One of my Mizzou professors, George Kennedy, is standing at the end of the bar eating a tenderloin sandwich for lunch; then a decade later, he’s still standing there. He’ll always be standing there. The bartender at Booches nods at me when I come in, even if it’s been years, and a small, nihilistic part of me knows that the change that’s come to downtown — do you remember coffee at Osama’s or whiskey at Widmans — could one day overtake Shakes and Booches. Columbia is changing. We are all changing. Magazines like this one print class notes in the back, where we get to see who got married, who got promoted and who hit the big time. I’m 43 now, and my friends are all around the same age. Sometimes it feels like we spend 45 percent of our lives trying to be something, 10 percent of our lives being it and

45 percent having been it. We are at the top of the mountain for another decade or so, and then we’ll start the slide down. We rise together, and we fall together. Those class notes will include marriages, children, announcements of retirements, notices of death. But at the two most important restaurants in our old college town, all that is left outside the door. As long as we can go back and wander through the rooms of our past, we can pretend that future will never arrive. It’s pizza time for all of us. There’s time for all of us. There’s always time. M About the author: A decorated writer of literary nonfiction, Wright Thompson, BJ ’01, lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his wife, Sonia, BJ ’02, and their daughter, Wallace. Thompson is a senior writer at ESPN, executive producer of TrueSouth and co-executive producer of Backstory.

Recently Published Wright Thompson is the New York Times bestselling author of The Cost of These Dreams: Sports Stories and Other Serious Business (Penguin Books, 2019).


Ernie Pyle Award, 2010 Dan Jenkins Medal, 2016 WINTER 2020 21








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All these alerts, known in health care lingo as “clinical decision support systems,” are triggered by algorithms written into the electronic health record, or EHR. But the EHR is not just a digital version of the old paper chart physicians dictated and typists tapped out for each patient. It is a technological tool that makes care safer, more efficient and less expensive. And it provides an enormous vein of data for medical researchers. “There are a lot of bees buzzing around that record,” says pediatrician Tom Selva, chief medical information officer for MU Health Care. “Not all of them are doing the same thing at the same time, but they allow you to have a disinterested machine sitting in the back looking at all the data and maybe seeing the patterns we don’t see. That’s cool stuff.” The authors of those algorithms — the beekeepers who make the cool stuff possible — are members of the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation. The institute is the IT department born a decade ago from a partnership between the University of Missouri and Cerner Corp., the Kansas City-based health care IT company. Ten years into the relationship, the institute has helped transform Mizzou into a national leader in technological innovation.

a unique arrangement. Rather than perpetuating a traditional vendor-client relationship, they created the institute, a Columbia branch of Cerner devoted to using technology to improve the health of Missourians. “When you have a vendor as your IT company, you call them when you have a problem,” says Stevan Whitt, a critical care physician and chief medical officer of MU Health Care. “It’s you giving them work to do. A lot of times, they charge you for it, so it’s not like they’re unwilling to do it, but they don’t have the same time and quality imperatives that you do. But Tiger Institute works on-site and is part of the university. When we call them with a problem, it’s not my problem, it’s our problem.” When health care providers spot issues such as opioid addiction, unnecessary blood transfusions or sepsis, they lead a team that investigates ways of dealing with the problem. Each project team includes at least one institute staffer who can customize Cerner algorithms, and the new technology has legs. For example, when Cerner observes high blood transfusion rates at another hospital, it recommends the program designed at MU. When the institute was created, hospitals nationwide were scrambling to comply with the federal HITECH Act, which promised financial incentives to providers that switched from paper patient records to EHRs and met the government’s “meaningful use” standards. Rather than sitting in one filing cabinet, an electronic record is more easily accessible wherever patients seek treatment in a health system. That gives providers instant information about a patient’s medical history and helps them make efficient, informed decisions. After digitizing MU’s hospitals and clinics, the institute expanded the EHR to include neighboring hospitals in Osage Beach and Jefferson City. So, if a patient sees a primary care physician near the Lake of the Ozarks and a specialist in Columbia, the providers can coordinate care. Patients in any of the three health systems can use HEALTHConnect, an app the institute developed that lets patients schedule appointments, view their records and renew prescriptions on their phone or computer. More than 100,000 patients have such accounts. Since achieving the meaningful use standard in 2014, the push has been toward improving outcomes.



hen MU physicians prescribe opioid painkillers, they receive an automated alert if the patient in question is at high risk for abuse. When doctors order a blood transfusion for patients whose hemoglobin level is above the minimum threshold of 7 grams per deciliter of blood, they are reminded that the transfusion might not be necessary. And when a combination of vital signs shows a patient is deteriorating — and possibly in the early stages of the deadly infectious disease sepsis — a signal summons a nurse immediately and ensures a physician will get to the bedside within 15 minutes.

In the fall of 2009, former University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee and former Cerner CEO Neal Patterson agreed to what was then 24 MIZZOUMAGAZINE

The institute, which has more than 180 employees and interns, has helped Mizzou earn national recognition for its use of technology from the

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). In 2012, MU Health Care received the highest grade — Stage 7 — for its inpatient facilities, which placed it among the top 1.9 percent of all U.S. hospitals. The next year, it reached Stage 7 for its ambulatory clinics. In 2015, HIMSS bestowed upon MU its highest honor, the Davies Award of Excellence. “When we won the Davies Award, we had to demonstrate to auditors that we had saved $60 million,” Selva says. “Yes, we saved $60 million getting rid of medical records rooms, repurposing the staff, paper we weren’t using and patient mishaps that weren’t occurring.”

After digitizing MU’s hospitals and clinics, the institute expanded the EHR to include neighboring hospitals in Osage Beach and Jefferson City. So, if a patient sees a primary care physician near the Lake of the Ozarks and a specialist in Columbia, the providers can coordinate care. And the clinical decision supports are paying off, as well. In the fight against sepsis, the Tiger Institute customized an algorithm that alerts doctors and nurses based on the National Early Warning Score. The NEWS system assigns points to a patient’s vital signs and compiles a score — the higher the score, the sicker the patient. During a three-month pilot phase of implementing NEWS in University Hospital’s medical specialties unit, the mortality rate dropped from 3.4 percent to 2.5 percent, which translates to eight lives saved. The notification is now in place throughout the hospital. The opioid alert reminds doctors who are writing prescriptions that high-risk patients need to sign an opioid treatment agreement. The document is scanned into the EHR and lets other doctors know they shouldn’t prescribe painkillers to the patient. The alert also suggests which patients should be prescribed the opioid rescue drug naloxone so loved ones can administer it in case of an overdose. During the alert system’s first two months in use, doctors accessed opioid treatment agreements four times more often than before and wrote more than twice as many prescriptions for naloxone as they did previously.

In the blood management alert system’s first year, MU Health Care reduced the number of transfusions by 13 percent, saved $195,000 in blood acquisition costs and avoided spending up to $1.14 million in indirect costs associated with transfusions. “It is rare to visit an institution like ours where the CEO will tell you, ‘One of the foundations of our success is our IT department,’ ” Selva says. “But that’s true here because they are us. It’s a partnership. Health care is really about ingesting information and making decisions and sharing information. Well, health IT and health care have become a very blurred line when all the technology is brought to bear.” M WINTER 2020 25












POCAHONTAS Think you know Pocahontas? Think again. Historian Karen Ordahl Kupperman, BA ’61, rejects Disney clichés to deliver a harrowing new portrait of a young woman — and several English boys — caught precariously between cultures. Rarely given credit, these teenage emissaries often held the fate of the New World in their hands. BY CARSON VAUGHAN


© N E W -Y O R K H I S T O R I C A L S O C I E T Y

H Heading home didn’t mean what it used to — what it should have. So many others had been stripped from their tribes and displayed like exotic animals, but Pocahontas — just 20 years old — had crossed the ocean of her own accord. She’d married an English captain, conceived with him a child, converted to Christianity and taken a new name: Lady Rebecca Wolfe. And here in London, roughly 3,800 miles from Tsenacomaca, from her village in Chesapeake Bay, Lady Rebecca Wolfe was treated like royalty. Hosted by the Virginia Company, she attended lavish masques, dined with English elites, dressed in the finest clothing: drop pearl earrings, a fan of three feathers, a white felt hat of bleached beaver fur. Here was proof, the company claimed, that native peoples could reject their “country idolatry.” Here, at last, were “the first fruits of Virginia.” For 10 long months, Pocahontas lived a foreign life in a foreign land, cinched tight in a foreign costume, a labyrinthine apparatus of linen and whalebone, smock and corset, scratchy and stiff and unbearably hot. And now, finally, she was heading home. The spires of London faded in the distance as the Thames River, fouled with sewage, stretched on ahead, as a putrid wind filled the sails and pushed them ever closer to her beginnings; back where her father, the great Powhatan, ruled with reciprocity and respect for his people; where the rivers ran free and clear into the bay; where the women, unburdened by starched collars and radical displays of wealth, commanded authority “that English women could only imagine,” writes colonial scholar Karen Ordahl Kupperman, BA ’61, in her new book, Pocahontas & The English Boys: Caught Between Cultures in Early Virginia. But it didn’t feel right, and nothing made sense, and her lungs ached with every labored breath. Yes, she was heading home, but it was “sore against her will,” according to at least one London report. Because this was not a traditional homecoming. This was not a return to her old life after a long and otherworldly sojourn across the Atlantic. Charged


with converting her people to Christianity — with dismantling their most fundamental beliefs — this was a betrayal she literally couldn’t bear, a betrayal unthinkable just years before. Struggling for breath as the Thames licked the bow, likely feverish and stiff, she must have known her time was running out. She must have wondered: Who am I, and what have I become? It must have felt like ages ago — or was it just yesterday? — that Capt. John Smith, bruised and bearded, first stumbled into her father’s court. She couldn’t have known then, of course, how much her life was about to change, how quickly youth could fade, how different two cultures could be or how perilous the in-between. She couldn’t have predicted, back in December 1607, what this white man’s presence would mean to her people, how radically it would twist her own makeup or the life she would leave behind. How she would one day find herself waiting for a favorable wind on a fetid river, her lungs raw with tuberculosis, her heart cracked wide open by the prospect of treason against her tribe. In the beginning, John Smith was simply another newcomer, terrified and tired and subject to her father’s command. The most crippling drought in nearly 800 years had greeted the English upon landing. They lacked adequate supplies and, perhaps more crucial, adequate leaders. Most had been hired by the Virginia Company, not for their survival skills or community planning but their service in Europe’s religious wars. They had chosen a swampy, inhospitable site up the James River, prioritizing the security of a small peninsula over clean water and suitable farmland. Jamestown soon grew hungry, desperate, irritable. “The problem in Virginia,” writes Kupperman, a professor of history at New York University, “was that those who were in charge of the colony knew a lot about European warfare, but almost nothing about anything else.” Eventually, a small band decamped from Jamestown in search of more supplies. Only John Smith survived. Ambushed by the Powhatans, they marched him up and down the Chesapeake, one village to the next. He watched in horror as their priests performed a series of rituals, each one — he was certain — a wicked prelude to his sacrifice. When he finally appeared before the great Powhatan himself, sheathed in raccoon skins, they forced him to lay his head between “two great stones,” according to Smith’s account. Beside him stood several club-wielding men, ready to “beat out his brains” while some 200 “grim courtiers” looked on. Powhatan rejected his pleas, but just as Smith was giving up, steeling himself for the end, “the king’s dearest daughter” darted forward, formed a shield above his body and held her head above his own. Pocahontas likely would have remembered it differently in those final miserable hours, scholars now argue, if she had the strength to remember it at all. Not as a sacrifice but rather an adoption ceremony in which Smith was “reborn as a Powhatan man,” Kupperman writes. Pocahontas hadn’t saved John Smith. She hadn’t protected him from her father’s henchmen. WINTER 2020 27


Previous spread: Scholars say depictions of Pocahontas bravely intervening on behalf of a settler may miss the mark. Pocahontas Saving the Life of Captain John Smith by John Gadsby Chapman, circa 1836-1840.

“Powhatan kept the English off balance by setting up threatening situations and then undermining the danger, and Pocahontas was an excellent emissary for these strategies.”

Depiction of Pocahontas. Matoax by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1921


She’d simply performed her role — they all had — every bit as rehearsed as the masques she later attended in London. In fact, just two days after the ceremony, Powhatan promised Smith “the Country of Capahowsick” and to “forever esteem him as his son Nantaquoud” if he were to deliver two cannons, a grindstone and several other items from the colony. “Powhatan saw Smith’s capture as an opportunity to make the Englishman his client or vassal and to use him to get the manufactured goods he wanted from the colony,” Kupperman writes. Regardless, Pocahontas began making regular visits to Jamestown. Accompanied by her father’s men, they brought food to the hungry colonists and a welcome reprieve from the fort’s cloistered environment. Still just a girl, Pocahontas taught the boys how to cartwheel, throwing arms and feet in the air, running freely about the colony, evoking laughter where recently there had been so little. Like Thomas Savage, the young English boy gifted to her father, Pocahontas was bridging the cultural divide. Day by day, she was soaking up the language, the broad strokes of their religious beliefs, the structure of colonial society. However gradual, her perspective shifted. She was still her father’s daughter, of course, still a young Powhatan woman. But eventually, she was no longer a stranger to English custom, no longer impartial to the colony’s fate. In January 1609, Capt. Smith returned again to her village, the whole region still crippled with drought. Her father had promised him a shipload of corn in return for a grindstone, 50 swords and a laundry list of other items, but when Smith and his men arrived, Powhatan seemed unusually guarded, ordering them to leave their weapons in the boat. “Some doubt I have of your coming hither,” he told Smith, “that makes me not so kindly seek to relieve you as I would: for many do inform me, your coming hither is not for trade, but to invade my people and possess my country.” That evening, as Smith and his band settled in for a sleepless night, Pocahontas snuck into camp. She told them to leave immediately, that her father was plotting to kill them all. She refused their gifts with tears in her eyes, according to Smith’s account, fearful of being caught with them, and retreated back into the woods. Kupperman suspects she may have been acting once again. Understand that Pocahontas was not the fawning native princess Disney would have one believe, she says. “Powhatan kept the English off balance by setting up threatening situations and then undermining the danger, and Pocahontas was an excellent emissary for these strategies.”

Still, the record is hardly clear. Perhaps her concern was genuine. Perhaps by then she’d grown too fond of Smith and his men to ignore their fate. As Kupperman’s new research illustrates, these young messengers — both Powhatan and English — were constantly hanging in the balance, charged with gathering information for their people yet burdened with truths neither side quite understood. They repeatedly found themselves navigating a blank map between two cultures, yawing to one side, careening toward the other, the final destination unclear, struggling always to stay afloat under conflicting loyalties. Distrustful of the English, her father eventually moved his people farther inland, and for several years, Pocahontas stopped visiting the Europeans. A brief reprieve from the cultural juggling, from the many gray layers of interpretation and translation, of subtle correction and sly calibration, a burden few others in her tribe could fully grasp, her own father included. Now that Pocahontas was considered an adult, Powhatan arranged her marriage to a Powhatan man, though it wouldn’t last long. In 1613, she returned again to Jamestown, this time against her will. She’d been sold out to the colonists by the chief of a neighboring tribe, coaxed aboard an English ship and held for ransom: for the English prisoners under Powhatan’s guard, for stolen tools and guns, for more corn. She would never see her husband, her father, most of her tribe again. She wasn’t smiling this time. No cartwheels. No laughter. She was still an English captive, still in Jamestown, when she met John Rolfe, but he insisted the love between them was real. She reflected “a great appearance of love to me,” he wrote, taught him how to grow sweet tobacco and likely a host of

Some believe Pocahontas was the earliest Native American convert to Christianity in the English colonies. Baptism of Pocahontas by John Gadsby Chapman, 1839

other skills sorely needed in the colony. Whether Pocahontas felt the same or simply “appeared” so, we don’t know. Nor do we know how truly she believed in the Christian God, but she was baptized nonetheless. When the acting governor learned of her budding relationship with Rolfe, of her education in Puritanism by a theologian in the colony, he scrapped his plans for a trade. Her conversion was worth far more to the Virginia Company than anything Powhatan could offer. Here was proof of concept, the results they needed to garner support and funding for Jamestown back in England. “Many across Europe believed they were living in the Last Days foretold in the Book of Revelations,” Kupperman says. “God had revealed the existence of these continents previously unknown to Europeans so that their people could be converted, thus bringing about the culmination of history. Pocahontas’ conversion was also proof that God favored the Virginia venture.” Of course, in teaching Rolfe how to grow sweet tobacco — the colony’s only profitable export — Pocahontas had already handed Jamestown its greatest boon to date. But the apparent conversion of the great Powhatan’s daughter to Christianity was an opportunity they couldn’t afford to ignore. Thus, not long after the birth of Thomas, her first and only child, she found herself halfway across the Atlantic, the Christian wife of an English gentleman, supposedly the “first fruits of Virginia,” gearing up for her lavish London debut, her old life sinking below the horizon.

“Whatever physical illness she had was made far worse by the stress she felt,” Kupperman writes, adding another new wrinkle to the narrative, and soon it was all too much. Just 30 miles downstream, Pocahontas was taken ashore at Gravesend, one foot amongst the living, another in death, straddling worlds yet again. Who was she in those final hours? A Powhatan woman? An English elite? She’d spent most of her young life between warring cultures, her loyalties divided, expanded, twisted, shot through. And she’d given birth to a child with the blood of both. But her own acculturation — no matter how complete — was one thing; converting the rest of her people was quite another, and in the end, the very idea may have killed her. “As long as she was in England, or even in the English colony, she could occupy the role of the celebrated first convert,” Kupperman writes. “But to go among her own people and try to subvert the very basis of their culture and traditions must have seemed impossible to her.” On March 21, 1617, Pocahontas was buried in the chancel of St. George’s Church in Gravesend, one final reflection of her newfound status. She was just 20 years old, the weight of the world lifted — at last — from her shoulders. Soon after her burial, the ship continued down the Thames, bound for Tsenacomaca, her husband and child on board. M Carson Vaughan’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Paris Review Daily and Outside. His first book of literary nonfiction, Zoo Nebraska: The Dismantling of an American Dream, was published by Little A in April of 2019.

John Rolfe, above left, and Pocahontas, above right, married in 1614 and two years later traveled to England, where she would have been known as Lady Rebecca. Rolfe’s image is excerpted from John Rolfe and Pocahontas by James William Glass, circa 1850; Lady Rebecca’s Booton Hall portrait is by an unknown 18th-century artist based on a 1616 engraving by Simon van de Passe.

Who was she in those final hours? A Powhatan woman? An English elite? She’d spent most of her young life between warring cultures, her loyalties divided, expanded, twisted, shot through.

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STRoNG S T O RY B Y E R I K P O T T E R * M I Z Z O U M A G A Z I N E * W I N T E R 2 0 2 0

More on fraternity and sorority life at Mizzou: fsl.missouri.edu




A century and a half ago, five young men gathered in Academic Hall to be initiated into the Missouri Alpha chapter of Phi Kappa Psi. Together, they formed not only the first fraternity at the University of Missouri but also the first fraternity at a public university west of the Mississippi River. Since then, fraternity and sorority members have not only put the sweat and spirit into university traditions but also served campus and Columbia through their volunteerism and philanthropy. Last year alone, Greek chapters raised more than $1 million for nonprofits. Recent changes adopted by campus, Greek students and alumni are moving fraternity and sorority life into a chapter of renewed dedication to the values they are based on: leadership, scholarship, service, brotherhood and sisterhood.



N BID DAY, tidy lines of students the length of Rothwell Gymnasium wait anxiously to discover which sorority houses have accepted them as members. Emma Socolich stands in one of the lines. She holds a white envelope with her house assignment inside. Waiting to open it, she sways back and forth to calm her nerves. The education major from Hinsdale, Illinois, wants to join Sigma Kappa. “It’s a fun way to do community service and meet people you wouldn’t meet otherwise,” she says of joining a sorority. “It’s important to give back to your community wherever you are.” Socolich represents the “secret sauce” Dean of Students Jeff Zeilenga has been extolling recently. Zeilenga, along with strong leadership from Greek students and alumni, has been working to create a values-based change of culture in fraternity and sorority life for the past two years. “They are the same values we’ve always held, but we’re changing the culture and making the values a priority,” Zeilenga says. The key to changing the culture is to recruit for the culture you’re trying to build: finding students who are devoted to service, leadership, scholarship, sisterhood and brotherhood. Recruiting people like that, Zeilenga says, will help Mizzou avoid harmful, high-risk behaviors that have brought scrutiny to Greek chapters across the country. One example of the shift already underway at Mizzou is the scene on bid day. In the past, Greek Town was an outdoor party on that day, and sometimes it got out of control. For the past

two years, the executive board of Interfraternity Council, the governing council for many of the fraternities in Greek Town, vowed that, out of respect, their members would stay out of Greek Town until bid day was over and let the event be about sorority life. Outside of Rothwell Gymnasium on bid day 2019, the streets of Greek Town are quiet. Fraternity pledges fill an auditorium in a different building, waiting to hear their house assignments. Inside the gym, Socolich tears open her envelope and jumps in the air. She’s gotten into Sigma Kappa. “I’m really excited — they were really nice and supportive of all the girls,” she says, as she runs to her new sisters in their hugging, jumping and screaming. *



“When it’s done well, the Greek experience can take a place like Mizzou — a school with access to everything but that at times can be overwhelming to a person because it’s so big — and give you the best of both worlds,” says Bruce McKinney, BS BA ’74, a Delta Upsilon member. “You can also form relationships that are truly lifelong and meaningful.” The next four pages celebrate the Greek experience done well: the students and alumni who exemplify the best of fraternity and sorority life — men and women who have put into practice the values those organizations espouse. The stories paint a picture of a proud past and a progressive future.

“The key to changing the culture is to recruit for the culture you’re trying to build: finding students who are devoted to service, leadership, scholarship, sisterhood and brotherhood.” — Jeff Zeilenga, dean of students

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AS SEVERAL FRATERNITY BROTHERS gathered for a mandatory meeting in the chapter house’s common room, a few seniors stood to explain what was about to happen with the upcoming Campustowne Races. The young men, already lining up jobs for after graduation, easily could have quit caring and just done the minimum. Instead, they spoke with a voice of earnest authority. “They talked about how the whole event was bigger than the races and about the impact we could make on the larger community,” remembers Steve Barbarick, BA ’90, a Delta Upsilon brother who recently stepped down as president and chief operating officer of Tractor Supply Co. Campustowne Races was a large event that raised money for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri. Fraternity and sorority teams raced one another in pushcarts down Rollins Street, from Greek Town to Brady Commons (now the MU Student Center). Planning the event required coordination, vision and a lot of helping hands. Rooting their task in a greater purpose galvanized the brothers 32 MIZZOUMAGAZINE

and created the energetic, cooperative spirit they needed to succeed. Barbarick, as an underclassman, took a lesson from those seniors. It informed his leadership style throughout his career in retail and in life. “Retailers sell a bunch of widgets with the goal of making money,” says Barbarick, explaining the textbook view of his business. “That’s not how Tractor Supply sees itself. We are here to serve a greater cause.” For Barbarick, that meant putting employees in a position to meet their customers’ needs so those customers can live life on their terms. It meant establishing relationships with suppliers that both sides can feel good about. And on and on. “Having the ability to lead is not a privilege but rather a burden of responsibility to the success of those around you,” he says. “I found that, in the fraternity house or any leadership role I’ve ever had, leaders who make it about themselves lose the opportunity to do something far greater.”


Roll Toward the Good

LUCINDA RICE-PETRIE couldn’t believe what had just happened. As a Mizzou freshman in 1964, she attended a lecture by journalist Sander Vanocur, raised her hand during the Q-and-A and got an answer to her question. “This place is amazing,” she thought. Fast forward 27 years. It’s 1992, and Rice-Petrie, BS Ed ’68, MA ’69, as international director of alumnae programming for Delta Gamma Fraternity, attends a convention where a donor pledges to match $50,000 raised by any chapter to start a campus lecture series. Rice-Petrie, recalling her seminal moment at Mizzou, resolves to start a program here. By 1996, she finds the $50,000 through Mizzou Advancement and partners with the Office of Campus Activities in Student Affairs to plan the first Delta Gamma Foundation Lectureship in Values and Ethics, which happens in 1999. Rice-Petrie’s efforts — 25 lectures to date — not only have helped bring to campus the likes of primatologist Jane Goodall and fashion icon Tim Gunn but also increase the lecture series’ endowment to more than $500,000. “The speakers have broadened my perspective of what human beings who do the right thing can accomplish,” she says.


GROWING UP IN ST. LOUIS in the 1940s and ’50s, Lake Stith paid attention to the city’s leading African American men. Kappa Alpha Psi, a historically black Greek-letter fraternity, had an alumni chapter in town. “They were some of the prominent black men in St. Louis,” Stith remembers. “Men of achievement.” When Stith enrolled at Mizzou in 1958, campus had no Kappa Alpha Psi chapter. So, in March 1961, he joined with others to charter the Delta Omega chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi. They prized brotherhood and academic excellence. “My father told me that if I wanted to succeed, I had to work twice as hard as everyone else.” And work he did, graduating in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, then practicing as an electrical engineer at McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis. In 1966, he signed up for officer training school in the Air Force and stayed 26 years, rising to the rank of colonel. Looking back, Stith says, his fraternity days gave him all he could have hoped for. “I still remember the Homecomings and the brotherhood I shared with the young men at that time,” he says. “I feel blessed I was able to become a member of Kappa Alpha Psi and become a man of achievement.”

S T I T H , G R E E K W E E K : S AV I TA R P H OTO S ; S O R O R I T Y S I S T E R S : S A M O ’ K E E F E


Greek Week’s connection to the Special Olympics has been going strong since 1984.

BACK IN 1984, Greek Week service activities were arms-length affairs in which students donated food or money to charity. But they didn’t interact with the people they were serving. All that was about to change at the hands of Service Committee members Michael Basler, BSF ’85, a Sigma Chi; Mike Kateman, BS BA ’85, MA ’91, PhD ’17, a Beta Sigma Psi; and Susan Salzman, BJ ’85, a Chi Omega. Basler had a connection to the Special Olympics, which was holding a regional track meet the Saturday of Greek Week. The trio proposed that

Greek students would be paired with a Special Olympics athlete, attend the track meet and cheer on the competitors. The plan had its skeptics, and even Salzman wondered anxiously whether anyone would come. Everyone did. Then the races started. One of the fraternity brothers stood near the finish line, rooting for his runner. After the race, the student ran onto the track, peeled off his Beta Theta Pi shirt and gave it to the runner. A ripple had started, and, by the end of the day, nearly every athlete was wearing a Greek-letter shirt or hat.

OPERATOR? LONG DISTANCE, PLEASE IN 1954, Phyllis McDandel Reesman’s sorority sisters took up an unusual collection. Paula Kurtz and others bought a plastic bank in the shape of a telephone and carried it from room to room in the Kappa Alpha Theta house gathering any coins the women could spare. Reesman was recently engaged. But her fiancé, Dale Reesman, BA ’53, JD ’59, who had graduated from Mizzou two years earlier and joined the U.S. Army, was stationed in Germany. She longed to hear his voice, but at the equivalent of $100 in today’s dollars, a 3-minute international call was out of the question. She didn’t have it. That is, not until her sisters presented her with the “phone bank” full of change. Reesman held the bank and cried. She had never felt a greater sense of belonging to her sorority. Kurtz, BS Ed ’56, who lives Columbia, and Reesman, BA ’55, MSW ’81, who lives in Boonville, Missouri, have grown even closer since then, and both have remained involved in the sorority. “It’s the quality of the people,” Kurtz says. “You want to keep them in your life.”

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AS A KID, Gavin Spoor used to climb into his neighbor’s tractor and dream of owning his own farm. But when he got older, he recognized that, without a family farm to inherit or the money to buy his own operation, his dream was unrealistic. Reluctantly, he put it aside. He would go to college, get a degree in agriculture and work in corporate farming. Then, after a couple decades, he could buy his own land. In that spirit of compromise, he left Martinsburg, Missouri, for Columbia. At Mizzou, Spoor joined Alpha Gamma Rho. Immediately, he began talking to fraternity alumni who encouraged him to stop putting his dream on pause and to start working for it now. Spoor concluded that starting with a few acres was within his reach if he put in the work. Excited, he began to wonder, if he could pursue his dream life immediately, why stay in college? He considered leaving after his first semester. His fraternity brothers, however, advised him to stick around. Think big picture, they said. Think about the lessons you’ll learn and the networks you’ll build. They persuaded him — and then stood by him. His brothers kept him focused on being a full-time student while he also built his business. He started with 6 acres of soybeans. In the past two years, he has converted them to popcorn, which has a much higher profit margin, and expanded the operation to 200 acres. Now a junior, Spoor distributes bags, sacks and jars of Spoor Farms popcorn to 10 retail locations, including his high school concession stand. And his agriculture studies are still going strong. “Alpha Gamma Rho is the reason I stayed at the University of Missouri,” Spoor says. “Those guys wanted me to stay. They knew that I had it in me.” 34 MIZZOUMAGAZINE


Grow Your Own

HUONG TRUONG, BJ ’18, came to Mizzou thinking she knew what fraternities and sororities were all about, and she wasn’t interested. She grew up in Oklahoma in a large Vietnamese American community. When she looked for a similar group on campus, she found the Asian American Association. She noticed that many of the organization’s leaders also were members of Alpha Phi Gamma National Sorority Inc., an Asian-interest sorority that is part of the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC). Huong’s skepticism toward Greek life gave way to interest. Truong’s desire to tell the stories of marginalized communities is what brought her to Mizzou, where she majored in photojournalism. She discovered that she could serve those communities through a sorority. She also saw strong relationships. “I found sisterhood,” she says. “It goes beyond friendship. It’s a lifelong relationship.” Huong eventually served three years as president of MGC, where she worked to make campus more inclusive. Before long, Truong had to choose a graduate school. Kathryn O’Hagan, assistant director in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL), asked if she had considered a career in student affairs. She hadn’t. Until then. Truong had been accepted not only into a master’s program in photojournalism but also one in educational leadership and policy analysis with an emphasis in student affairs. She chose the latter. She now works as a graduate assistant in the FSL office, advising programs such as Greek Week and Greek Allies. Because of the trust she’s built among students, staff and administrators, she can continue making Mizzou a more welcoming place. “It’s such a fulfilling thing,” she says.

M Y E R S , H O L M E S : S A M O ’ K E E F E ; F R AT E R N I T Y B R OT H E R S : C O U RT E S Y K E V I N H A S S E L F E L D

Go, Babe, Go!

MOLLY MYERS had been taking her son, Will, to Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center in Columbia for six years. When Will first visited, he was 2 years old and unable to walk or talk. He is missing a part of his brain allowing him to reach across the midpoint of his body. Will’s ability to perform tasks such as eating, speaking and walking were delayed. At Cedar Creek, he rode horses with the assistance of staff and volunteers from Mizzou’s Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. That activity helped to develop his core muscles and gave him a feeling for the hip movement needed for a proper walking gait. Myers, BS HES ’03, hoped the therapy would be beneficial but never expected just how much Will would grow with the program — until, one day, he spoke. “Go, Babe, go!” Will said, sitting atop his favorite horse, Babe. That sentence was Will’s first. Although just three words, Myers says she started crying immediately. “I was so happy he strung words together, and he was commanding the horse at the same time,” she says. “I thought my heart might explode, it was so good.” Myers is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma herself. As a Mizzou student, she was active in her chapter and took part in its service mission, volunteering with what is now MizzouThon and visiting pediatric patients at MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Will is now 8 years old and still rides regularly at Cedar Creek with the help of Kappa Kappa Gamma volunteers. The meaning of that isn’t lost on Myers. “You just never know when you might need something that you once contributed to,” she says. “Be present where you are and in what you are doing; it just might come full circle years later.”

From Mizzou to Microsoft

AT PRESS TIME, Allison Holmes, BJ ’19, was set to graduate in December with a second bachelor’s degree (business administration). She’ll leave the place where she served as the president of the Epsilon Psi chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, a leader in the National Association of Black Journalists Alé student chapter, a site leader for Mizzou Alternative Breaks and a member of the Alumni Association Student Board. And where she befriended seemingly half of campus. She is headed to Seattle where she’ll work as a product marketing manager for Microsoft. Her growth on campus started as soon as she arrived. A self-described shy kid from Sugar Land, Texas, Holmes was determined to get involved right away. Her grandmother, mother and older sister are all Delta Sigma Theta Sorority members, so Holmes started there. More than just accepting her as a member, her new sisters recruited her to be chapter president during her senior year. Holmes says she was shocked: “They said, ‘We see these leadership attributes in you. We want to push you to do this.’ ” Apparently, Microsoft saw the same qualities. After completing an internship with the company last summer, she landed a full-time job and was placed in their competitive ACE Rotation Program for promising new employees. “You never know where life can take you,” she says. “I’m always pushing to do my best work, putting myself out there and not limiting myself.”


The weekend before Kevin Hasselfeld went home to St. Louis to start chemotherapy for testicular cancer, his fraternity brothers threw him a party. Many shaved their heads in solidarity. The gesture felt good, but during subsequent months of treatment and recovery, a quieter kind of support sustained him. “My [Delta Upsilon] pledge brothers would message me, following up to see how I was doing,” says Hasselfeld, BS Acc, M Acc ’11. “That meant a lot.” Now an assistant controller at a software company in Overland Park, Kansas, he knows what fraternities are all about: “coming together in times of difficulty or happiness and really having each other’s backs.” WINTER 2020 35


HOOFING IT Lace up the old hiking boots and walk out onto the soil you’re studying with an award-winning teacher. Story by Erik Potter


the Hinkson Creek flood plain a flat masterpiece of nature formed by erosion and flooding. The students consult a specialist’s map that locates, names and describes local soils. Motavalli has carefully chosen the tour’s stopping points to animate the plat, to show the various soils’ properties and their effects on pollutants that might enter the creek. But he is also after learning that comes in through the senses: seeing up close the colors and textures of silty, dark flood-plain soil; feeling it spongy underfoot; touching and smelling the particular vegetation that grows in and on it; and experiencing the burn in one’s thighs brought on by the descent from a loess-capped hilltop. The patch of map labeled Haymond silt loam is called Hinkson Field by everyone else. It’s a grassy athletic field smack in the middle of the Hinkson Creek flood plain. And flood it does. Routinely. Motavalli gestures east to a thin screen of trees and asks students what they observe. Sitting about 25 feet above the flood plain is a row of houses with more beyond. Then he directs students’ eyes northward and skyward. Necks crane to view the summit near where their hike began. “Native Americans often camped and built their burial mounds on the blufftops overlooking rivers and streams,” he says. Motavalli and the students finally cross the Hinkson, where questions arise about pollutants impairing the stream and how land use could affect them: Is there enough vegetation along the creek to reduce pollutants in runoff? How would the plants affect stream bank erosion? What are the ramifications of putting a subdivision here? Tradeoffs abound. But, for now, it’s early in the semester. Motavalli is hard at work kindling students’ interest in their subject and encouraging them to wrestle with its issues. He frames the tour as “a miniature Corps of Discovery expedition where students come to see campus as a microcosm of a world facing many environmental challenges and land-use decisions.” But, unlike Lewis and Clark’s journey, students can pop right back onto the main campus to hit their next class. Plus … no wild bears. M If you are Peter Motavalli, center, the world is your classroom. On the fall semester’s first walking tour, Motavalli leads his Soils and Environment class down to the Hinkson Creek flood plain behind the Hearnes Center.


he August morning is already hot when Peter Motavalli’s Soils and Environment students gather on high ground at a tree line near the southern edge of campus. Behind them, acres of asphalt parking roll toward the Hearnes Center. Before them, a rocky, wooded hill falls about 140 feet to the flood plain of Hinkson Creek. With Motavalli in the lead slinging a soil-coring tool like a walking stick, they strike out down a narrow gravel path. “I like to think of the whole campus as a living laboratory,” says the professor of soil fertility and plant nutrition, firm in his belief that students can only learn just so much behind a desk about how land management affects runoff, erosion and stormwater. His methods earned him a 2019 William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. Soon, Motavalli and 22 undergraduates step off the path into scrub grass and pause near power transmission lines, still high above the meandering creek. Motavalli prompts the students to begin practicing the professional skill of using maps and observations to orient themselves in the landscape’s changing soils, vegetation, slope and elevation. He asks why the spot is covered in scrub grass rather than trees. They correctly call out the power lines overhead and explain that the land has been cleared and is mowed periodically. Motavalli draws their attention to the soil under their feet known as Weller silt loam. This wind-blown loess (rhymes with fuss) deposited in thicker layers on summits during the glacial period improves the soil for agriculture. He also mentions a nearby Native American burial ground. Why, he asks, might they have lived up here? It’s a question he’ll return to. They continue along the path, which now descends from the summit. The trail has turned rocky, and before long, everyone breaks a sweat. Along the slope, Motavalli rams the soil corer into the ground, but the stony earth makes for slow going. His students surmise correctly that, over centuries, erosion has been removing topsoil, leaving behind the underlying rocks. They walk east now. The ground levels, and Motavalli tries the probe again. This time, he removes a dark, 6-inch core of silty soil — Haymond silt loam. It’s confirmation they have reached

WINTER 2020 37


Under the Gun A veteran journalist recounts how, fresh out of J-School, he learned his trade on the frontlines of war in Central America.



he wipers slapped across the rainsmeared windshield as we sped through downtown San Salvador. Nelson Ayala clutched the steering wheel to keep us on the road in the torrential downpour. It was already two hours past dark, and it felt way too late to be out on the desolate streets in this part of town. Suddenly, a body appeared in the headlights just ahead of us, sprawled on the pavement. Ayala swerved to avoid it and kept going. “Shouldn’t we stop to help?” I asked. “It’s not convenient,” he replied, wagging a finger. “You don’t know who that person might be or why he is there. We’ll call an ambulance from the house.” It was June 16, 1983, my first day in El Salvador, my first day as a professional reporter. I’d arrived that afternoon, a month after graduating with a master’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism. I’d made a beeline from the airport to the Camino Real Hotel, headquarters for the foreign press agencies covering the civil war. After meeting with CBS executives who had visited Mizzou that spring, I had managed to secure credentials and radio gear from the company. I would be CBS’s “stringer,” or free-

lance reporter, in the war-ravaged country. I only had $50 to my name. Ayala, the CBS driver whom I met in the network’s bureau, had offered to put me up until I could scrape together the funds to find a place of my own. He steered the Land Cruiser through a wrought-iron gate and into his garage, just down the street from the body. He made the call from upstairs and flipped off the lights. Twenty minutes later, we watched from the window as an ambulance silently approached, its red strobe flashing in the rain. Two silhouetted figures hopped out, bundled the body into the vehicle and drove off. “You have to be careful,” Ayala admonished with another wag of the finger. “That person is dead for a reason. You stay away from dead people if you don’t want to end up dead yourself.” This was my first lesson in how to survive in a war zone. For myself and a generation of young journalists arriving in Central America in the early 1980s, the armed conflicts in El Salvador and Nicaragua — and to a lesser extent Guatemala — were to become the crucible where we learned our trade and forged our careers. The Cold War was still on, and the Reagan administration saw the revolutions then sweeping the isthmus as evidence the Soviet Union was

On a search-and-destroy sweep with U.S.-trained government troops, San Vicente Province, El Salvador, 1983

39 WINTER 2020 39


El Salvador made large-scale topographic maps that we took with us into the field. But you had to be careful with them out on the backroads. Getting caught with such detailed maps at a roadblock of either side was bound to arouse suspicions.

trying to establish a “communist beachhead” in our backyard. The resulting policies and escalating conflicts made the region one of the decade’s dominant international stories. I would end up staying in Central America for seven years, living in all three countries, reporting on the conflicts from the towns, hamlets and frontlines of each. I covered the U.S. invasion of Panama and the capture of strongman Manuel Noriega as the 1980s came to an end. But with the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, the wars in Central America were winding down, too. In early 1990, I decided to pack up and leave. Many of my colleagues would move on to other war zones in the Middle East and Bosnia. But I turned my attention to a different sort of conflict taking shape — the resource-hungry global economy’s advance along remote wilderness frontiers in places like the Amazon rainforest, the Alaskan Arctic, the jungles of Southeast Asia. These were regions of shaky governance, often overlapping with the homelands of traditional, subsistence-oriented communities and age-old indigenous cultures. Increasingly, these populations found themselves up against a bewildering array of much more powerful, profit-hungry players: oil companies, mining interests, timber barons. This would become my new beat. But no matter where I traveled to report on this panorama, the experiences from those formative years proved invaluable to my work and sometimes to my survival. The 30th anniversary of my departure from Central America seems an opportune moment to look back on those experiences and take measure of the lessons I learned there.

A rainbow beckons on the road to Nicaragua’s Atlantic Coast, 1986. Frequent ambushes staged by Contra rebels made it one of the most dangerous thoroughfares in the Western Hemisphere during the 1980s. 40 MIZZOUMAGAZINE

By mid-1983, the war had shifted away from the capital, where the military and shadowy death squads had “disappeared” thousands of suspected enemies or had slaughtered them outright. Most of the remaining opposition had taken up arms and retreated into the mountains to form a rebel army called the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, or FMLN. By the time I arrived in El Salvador, the FMLN was staging frequent and punishing attacks on government garrisons and pro-government towns across wide swaths of the country. The U.S. was just beginning to implement a Vietnam-style counterinsurgency campaign in the countryside. Special Forces advisers were training the army in aggressive search-and-destroy tactics while they oversaw a parallel “hearts and minds” civic action program to undercut civilian support for the FMLN. Ground zero for this new plan was San Vicente Province, a two-hour drive east of San Salvador. When Time magazine photographer Robert Nickelsberg invited me to join him on a day trip to San Vicente, I leapt at the chance. I was eager to get out in the field with a more experienced journalist and escape the oppressive atmosphere of San Salvador, where reporters spent their days running from one press conference and embassy briefing to another. By midday, Nickelsberg and I veered off the Pan-American Highway and entered a world of startling beauty. A quilt work of freshly plowed fields stretched away into the distance, flanked by high walls of sugarcane. Coffee groves nestled in the shade of leafy trees. We wound our way along the lush slopes of San Vicente volcano. The dirt road gave way to paving stones, and we entered the village of Verapaz. At first glance, Verapaz appeared to be a tableau of rustic charm: the cobblestone streets, white-washed, colonial-style buildings and homes painted in pastel hues, topped with roofs of orange tile. Then I took a closer look at the walls. They were riddled with constellations of bullet holes. A pair of grizzled men in straw hats stepped from a stone bunker and drew their weapons. Nickelsberg stepped on the brakes. “Civil defense,” he said. “Dangerous guys. Don’t make any fast moves.” The civil defense had the unenviable task of fending off guerrilla attacks on frontline towns long enough for reinforcements to arrive. They were staunch anti-communists, deeply suspicious of outsiders, known to shoot first and ask questions later. Their battered carbines looked like relics from another century, but that didn’t make them any less lethal, especially at point-blank range. We cranked down the windows and handed over our government-issued press credentials.

U.S.-backed Contra rebels assemble in their main base camp in Yamales, Honduras, 1989. The Contras relied on such cross-border sanctuaries for launching attacks against civilian and military targets inside Nicaragua. The author interviews a Sandinista officer in the war zone of northern Nicaragua, Nueva Segovia Province, 1984. Photo by Bill Gentile

After meeting

“Buenas tardes!” I said cheerily. with CBS One of them snatched the letter from executives my hand. His steely eyes studied me who had without the slightest trace of mirth. “Take off your sunglasses,” Nickelsvisited Mizzou berg told me under his breath. The that spring, I men scrutinized our papers: the had managed mugshots, the seal of the Salvadoran to secure army’s high command. They finally credentials allowed us to pass, but not before Nickelsberg’s instructions soaked in. and radio gear Show respect to everyone. Never give from the strangers, especially armed strangcompany. I ers, a reason to doubt who you say would be CBS’s you are. Let them see your eyes. Eventually I earned enough money “stringer.” to get my own apartment in San Salvador. Just as important, CBS fronted me the money to buy a secondhand car. Mobility, I’d begun to learn, was key to covering the war the way I wanted to cover it — out along the backroads and in the backwoods, where few other journalists explored on a regular basis. As a freelancer, I enjoyed greater latitude than staff reporters more tethered to the daily news agenda in the capital, and I took advantage of it in my 1977 Mitsubishi Colt Lancer. Within a few months of arriving in-country, I was also filing feature stories and photographs for the Atlanta Journal-

Constitution and other publications. Working for print and broadcast, I evolved a somewhat eclectic reporting style. At times, the camera would come out first if I wanted to capture a fleeting moment before it passed. I found it could also help engage strangers when my notebook and pen might seem more threatening. An offer to hand out Polaroid photos — another trick I learned from Nickelsberg — invariably worked wonders. If a voice resonated with emotion that would make for powerful radio, out came the microphone and I’d roll tape as well. WINTER 2020 41

JOURNALISM Accompanied by rebel militiamen, author Scott Wallace, left; CBS News soundman Jamie Robles, fourth from left; and Reuters correspondent Robert Block, third from right, rest after a perilous crossing of a dilapidated footbridge in Chalatenango Province, El Salvador, 1984. The group was investigating allegations of a government army massacre.

lived in a kind of perpetual twilight zone — where neither the government nor the rebels had the strength to maintain a permanent presence. I gained a sense of when it was safe to venture down one road, when an ambush might lie in wait down another. I developed an ear for when someone was telling the truth and when someone was telling me what he or she thought I — or others present — wanted to hear.

Sandinista Popular Army soldiers survey the wreckage in the aftermath of an attack by Contra rebels on their convoy, Chontales Province, Nicaragua, 1985. The Contras staged deadly ambushes on both military and civilian vehicles, making road travel in Nicaragua’s backcountry unpredictable and extraordinarily dangerous.

Sometimes alone, sometimes in the company of other journalists, I learned the ropes. I learned where I was likely to find one side or the other along the rapidly shifting battle lines. I came to know which hamlets were ruled by jack-booted paramilitaries, which were held by the guerrillas and which ones 42 MIZZOUMAGAZINE

A huge topographic map of El Salvador, 1:100,000 scale, stretched across an entire wall at the CBS office in the Camino Real. Every bureau on the second floor had one, with squiggly blue lines and brown and green contours suggesting steep ravines and meandering brooks. There were countless villages with exotic names like Yamabál, Meanguera, El Zapotal. Places where I knew I’d find the war in all its living color. No other country in Central America made maps of such detail available to civilians. They came in six separate sheets, and we began to carry them on forays into the countryside, a crucial guide to the war zones. Even so, we had to keep them under wraps. Getting caught with them at a roadblock of either side was bound to arouse suspicion. One afternoon, driving alone in brilliant sunlight, I turned off onto a backroad toward the mountain-ringed village of Anamorós in far-eastern El Salvador. The rebels had overwhelmed the army garrison there days before, and I expected

to run into them someI developed an where up ahead. After ear for when consulting the map at someone was the turnoff, I tossed it telling the on the backseat and forgot it there, until a truth and half-hour later when when someI rounded a bend and one was tellsaw a dozen or so ing me what armed men blocking he or she the road. No chance to turn back, too late to thought reach around and rein I wanted in the map. to hear. The me n we re dressed in black, with no insignias or shoulder patches, and they were waving me to a halt. Some of them had beards, not standard army protocol. But I’d heard that some elite army units had begun to operate in such a fashion to confuse and intimidate peasants in the backcountry. These guys were irregulars, but something didn’t quite fit. They were too neatly outfitted, their uniforms too uniform. They had the air of government forces. I saluted them through the windshield, presented my military press credentials. I preemptively grabbed the map, spread it over the hood of the car and said: “So, tell me, brothers, what’s going on in the zone?” It caught them off guard. “We’re on a sweep through here,” said their evident leader. “But what are you doing — looking for the terrorists?” I heard the subtext: Maybe you’re a guerrilla spy? It was no time for equivocation. “Not at all,” I replied with a touch of outrage. “My colonel Cruz told me the army had regained control of the area, so I’ve come to have a look.” Evoking the name of the regional commander turned out to be the perfect bluff. They let me go. But even as I trained my eye on the rearview mirror, I stuffed the maps under my seat and vowed never to get caught with them out in the open again.

Knowing who was who, or being able to figure it out in a split second, could save your life. Like the time a group of friends and I ran into a band of masked gunmen on a lonely road after dark in my final days in Central America. In 1985, I moved to Nicaragua, where the war was heating up between the U.S.-backed Contra rebels and revolutionary Sandinista government they were trying to overthrow. In El Salvador, violence could break out anywhere, anytime. Nowhere was safe. But in Nicaragua, finding the

Top: Women and children demonstrate against death squads and forced disappearances of relatives, San Salvador, El Salvador, 1983. The squads abducted and murdered thousands of suspected opponents of the government, creating an atmosphere of terror in El Salvador’s capital. Above: Sandinista army troops forcibly relocate peasants to create a “free-fire zone” to battle the Contra rebels in the deep countryside, Jinotega Province, Nicaragua, 1985.

war meant venturing deep into the countryside. The long roads that twisted through the forested mountains of Nicaragua’s northern mountains and central highlands offered ideal perches for an ambush at nearly every turn. The Contras had made something of a sport of attacking not only Sandinista Popular Army convoys but civilian vehicles as well. The roadsides were littered with the burned-out hulks of East German transport trucks and Toyota 4x4s. The latter often carried government officials who armed themselves against such attacks, blurring the line between civilians and military targets. I’d been up and down those spooky thoroughfares many times by April 1990. Some of those journeys were made in military convoys. But WINTER 2020 43


As the war comes to an end, Contra rebels dry meat in a ceasefire zone in the central highlands, Chontales Province, Nicaragua, 1990. The author and companions were stopped and robbed by assailants a few hours later on their way back to the capital, Managua. Above right: Relatives display photographs of loved ones killed in Contra attacks in a protest against U.S. support for the rebels, Managua, Nicaragua, 1987.


mostly I traveled with Newsweek photographer Bill Gentile in his International Harvester truck. We’d tape “TV” in block letters on the hood and windows and fly a large white flag — “like a Christmas tree,” Gentile would joke — in the hope that our conspicuousness would protect us. It was always a gamble. The Contra War was at its end. Incumbent Sandinista President Daniel Ortega had been defeated at the polls in February, and he’d agreed to step down. The Contras were gathering in U.N.-supervised ceasefire zones, waiting to disarm. Gentile suggested a foray into the central highlands to report on the Contras’ disarmament. It would be our last hurrah. We were joined at the last moment by freelance photographer Jeff Perkell, a relative newcomer. Off we went, heading east out of Managua. It was midafternoon by the time we pulled up into a clearing flanked by a few clapboard shacks. This was the hamlet of La Piñuela. Several Contras had gathered beneath a high barren tree, roasting a steer they’d requisitioned from a local farmer. Some used the cleaning rods from their AK-47s as barbecue skewers. Raw meat dried in long red ribbons from the tree limbs, imparting a disquieting air to the scene. We asked about the coming peace and what they planned to do when they returned to the dells and valleys from which they hailed. They seemed pleased the war was over but confused about their future prospects. Dusk was gathering by the time we wrapped up. Under normal circumstances, we’d have stayed put for the night. But we’d been lulled into a sense of security by the ceasefire and hadn’t provisioned ourselves for an overnight trip. We bid farewell and pulled away. We were rumbling along a rutted tire track

about an hour later when I caught a glint of metal up ahead. A half-dozen masked men came into view, and they were pointing AK-47s directly into our windshield. It was immediately clear that something really bad might come to pass on this pitch-black road in the middle of nowhere. Gentile doused the headlights. I reached overhead for the interior light and flicked it on. It was standard procedure when approaching armed men at night. Turn off your headlights, turn on the house lights. The men advanced, fingers on their triggers. Their faces were shrouded in redand-black bandanas, the signature colors of the Sandinistas. But I’d been around a lot of Sandinista troops, and I couldn’t picture any of them moonlighting as highwaymen. “They’re Contras,” I said. “They’ve got to be.” Gentile agreed. “Jeff, let Scott and I do the talking,” he said. They ordered us out of the truck. One of them yanked on the bill of my CBS News cap. “What’s this say?” he sneered. “Vote for Daniel?” Ortega’s campaign had distributed Vota por Daniel hats by the tens of thousands, and many of his supporters were still wearing them. “No,” I replied with all the indignation I could muster. I pointed to the letters on my cap. “Look. C-B-S. We’re American journalists. CBS is an American television network.” “Yeah, but you guys support the Sandinistas,” the gunman challenged. “We have nothing to do with the Sandinistas.” I spat out the words, as though I’d never endured a worse insult. “On the contrary, we’ve just come from interviewing los comandos.” The Contras liked to be called Commandos. The name carried mystique, a sense of higher purpose. “Commandos?” The gunman’s voice brightened. “Do you carry orders from them?” Sadly, we

did not. But seeing an opening, I pressed ahead. “Look, we’ve just come from La Piñuela. There are many commandos there. Their comandantes have made important declarations to us, and we’re in a rush to report them to the entire world!” He eyed me suspiciously in the dim glow of the truck’s interior light. Damn, I thought, maybe I’d gone too far. Had he smelled the BS through his bandana? I feared he was about to push me to my knees, the prelude to execution. In the heart-thumping minutes that followed, we were stripped of cash and valuables. As I held my hands in the air, I felt a paw slide into my hip pocket and pry my wallet loose. I checked a powerful impulse to resist. Another set of hands jerked the watch from my wrist. “Por la causa,” the bandit said. “For the cause,” I agreed. His cause. “Well, brothers,” Gentile spoke up. “We’ve given you what we can offer. We need to get going. What about it?” An excruciating silence ensued. Finally, one of them said: “OK, you can proceed. Keep your inside lights on. Don’t look back. Just keep driving.” We climbed aboard. Gentile steered the truck forward into the night. We pulled away in silence, each of us taking time to register

In the heartthumping minutes that followed, we were stripped of cash and valuables. As I held my hands in the air, I felt a paw slide into my hip pocket and pry my wallet loose.

what had just happened, how close we’d come to the end. Those men were part of a new breed of renegade on the postwar landscape; they answered to no one. But we would make it back to Managua. We would make it back to our friends, our girlfriends, our wives. We would see the sun come up tomorrow. I would be in Miami by Friday. And as our headlights fell upon the bend in the road up ahead, where we’d vanish forever from the sights of the guns still trained at our backs, I couldn’t wait to get there. M Scott Wallace, MA ’83, covered the wars in Central America for seven years in the 1980s for CBS News, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Newsweek and the Guardian. He is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut and author of the bestselling book, The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes.

Traveling through the backcountry invariably yielded surprises. The author came upon these FMLN guerrillas as they commandeered vehicles to enter a midsize city in eastern El Salvador after army troops had fled, Chinameca, San Miguel Province, 1983.

WINTER 2020 45



The grin. The effervescent grin. Does it ever disappear? Torrence Watson

is beaming again on this spectacular fall morning, his boundless joy bouncing off the walls in the media room at Mizzou Arena, and when a visitor mentions he and his bride will be dining later on the patio at Flat Branch restaurant, the outgoing sophomore guard gives a nod of approval. This aside diverts the conversation to a discussion about favorite cuisines, and with that, Watson’s eyes light up and his grin grows wider. He is eager to share what he prepared for dinner the previous night: steak with green peppers and cheese, sprinkled with a little seasoning and wrapped in flour tortillas. “I just look at the instructions and try to do it,” he says confidently. “I don’t think it’s that hard to cook when you follow the instructions. I was thinking about cooking some pasta tonight. I’ve got to learn how to make some wings, with some special sauce. I like sweet and spicy stuff.” Torrence Watson, master chef. But make no mistake. Watson is a basketball player first and foremost — and a masterly one at that. After committing to Ohio State (his brother, Terrence Jr., is a rabid Buckeyes fan whose passion for the scarlet and gray undoubtedly was an influence), Watson had a change of heart, arriving on campus in the summer of 2018 as arguably the most celebrated recruit of the Cuonzo Martin era not named Porter. He was a three-time all-state selection at Whitfield High in St. Louis, the Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year in 2018, a silky smooth shooter who as a senior averaged 31.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. The list of star recruits who have fled the state is too long to revisit here, which made Martin’s signing of a marquee player from the city of St. Louis all the more significant. Always one to embrace the spotlight — he was the narrator at a couple of high school plays and became the unofficial spokesman for his grassroots team, relishing the opportunity to appear in front of the media — Watson found the transition to college to be anything but seamless. As a freshman, he played in all 32 games, making four starts and averaging a respectable 22.8 minutes per game. Yet he experienced the typical freshman growing pains as he adjusted from being the scoring star in high school to a reserve whose playing time was largely dictated by his performance on — gulp! — defense. “It was the speed of the game,” he says. “Not so much the up and down. The shot clock was new to me. Everybody is so much bigger, so much stronger, so much faster. You can tell the difference between a freshman and everybody else. For me, it was the defensive part, especially playing for Coach.” He laughs. “Basically, you don’t play defense, you don’t play,” he adds. “It’s not too hard for that to click in your head.” The bigger issue was that little was clicking in Watson’s game. The kid who on three occasions as a high school senior scored 50 or more points in a game didn’t tally the 50th point of his college career until his 11th game. His confidence level essentially mirrored the number on his jersey: 0. Rock bottom came during a Dec. 2 game against Central Florida. Watson played only two minutes in the overtime victory and didn’t even get up a shot. Especially close to his mother, Kim, he recalls one late-night post-game conversation as the two huddled inside Mizzou Arena. That effervescent grin? Watson had tears in his eyes. WINTER 2020 47


“Coach was pushing me really hard about how good I could be and how much I could help the team,” he says. “But for me, I was like, I’m not scoring the ball. I’m not doing as well on defense. I’m not playing as much because I’m a freshman and I don’t know as much. “ What Watson didn’t understand, Martin says now, is the work required to be a great player at the highest level of college basketball. It’s not that Watson was lazy or even uncoachable. Quite the opposite. He simply hadn’t grasped the commitment necessary to be successful. “I would talk to him during recruiting because he scored at such a high level,” Martin says. “I would say, ‘Be prepared to work hard.’ But it’s hard to understand what that means when you’re having a lot of perceived success. Not that he thought this would be a piece of cake. But wow, this is tough. Most freshmen come in not with a level of fear but heightened awareness.” Heightened awareness can be a great motivator. Watson started grinding, spending more time in the gym working on his jumper and, of course, his defense. His minutes steadily increased, and then came the break, albeit unfortunate, that provided a real opportunity. Late in a Jan. 28, 2019, loss at Arkansas, sophomore guard Mark Smith severely sprained his left ankle. Smith would miss the next six games, and after returning for two games, he shut it down for the season. Martin’s backcourt rotation got one pivotal player shorter, and as a result, the leash on Watson got a little longer. Now he didn’t have to look over his shoulder when he took an ill-advised shot or made a mistake defensively, wondering who was at the scorer’s table waiting to replace him. The confidence grew, and with it came the offensive production Missouri fans had come to expect. Over his last 14 games,

Watson lit up the stat sheet late in his freshman season. 48 MIZZOUMAGAZINE

Watson averaged 10.5 points per game, scoring in double figures on eight occasions. The light bulb, he says, went off during games at Florida and Mississippi State. It wasn’t that he scored a ton of points; rather, he was finally getting comfortable as a Division I basketball player. He returned home and scored a career-high 20 points in a win over South Carolina. Then came a telling game at Georgia. “That showed my confidence had improved,” he says. “If that had happened earlier in the season — I think I started the game 0 for 5 — I might have shut down. But we went into the locker room at halftime, and my teammates said: ‘You’re taking good shots. We know you’re going to make them in the second half.’ ” And then he did, converting five of six 3-point attempts after the break. For a capper, in the SEC tournament against eventual Final Four participant Auburn, he put on a shooting display, making six of nine 3-pointers and scoring 20 points. Over his final seven games, he hit 24 treys. He set the single-season record for 3-pointers made by a Missouri freshman, with 53, eclipsing by seven the mark established by Kareem Rush in 1999–00. As for that longer leash, Watson’s final five games were his most in terms of time on the floor; he played no fewer than 31 minutes, logging 39 against Ole Miss. He drew encouragement from his two roommates: Smith and point guard Dru Smith, a transfer from Evansville, Indiana, who had to sit out the season. The Smiths (no relation) were always in Watson’s ear, coaching him up and building his confidence. “As soon as Mark got hurt, they said to me, ‘Coach is probably going to lean on you a little more,’ ” Watson recalls. “They would come into my room randomly and talk about my last practice or my last game. [Mark and Dru] tried to keep me up. If I had a bad game, if I had a bad practice, they were always there for me.” If anyone could relate to struggles adjusting to the college game, it was Mark Smith. As a freshman at Illinois in 2017­–18, the heralded recruit shot a ghastly 23.2 percent from 3-point range. His issues were compounded in that he didn’t believe there was anyone in Champaign he could turn to for advice or a word of encouragement. Smith was determined not to let Watson wander down the same path. “I tried to help him any way I could because we knew he was going to be a big part of our team and help us win,” Smith says. “The things that got me through it were to work hard, listen and have a good attitude. It was easy to talk to Torrence. He’s always had a good attitude. He’s one of those guys who’s always happy.” Smith typically found an eager listener who even amid his struggles never lost that smile. But about the cooking … Told that Watson had been touting his culinary talents, Smith laughs. “No,” he says without hesitation. “Can’t cook!” The roommates have changed this year, but the mission remains the same: Keep grinding. Watson is now bunking with fellow sophomores Javon Pickett, Xavier Pinson and Brooks Ford. “He’s always got a smile on his face,” Pickett says of Watson. “He’s going to come knock on your door and make sure you’re good — just the little things that make you feel like you’re special. He’s going to bring some energy to the house. He’s going to play some music and start dancing.” A dancer too. But what has Pickett seen from his new roommate in the kitchen? “I’m not sure I’m going to trust

Dru Smith

Jeremiah Tilmon

Javon Pickett

Beware the Sleeping Dog

his food,” Pickett says. Watson takes particular inspiration from Pickett, who to a man the Tigers call the hardest-working player in the program. Martin goes so far as to call Pickett and Mark Smith “the Clockwork Boys. It’s like clockwork that they’re in the gym every morning. They’re wired to do that.” In fact, as a sophomore, Smith almost doubled his shooting success from deep, shooting 45.2 percent. As he pounds home the point about work ethic, Martin reflects on his playing days at Purdue. His roommate was Glenn Robinson, an All-American who went on to have a decorated NBA career. “He’d get out of bed and this is what it is,” Martin says. “But for most of us, we’ve got to work at it. If you want to be great, that’s what is required.” How can Torrence Watson be great? The next step is to develop a more rounded game. For all of his scoring prowess, his shooting last season from outside the arc (an impressive 36.1 percent) was almost identical to that from inside it (a ho-hum 37.7 percent). Martin wants his 6-foot-5 sophomore to take advantage of his size, to become more of an inside threat, to be a better finisher around the rim. It’s not just about getting the shot; it’s also about taking the steps required to set it up. “It’s not necessarily being a post-up player but just understanding how big and strong he is,” Martin says. “Continue to improve his ability off the dribble. Being efficient with the shot fake. Because he can shoot the ball, the shot fake is very important. That will dictate a lot of things with his game. Setting up his cuts. Half the battle is setting up the cuts to get open. That comes with time. Also learning how to use your shoulders and your hips. It’s his preparation before getting off the shot. He’s got the big part — the ability to make a shot. It’s the little stuff to get there.” So Watson continues to hone his game. With a year under his belt, he has a much better grasp of the expectations and what it takes to be successful. He gets to the gym a little earlier, stays a little later. (He also experienced an off-court issue, drawing a one-week suspension from team activities after a DUI in September.) He can’t estimate how many shots he gets up in a day, but it’s considerably more than he did at the same time a year ago. ShotTracker will tell you everything you need to know about that. The machine is all the rage in the analytics-driven world of college basketball, charting shots attempted — and made — for every player. Coaching staffs are constantly checking to see who’s putting in the work. Smith conservatively estimates he and Pickett take 1,000 shots a day. “Javon is a great guy to live with,” says Watson, who goes so far as to call his classmate a role model. “I told him I’m going to beat him on ShotTracker.” He isn’t kidding. But he says it with a chuckle and, of course, that trademark grin. M About the author: Mark Godich, a 1979 graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, is a senior editor at The Athletic and a former senior editor at Sports Illustrated.

If you believe the prognosticators, Missouri basketball is in for a long season. Many have slotted the Tigers for a finish near the bottom of the everchallenging SEC. Don’t believe everything you read. “I like our guys,” Coach Cuonzo Martin says. “I think we’ve got ball handlers, we’ve got shooters, we’ve got size. We’ve got all the things. Now it’s a matter of going through it.” In fact, the Tigers have interchangeable parts, with a slew of backcourt depth and forwards who have the potential to play inside and out. As has become the trend in college basketball, Martin wants to spread the floor with shooters, so the 3-point shot figures to be an integral part of the offense. Everything will revolve around 6-foot-10 junior Jeremiah Tilmon. “He’s strong, he’s athletic, he’s fast,” Martin says. “But Jeremiah has to understand that he’s a leader and is as good one-on-one as any big man in America. He needs to understand who he is.” He also needs to stay on the floor. It’s no secret that foul trouble has been an issue in his first two years. Although his fouls per 40 minutes slightly improved over his freshman year, last season Tilmon’s 111 fouls were 38 more than any other Tiger. He fouled out of 10 games and finished with four fouls in eight others. The good news is that when he has been able to stay on the floor, he has been effective if not dominant. But he has averaged only 21.7 minutes in 64 games. Imagine the possibilities if Martin can get 30 minutes out of his talented big man. For the better part of a year, Missouri fans have been awaiting the highly anticipated debut of Dru Smith. A transfer from Evansville in Indiana, with two years of eligibility remaining, the 6-foot-3 Smith is a do-it-all point guard. “It’s not as if he’s going to be scoring 35 points a night,” Martin says. “He’s a selfless player. The bottom line is: What does it take to win games? So he’s going to get a big rebound or a big steal. He has a high IQ for the game. He can make shots, he can drive the ball, and he just does all of those things.” With the SEC grind and a tough nonconference slate away from Mizzou Arena, the schedule is plenty daunting. Nevertheless, Martin believes he has the pieces to contend for an NCAA Tournament bid. “I like it when guys have a level of humility but are also hungry,” he says. Skeptics take note. WINTER 2020 49

MIZZOU ALUMNI NEWS Faculty-Alumni Awards highlight accomplished Tigers.

The Citizen Lawyer Angela Drake had only been teaching at the University of Missouri School of Law for a few months when two student veterans approached her with the proposition to start a veterans clinic at MU. Within five months, Drake — an Army brat whose father was killed in the Vietnam War and whose law education was paid for by the GI Bill — had raised five years of seed money and launched the MU Veterans Clinic. Today, the 2019 Faculty-Alumni Award winner supervises eight students as they review medical records, work with doctors, draft documents and prepare briefs that help veterans and their families access disability-related compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Since 2014, the clinic has represented over 145 veterans and recovered more than $4 million in benefits at no cost to clients. “She’s constantly thinking, ‘What’s the next step?’ which made her a good attorney because she was always two or three steps ahead of the other side,” says Assistant Dean Emeritus Robert G. Bailey. “She brings the same ability to the clinic: What’s the next thing we should be doing that will advance the interests of veterans?” Last year, the clinic launched Tigers for Troops, a partnership with MU Extension to assist veterans in rural Missouri. Next, Drake hopes to develop medical-legal partnerships, which will help clinic clients present solid evidentiary packets for the VA’s consideration, thereby reducing delays in the overburdened system. “I had some amazing cases as a private practitioner,” says Drake, who spent 25 years practicing complex and class action litigation in Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri, before coming to MU. “But nothing has been as rewarding as watching students grasp how they can change somebody’s life by working hard.” ­— Kelsey Allen, BA, BJ ’10

FACULTY-ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS 60th Distinguished Faculty Award

Thomas H. Lafferre, BS ME ’56, Vice President of Operations (Retired), Monsanto Chemical Company

Margaret E. Duffy, Professor of Strategic Communication and Executive Director of the Novak Leadership Institute, School of Journalism


Jeanne Abbott, BA ’67, BJ ’67, MA ’69, PhD ’88, Associate Professor of Journalism, Managing Editor, Columbia Missourian, School of Journalism

J.D. Bowers II, Director, MU Honors College


Peter Vallentyne, Florence G. Kline Professor of Philosophy, College of Arts & Science


Robert D. Banning, BS PA ’58, Colonel (Retired), United States Army

William M. Corrigan Jr., JD ’85, Attorney and Partner, Armstrong Teasdale, LLP

John M. Qualy, BJ ’70, Susan Donnell Scott, BSN ’88, Managing Partner MS ’94, PhD ’14, Director, Nursing (Retired), Northwestern Professional Practice, University of Mutual Life Insurance Co. Missouri Health Care

Michael A. Middleton, BA ’68, JD ’71, Deputy Chancellor Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Law, University of Missouri

Scott Woelfel, BJ ’81, Executive Vice President, IfThen Digital


64th Distinguished Service Award

Class Notes 1950

HHJames D. Patterson, BA ’56, of Rapid City, S.D., wrote Solid-State Physics: Introduction to the Theory (Springer International Publishing, 2018).


Crystal Anniversary


A few weeks back, I reached the 15-year mark of serving as executive director of your alumni association. I felt such gratitude upon being selected for this role during Homecoming Week 2004, an emotion that continues to this day. The symbol for a 15th anniversary is crystal. Although I’m not sure if that tradition holds for alumni relations, the past 15 years (24 overall) certainly have “crystalized” my love for all things Mizzou. Every team meeting where we welcome a new staff member includes a moment when each of us shares what we like most about working at Mizzou. My answer: “I came because of the mission, but I stay because of the people.” The abiding relationships with staff, university colleagues, volunteers and members enrich my job daily. In a world where short-termism is increasingly common, I enjoy the long-term nature of our work on behalf of Mizzou and our alumni. I believe that, in many ways, the future of our university depends more and more on deep and enduring relationships. I’ve reached the point where I’m seeing student leaders from my early days grow into alumni leaders. That’s satisfying. And scary! Mizzou has achieved new levels in fundraising, research, enrollment and athletics — all with the support of alumni. Yet more work remains. As the University for Missouri, we can’t settle merely for providing students the experience of earning a degree. Looking forward, I’m excited about the role Mizzou will play in the lives of alumni. Thank you for the important role you play in the Mizzou family. I’m fortunate to be a part of it and serve in a small way. TODD MCCUBBIN, M ED ’95 executive director, Mizzou Alumni Association Email: mccubbint@missouri.edu Twitter: @MizzouTodd



Ron Powers, BJ ’63, of Castleton, Vt., Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 16 books, including Flags of Our Fathers (Bantam Books, 2000) received an honorary doctorate from Elmira College. HLen Ziehm, BJ ’65, of Port St. Lucie, Fla., was inducted into the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. HHKenneth Suelthaus, JD ’69, of St. Louis was named a 2019 ICON Awards recipient by the Missouri Lawyers Media. Robert Willix, MD ’69, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., wrote The Rejuvenation Solution (Health Communications Inc., 2019).


HNate Allen, BJ ’73, of Fayetteville, Ark., was inducted into the Arkansas Sportscasters/Sportswriters Hall of Fame in July 2018. HHDudley McCarter, JD ’75, of St. Louis was appointed to the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education and the Missouri Workforce Development Board by Gov. Mike Parson. Glenn Berry, M Ed ’76, EdD ’86, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., was awarded the Missouri Valley College Outstanding Alumni Award for 2019.

MD ’83, of Lakeland, Fla., and HRobert “Bob” Baker, BS ChE ’80, MBA ’81, of Chesterfield, Mo., summitted Kilimanjaro Aug. 13, 2019.


HSally Stapleton, BJ ’80, MA ’97, of New York is global religion editor for The Associated Press. HHSteven Hawn, BA ’82, of Kansas City, Mo., senior vice president of corporate strategy and business development, retired from Hallmark after more than 37 years with the company. John Doerr, BS CiE ’83, of St. Louis is executive vice president of Tarlton Corp. HHMark Scantlan, BA ’83, of Sullivan, Mo., is the 165th president of the Greater St. Louis Dental Society. HChris Price, BS CiE ’84, of Overland Park, Kan., is president of HNTB Corp.’s Central Division. HHJohn Carter, BS BA ’85, of New Albany, Ohio, is president and chief operating officer of Nationwide’s financial services business lines. HHBruce Mershon, BS Ag ’85, and HHTracey Mershon, BJ ’85, of Buckner, Mo., received the BIF Commercial Producer of the Year award for their company, Mershon Cattle LLC.


HHRobin Wenneker, BS BA ’91, of Columbia, Mo., was appointed to the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education by Gov. Mike Parson.

HJanet Schiel, BS HE ’78, of Centennial, Colo., founded the nonprofit foundation Butterflies for Joe.

Chuck Cooper, BS BA ’92, and Jon Garlow, BS HES ’03, MA ’08, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., founded StrongBox Wealth.

Scott Friedman, BA ’79,

Michelle Wieser, BJ ’92,

Events January 11, Men’s basketball vs. Florida mutigers.com 24, Finding Neverland concertseries.missouri.edu February 1, Nominations open for MAA Governing Board positions mizzou.com 2, Women’s basketball vs. Arkansas mutigers.com 3, Faculty-Alumni Award nomination deadline mizzou.com 7, Mike Zito tribute to Chuck Berry thebluenote.com 17, Russian National Ballet: Swan Lake concertseries.missouri.edu 21, Traditions Plaza paver deadline for installation by May mizzou.com 28, Richard Wallace Faculty Incentive Grant application deadline mizzou.com March 1, MAA Governing Board nomination deadline mizzou.com 1, MAA returningstudent scholarships deadline mizzou.com 5–8, True/False Film Fest, Columbia truefalse.org 11–12, Mizzou Giving Day givingday.missouri.edu WINTER 2020 51

MIZZOU ALUMNI NEWS of Minneapolis is dean of the School of Business and Technology at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. HHAmy Matlins, BA ’93, of Morristown, N.J., is director of ticketing for the New York Giants. Wamwari Waichungo, MS ’94, PhD ’96, of Atlanta was appointed to the national board of directors for Com-

munity Health Charities. Caroline Goodwin Bradley, BA ’95, of Birmingham, Ala., a luxury travel adviser for Glass Slipper Concierge, was accepted into Virtuoso’s Wanderlist Program. HHChristopher William Sturm, BS BA ’97, of Salisbury, Mo., retired from the Columbia Fire Department after 20 years of service.

Mara Halpert Cohara, BS Ed ’98, of Kansas City, Mo., was elected to serve a three-year term on Park University’s board of trustees. Kurt Hunzeker, BJ ’99, of St. Louis is president of the XFL team the St. Louis BattleHawks.


Damian Paletta, MA ’02,



Our love for Mizzou only grows as the years go by. Alumni Jim and Gema Simmons have celebrated their family’s Mizzou legacy as members of the Columns Society since its founding in 2013.

Jim, BS ’93, MD ’98, and Gema, BA ’94, MD ’98, Simmons and sons, Christian, Colin and Logan, in 2013 and today.

The Columns Society recognizes donors whose annual support plays a critical role in MU’s success. Learn more at giving.missouri.edu/columns-society or all 1-877-GIFT-2-MU.




For Jimmy Woodley, son of Mississippi sharecroppers, getting a four-year university degree was never really an option. But, like so many men and women of his generation, Woodley worked hard and, in 1969, he and his wife, Robbie, founded a custodial service business in Kansas City, Missouri, with the dream that it would enable his children to one day earn that coveted degree. Woodley’s dream has not only come true, but his two children, both Mizzou graduates, now carry on his legacy at the helm of Woodley Building Maintenance as it celebrates 50 years of operation. “For us, college was always a forgone conclusion,” says Tiffany Woodley, BS ’96, Jimmy’s daughter and the company’s chief financial officer. She and her brother, Chief Operating Officer Terry Woodley, BS ’88, handle most of the business’s day-to-day operations. “Even though our father didn’t go to college, he was always an advocate of education. And he was always a fan of Mizzou.” Tiffany recalls spending childhood summers and holiday breaks from school answering phones and filing for the company. She and Terry both studied accounting at Mizzou and set out on careers of their own — but both eventually came home to work with their father. “I always kind of knew that at some point I would go into the family business,” Tiffany says. “I get really excited about small businesses, especially other minority- and women-owned businesses.” Jimmy Woodley died in 2013, but not before he got to work beside his two children and teach them the family business. Now, they and their mother are working to ensure the future of both Woodley Building Maintenance and their family’s next generation. “My brother’s youngest son is a senior in high school, and he just had his campus visit to Columbia,” Tiffany says. “We’re hoping he chooses Mizzou.” — Tony Rehagen, BA, BJ ’01

of Alexandria, Va., is economics editor for The Washington Post.

Jayce Tingler, BA ’09, of San Diego is manager of the San Diego Padres.

Rachel Pickering, JD ’03, of Topeka, Kan., was appointed to the 3rd Judicial District Court of Kansas.


Jermaine Reed, BGS ’06, of Kansas City, Mo., received the Buck O’Neil Legacy Award from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. HHKyle Coburn, BJ ’07, of Dallas was named to Preston Hollow People’s 20 under 40. HHShawn Bell, BA ’08, of Fountain Inn, S.C., is a city administrator for the city of Fountain Inn and was named to Greenville Business Magazine’s 2019 Best & Brightest 35 and Under. Michael Nuñez, BJ, BA ’09, of New York is an associate editor at Forbes.

Ashley Todd, BA ’11, of St. Louis is manager of hospice annual giving at The Foundation for BarnesJewish Hospital. Matt Helfant, BA ’16, of Washington, D.C., is communications director for Rep. Emanuel Cleaver. HHCady Lowery, BJ ’18, of Colorado Springs, Colo., is a communications assistant for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee.


HChristopher Hemeyer, BJ ’99, and Jessica Daniels of Lillington, N.C., Oct. 23, 2018. HKate Nolan, BS ChE ’13, and Kevin Doetsch of St. Louis Nov. 2, 2019.


HElizabeth Borgmann, BS ’05, and Justin Borgmann of Columbia, Mo., announce the birth of Lucas Reid July 19, 2019. HHStephen Scott Rosenberg, BJ ’05, and HHHeather Rosenberg, BS ’05, of Fort Collins, Colo., announce the birth of Ruth Louann June 15, 2019. HHDavid Bender, BS Acc, M Acc ’10, and HHSally Bender, BS Acc, M Acc ’10, of St. Louis announce the birth of Lillian Clara July 2019. HTraci Crowley, BA ’10, and Brett Crowley of Columbia, Mo., announce the birth of Hank Russell Sept. 25, 2019.

Faculty Deaths

HHRaymond Lansford of Columbia, Mo., Sept. 9, 2019, at 98. He was a professor in the Trulaske College of

Business for 27 years.


HMary Frances Sneed, BA ’47, of Sedalia, Mo., June 21, 2019, at 94. She was a member of Pi Beta Phi. HHRuth Elizabeth Kent, BS BA ’49, of Mexico, Mo., June 21, 2019, at 91. She was a member of Delta Delta Delta. HArthur Kirkpatrick, BS ChE ’50, of Macon, Ga., July 9, 2019, at 92. He was a member of Delta Tau Delta. HHFrank Tull III, BA ’51, BS Med ’53, of Creve Coeur, Mo., Aug. 3, 2019, at 90. He served as a U.S. Navy flight surgeon. HHVirginia B. Cornelius, BS Ed ’52, of St. Louis March 30, 2019, at 89. She was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. HHLoretta Hayes

Williams, BS Ed ’53, of Raymore, Mo., Aug. 26, 2019, at 86. HHElizabeth Evans, BS Ed ’54, of Carmichael, Calif., June 22, 2019, at 86. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. HHDavid F. Nolte, BS Ag ’54, BS Ag E ’59, of Liberty, Mo., Sept. 3, 2019, at 87. He served in the U.S. Army. Robert L. Vickery Jr., BJ ’54, of Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 10, 2019, at 87. He was a member of Sigma Nu and served in the U.S. Army. HFrank C. Jurgensmeyer, BS BA ’55, of Chesterfield, Mo., June 14, 2019, at 89. HRaymond Underwood Jr., BS BA ’55, of Salem, Mo., July 9, 2019, at 90. He was a member of Delta Sigma Pi and served in the U.S. Coast Guard.

JOIN FOR LIFE! 12,763 Show your stripes by being part of a community of


who support Mizzou through lifetime membership in the Mizzou Alumni Association. Now is the time to strengthen your connection to Mizzou. Your membership helps us continue cultivating pride, loyalty, tradition, service and lifelong connections.

Visit mizzou.com/life or call us at 573-882-6611

WINTER 2020 53


MIZZOU ALUMNI NEWS “Small” Amounts, Big Results Lest you think only big donors make a difference, check this out: In fiscal 2019, a whopping 76,593 gifts of under $10,000 summed to $21.3 million. That’s a lot of people doing a lot of good at — and through — Mizzou.



Department of Athletics KBIA (radio station) MU Extension (service to Missouri) Tiger Pantry (campus food pantry) Children’s Miracle Network (health care) Mizzou Alternative Breaks (student volunteerism) Mizzou Traditions Fund (preserving campus customs) Chancellor’s Fund for Excellence (seeding research, seizing opportunities)

Locales of greatest giving: Missouri Illinois Kansas Texas California


Through Mizzou Give Direct, 1,722 people found their giving bliss donating a total of $448,547 to an array of projects. These include the Livestock Judging Team, a squad that competes on the national collegiate meat-assessment circuit. Donors making gifts of at least $500 are immortalized on banners in the Trowbridge Livestock Center.


62 percent of gifts under $10,000 were less than $100, which added up to $1.2 million


New donors make 24.6 percent of gifts

HJack Walker, BS BA ’56, of Hannibal, Mo., April 17, 2019, at 87. He served in the U.S. Navy and worked as a CPA for over 40 years. John R. Harvey, BS Ag ’57, of Wilmington, Del., Aug. 25, 2019, at 84. He was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho and served in the U.S. National Guard. HPhyllis Northington, M Ed ’58, of Washington, Mo., June 25, 2019, at 86. HJames R. Pullen, BS Ed ’58, M Ed ’63, of St. Louis Sept. 11, 2019, at 83. He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa and served in the U.S. Navy. HMichael S. Raines Sr., BS Ag ’58, of Rancho Mirage, Calif., July 12, 2019, at 83. He served in the U.S. Air Force. HHShirley Ellen Hessing, BS Ed ’59, of Dunlap Ill., Sept. 9, 2019, at 82. She was a member of Delta Delta Delta.

CAFNR Are you a PROUD graduate of Mizzou’s

College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources?

Join the CAFNR Alumni Association today! Gain access to all of our 2020 events, get the latest student and alumni news in our monthly newsletter, and other special perks for being a CAFNR Alumni Association member!










25th CAFNR Unlimited Capitol Plaza Hotel - Jefferson City, Mo. CAFNR Alumni Meet & Greet at the Missouri State Fair CAFNR Tiger Classic Golf Tournament & Steak Fry CAFNR’s 150th Anniversary Celebration Barnwarming

Questions? Contact mucafnralumni@missouri.edu



WINTER 2020 55


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You will qualify for $200 bonus cash rewards if you use your new credit card account to make any combination of Purchase transactions totaling at least $1000 (exclusive of any fees returns and adjustments) that post to your account within 90 days of the account open date. Limit 1 bonus cash rewards offer per new account. This one-time promotion is limited to customers opening a new account in response to this offer and will not apply to requests to convert existing accounts. Other advertised promotional bonus cash rewards offers can vary from this promotion and may not be substituted. Allow 8-12 weeks from qualifying for the bonus cash rewards to post to your rewards balance. By opening and/or using these products from Bank of America, you’ll be providing valuable financial support to Mizzou Alumni Association This credit card program is issued and administered by Bank of America, N.A. Visa and Visa Signature are registered trademarks of Visa International Service Association, and are used by the issuer pursuant to license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Bank of America and the Bank of America logo are registered trademarks of Bank of America Corporation. ©2019 Bank of America Corporation




I busted up my knee in Afghanistan. I flew back to the States for surgery. I pushed myself to the max and busted it up again. I was told a medical discharge was an option. Then, I had surgery at Mizzou BioJointÂŽ Center.

Learn more at biojoint.com WINTER 2020 57


REMEMBERING HJames B. Judd, BS BA ’60, of Overland Park, Kan., Sept. 2, 2019, at 80. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi.

BSN ’62, of Ballwin, Mo., June 21, 2019, at 79.

HHJohn R. Esther, MD ’61, of Joplin, Mo., July 6, 2019, at 87. He served in the U.S. Marine Corp.

HHBarney Whitlock, BS BA ’63, of Springfield, Mo., Aug. 14, 2019, at 79. He as a member of Sigma Nu and served on the Mizzou Alumni Association board of directors.

HGlenn Forristall, BA ’61, of Fairfield, Calif., Mo., Feb. 28, 2019, at 82.

HJames W. Wilson Jr., BS EE ’63, of Kirkwood, Mo., April 20, 2019, at 78.

HHGlenda Mead, M Ed ’61, of Porterville, Calif., Feb. 20, 2019, at 84. She was a teacher for 37 years.

HHPatricia Samel, M Ed ’64, of St. Louis March 9, 2019, at 94. She worked for the Normandy School Collaborative for 36 years.

HHRonald Stout, BS Ag ’61, MS ’73, of Southern Pines, N.C., June 26, 2019, at 79. He was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho and served in the U.S. Marines. HHJacqueline Tucker,

HLarry Eder, BA ’65, of St. Louis March 25, 2019, at 77. HThomas Kiehne, BS Ed ’65, M Ed ’66, of Jackson, Mo., July 4, 2019, at 74. He was a member of Marching Mizzou.


Bank of America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 800-932-2775 Bayer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C-3 bayer.com CAFNR Alumni Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 cafnr.missouri.edu/alumni/ag-alumni-association Missouri Soybeans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 mosoy.org Mizzou Advancement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14–15, 52, 54, 61 giving.missouri.edu Mizzou Alumni Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 mizzou.com Mizzou MBA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C-4 business.missouri.edu Mizzou Online . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 online.missouri.edu/miz&me Mizzou Store/MU Licesing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 themizzoustore.com MU Botanic Garden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 gardens.missouri.edu


MU Fraternity & Sorority Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 fsl.missouri.edu MU Health Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 yesmakesitpossible.com Nationwide Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 nationwide.com/mizzoualumni To advertise in MIZZOU, call MAA at 573-882-6611



HE SAW THE FUTURE What stands out to Ellis Ingram about Don Lindberg, some 45 years after they met as fellow pathology faculty members at the School of Medicine, is Lindberg’s prophetic imagination. It was the late 1970s when the university’s computers took up entire rooms and were still operated by inserting paper program cards. Nevertheless, Lindberg was convinced that these machines would one day enable physicians to share information through a network that would eventually span the globe. In short, Lindberg anticipated the internet. “He was a visionary,” says Ingram, MHA ’01, of Lindberg who died in August at age 85. “The picture he had in his mind was a future of computing that made resources available to everyone. And his enthusiasm was contagious.” Lindberg’s fervor got a boost in 1984, when, after 24 years at MU as a medical resident and professor, he was named director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Over the next 30 years, as technology caught up with his vision, Lindberg digitized the world’s largest repository of medical literature, some dating back to the 1100s, making it accessible to health care workers, teachers, academics and the public worldwide. “I’ve never met anyone as visionary as Don who was also a good implementer,” says Robert A. Logan, a former NLM senior staff member and professor emeritus at the Missouri School of Journalism. Lindberg also oversaw the establishment of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, which provides access to biomedical and genomic information, and he supervised exhibitions on healthrelated histories of minorities, including “Native Voices,” for which he personally interviewed more than 100 Native American, Alaskan and Hawaiian healers, physicians, students and leaders. Logan says that, although many powerful people in Washington, D.C., played politics, Lindberg did what he felt was in the public interest, even if it made waves. He had the social consciousness of a great newspaper editor, Logan says. Ingram, emeritus senior associate dean of medicine, believes Lindberg was merely upholding the principles the two of them tried to instill in MU medical students all those decades ago: to help those in need. “He had a passion to make the medical literature accessible, and he did,” Ingram says. “The world is a better place because of his decades of devotion.” — Tony Rehagen, BA, BJ ’01 WINTER 2020 59

THE CHARITABLE IRA ROLLOVER Make gifts now through your IRA. Your qualified charitable distribution to the University of Missouri will fulfill your minimum distribution requirements without adding to your taxable income. You can make multiple gifts to qualified charities up to $100,000 a year. Gifts from IRAs give you the flexibility to fulfill outstanding pledges or establish endowments and begin to see your philanthropy at work and your legacy take shape now.

HOW IT WORKS • Must be 70 1/2 or older. • Your qualified charitable distribution counts toward your required minimum distribution (RMD). • This opportunity only applies to traditional IRAs. You can create a traditional IRA by rolling over funds from a 401k, 403b, or other qualified retirement accounts. • You cannot receive anything in return for your gift. Age

RMD on balance of $100,000

RMD on balance of $250,000

RMD on balance of $500,000

RMD on balance of $1,000,000

70 1/2





This chart shows what the required minimum distribution would be for the age listed based on balances in a retirement account of $100,000, $250,000, $500,000 and $1,000,000. This information is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes include federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.

To make your gift today, contact: 573-882-0272 or 800-970-9977 | giftplanning@missouri.edu | giftplanning.missouri.edu WINTER 2020 61

Transformational leadership guides hospital organizations. In this program, I learned how to apply those principles in every day work life. The course work exceeded all my expectations. Callie Rinehart Yukon, OK Master of science in nursing ’18

Promotion. Raise. Career change. All possible with Mizzou’s online programs. With options at the doctoral, graduate and certificate level, chances are high you’ll want to take another look at your alma mater. All the perks of the university you know and love — no need to set foot in a lecture hall. Callie became a leader and propelled her career without changing her address. Where will YOU go with Mizzou?

READY. SET. GO THE DISTANCE. Visit online.missouri.edu/alumni

10% TUITION REDUCTION Tuition awards available for ONLINE programs.


Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including veterans and their spouses and children. Graduates of Missouri’s public community colleges.

MIZZOU ALUMNI NEWS HHJerry Caulder, MS ’66, PhD ’70, DS ’97, of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., Nov. 14, 2019, at 77. He received many of MU’s highest honors, including the CAFNR Mumford Award (2018),

Faculty-Alumni Award (1994) and Golden Quill Award (2006).

HGary Anderson, BA ’68, of Cedar Hill, Mo., May 24, 2019, at 72.

HHBryant Lee Darnaby, BS ME ’66, of Overland Park, Kan., March 29, 2019, at 75.

HJohn R. Crouch, BS BA ’70, of Farmington, Mo., Feb. 6, 2019, at

71. He served in the U.S. Army. HHThomas C. Apel, BS BA ’76, of Prairie Village, Kan., Aug. 7, 2019, at 64.

Morgan Dooley, MA ’97, of Columbia, Mo., July 21, 2019, at 54. HKatie Paul, BS Ed ’18, of Jefferson City, Mo., June 1, 2019, at 25.

Supporting the Next Generation of Ag Innovators Since 1983, Missouri’s soybean farmers have given more than $40 million in grants - helping CAFNR students and faculty do what they do best in the classroom and in the field. This support has directly benefitted over 250 students in the form of handson experience, assistantships and job opportunities, and continues to bring research from campus to the marketplace. Learn more about soy research, grants and opportunities at mosoy.org

(573) 635-3819

734 S. Country Club Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65109


Mizzou Botanic Garden Help keep our campus beautiful. Annual membership, $25 Lifetime membership, $1,000 Tribute Tree, $2,500 or more Tribute Bench, $5,000 or more Gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

For more information: (573) 882-1830 or gardens.missouri.edu



WINTER 2020 63


Give it a try! Send your colored version to MIZZOU magazine Coloring Contest, 109 Reynolds Alumni Center, Columbia, MO 65211. We will publish favorites on social media.

COLORING CAMPUS There are two things Deborah Huelsbergen doesn’t always heed — the lines in coloring books and trip hazards. Neck craned upward, she walks around campus admiring architectural details many others miss. “People notice the Columns. They notice the dome. But they might not notice the little swirly curlicue that holds the lamp aloft at Read Hall,” says the Curators Distinguished Teaching Professor of Art. Huelsbergen created a coloring book with mandala-inspired renderings of lesser-known architectural features. Working 64 MIZZOUMAGAZINE

with uploaded photographs, she isolated “bits of buildings” and painstakingly arranged them into repeating patterns. The result is Color Mizzou, featuring 16 buildings and the Columns. A daily mandala drawer who colors for relaxation, Huelsbergen says the practice is incompatible with competition. But she gave us her blessing to use a page from the book for a coloring contest. To entrants she advises, “Use really finetipped markers or really sharp pencils and don’t be too fussy about staying in the lines.” ­­ — Dawn Klingensmith, BA, BJ ’97


Color Mizzou, available at the Mizzou Store



Winter 2020

A Storied History CAFNR celebrates 150 years of dreamers, dare takers and discoverers. 70




New Plant Growth Facility Opens Mizzou’s plant biology community, including CAFNR, recently opened the East Campus Plant Growth Facility. The $28.2 million universityfunded project consists of 24 greenhouses, two of them more than 20 feet tall, all with controlled lighting, temperature, humidity and carbon-


Three CAFNR professors recently were awarded prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar grants to conduct research abroad. Mary Hendrickson, associate professor of rural sociology, will travel to Iceland. Laura McCann, professor of agricultural and applied economics, is in Tunisia. Rocio Rivera, associate professor of animal sciences, is at the University of Murcia in Spain (below).


dioxide environments and outfitted with highintensity discharge lighting and reverse-osmosis water for irrigation. There are also two cold storage chambers for storing seeds, drying rooms, an area for root washing, and a shared lab area and isolation suite.

A+ Teacher In November, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Education and Leadership John Tummons was named one of only two teachers nationwide to receive the USDA Award for Excellence in Teaching and Student Engagement. Tummons uses inquirybased instruction and challenges his students to think and grow as leaders. He also mentors young teachers and provides his own leadership to youth in rural Missouri through 4-H and FFA.

Going to Ghana

CAFNR is part of a team working to better educate extension agents in Ghana to help improve the country’s overall agricultural productivity. In addition, CAFNR researchers have been instrumental in breakthroughs developing low-processing soybeans for northern Ghana and useable equipment for the country’s farmers. The equipment includes a multicrop thresher, which recently took second place in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers annual Innovation Showcase in Kenya.

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The $28.2 million facility features 22,880 square feet of research greenhouse space as well as 9,385 square feet for controlled environment growth chambers.


Based on successes using reagents to create resistance to deadly porcine viruses, a new gene-editing center will focus on finding similar breakthroughs for human diseases.

HOG WILD In June, CAFNR researchers received an $8.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish the new Swine Somatic Cell Genome Editing Center. The goal of the center, the first NIH-funded institution of its kind, is to create safety and efficiency protocols for researchers while editing and repairing genes that lead to disease in pigs and then

to streamline the process of translating that information into treatments for human diseases, including cystic fibrosis. The announcement comes on the heels of last year’s $7.2 million NIH award to Mizzou to continue operation of the National Swine Resource and Research Center, which was established in 2003 to provide researchers with pig models for human health.

Animal Sciences: Integrates molecular and cellular biology, immunology, genomics and computational biology into the traditional fields of reproduction, nutrition, physiology and genetics Applied Social Sciences: Engages those who lead and work in the food and agriculture system, hospitality sector and communities and empowers decision-making in management, policy, education and economic development arenas Biochemistry: Partners with the School of Medicine to investigate plants, molecular medicine, structural and chemical biology, enzymology, nutrition, metabolism, receptors, and gene expression


Food Systems & Bioengineering: Advances the science and engineering of food and develops novel technologies for health applications and utilization of bioresources in the forms of new processes, products, devices and systems


Last May, Professor Thomas Spencer of CAFNR’s Division of Animal Sciences became only the 10th Mizzou faculty member to be elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. A 2018 Distinguished Research Award winner from CAFNR, Spencer is renowned for his work in reproductive biology, specifically, working in the field of uterine glands and trying to solve problems of infertility, pregnancy loss and diseases of placental development in livestock.

Spencer’s research also applies to human health, and he has a joint appointment with the School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health. In 2018, Spencer was named a Curators Distinguished Professor, the University of Missouri System’s highest academic honor. As a member of the national academy, Spencer will have opportunities to promote science and influence and advise government policy on national and international levels.

Plant Sciences: Advances basic and applied science in agronomic and horticultural crop systems through crop management and physiology, plant genomics, and plant-microbe and plant-insect interactions School of Natural Resources: Studies areas of agroforestry, water quality, conservation biology, watershed management, global climate change, and management of forests, tourism, fisheries and wildlife WINTER 2020 67

CAFNR NEWS Research Center Opens


The World Is His Classroom This year, CAFNR Professor Peter Motavalli was among the five annual recipients of the William T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, MU’s highest teaching honor. Motavalli, a professor of soil fertility and plant nutrition, is known for trading traditional lectures for what he refers to as a “living laboratory,” in which students take tours of campus to learn firsthand about water drainage, pollution and environmental monitoring systems. He also pushes students to produce publishable and applicable work. One semester, for instance, his class penned a manual for soil testing for the Missouri National Guard station in Afghanistan. The Kemper fellowship includes a $10,000 stipend. Motavalli is one of 27 CAFNR faculty members to receive this award since its inception. More on Motavalli: Page 36 68 MIZZOUMAGAZINE CAFNR SPECIAL SECTION

After consulting with representatives from companies including John Deere and New Holland, the CAFNR Agricultural Systems Management program added two new classes to create a certificate in precision agriculture. The certificate provides students a hands-on approach to site-specific crop management and a chance to network with industry leaders. The two new courses are Data Management and Analysis Using Precision Agriculture Technology, which deals with advanced technology, such as drones, and Profit Strategies Using Precision Agriculture Technology, which looks at the business side of precision agriculture. After its first year of existence, 10 students earned the new certification.

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On Oct. 29, CAFNR christened a new research center near Laurie, Missouri, just west of Lake of the Ozarks. The naming of the 550-acre Land of the Osages Research Center, the result of an estate gift, recognizes the Osage Nation’s history associated with lands in Missouri. The center will study and demonstrate agroforestry practices that offer small farms economically viable solutions that also enhance the landscape through stewardship and conservation.


Two faculty members connected with the Division of Biochemistry were recently named 2018 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a distinction given to members who’ve made significant contributions. Scott Peck is a professor of biochemistry and investigator in the Bond Life Sciences Center

who has contributed to the field of plant-microbe interactions and disease resistance in plants. Shi-Jie Chen is an MU Curators Distinguished Professor of Physics and a Joint Curators Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry whose work includes theoretical modeling and computational predictions of RNA folding and function.

Scott Peck (left) and Shi-Jie Chen were named 2018 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. At press time, animal sciences Professor Peter Sutovsky also was named a 2019 fellow.


To graduate from CAFNR’s Parks, Recreation and Sport program, each student is required to complete at least 12 consecutive weeks in a professional internship. These could include stints with a range of industry leaders such as YMCA, the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, Ballparks of America or Columbia Parks and Recreation. As a result, during the 2017–18 school year, 100 percent of graduates either landed jobs or were continuing their education within six months of receiving diplomas. Recent placements include Tiger sports star Drew Lock (National Football League), as well as Tony Huynh, a graphic designer in the sports industry. WINTER 2020 69


G.C. Swallow



Grown from Seed Big dreamers built CAFNR from the ground up. Big discoveries grew it into the distinguished 150-year-old institution it is today. BY DAWN KLINGENSMITH, BA, BJ ’97


uch of agriculture requires having patience with small things. It’s believing that, with proper care, something small will grow into something big. The College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) is an incubator where, time and again, big breakthroughs have evolved from literal and figurative seeds. It’s where a microorganism discovered in a soil sample developed into a drug that saved countless lives. It’s where a professor’s minutely detailed drawings and descriptions of bugs — not to mention his rigorous fieldwork — raised entomology’s stature to a full-fledged science. One college graduate’s six-stanza poem even inspired the construction of a Gothic tower with heavenward spires — the “sacred shaft” of Memorial Union. From seed to crop, from soil to medicine, from words to an architectural wonder — this history is about potentiality. If CAFNR has achieved a high level of respect and renown — if indeed, it’s kind of a big deal — that’s because its early leaders were patient with small things. But never once did they think small.

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Morrill Battle

In the beginning, though their odds were slim, the college’s founding fathers fiercely competed with other Missouri counties for federal Morrill Act funds to establish an agricultural college. In 1867, MU geology Professor G.C. Swallow, who (spoiler alert!) would become the first dean of MU agriculture, joined statesman James S. Rollins to make the case for Boone County and MU. They prevailed, but the hard-won victory came with a compromise — the establishment of a separate school of mines, now Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, with one-fourth of the Morrill Act funds. The inclusion of the school of mines is why the college was initially called the MU College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts when it was established in 1870. The college has since undergone several name changes, acquiring its current name after the School of Natural Resources (SNR) was formed in 1989. SNR consisted of programs that had originated up to 80 years prior to its formation. Today, SNR is the only school in the Midwest with a com-

prehensive natural resources program encompassing atmospheric science, fisheries, forestry, parks, recreation, soils, tourism and wildlife.

An Expert in His Field

Succeeding Swallow as the second dean of the MU College of Agriculture (as it was then called), J.W. Sanborn was an expert in his field — literally. In 1888, he established Sanborn Field (then called Rotation Field) east of campus to demonstrate crop rotation and the production of winter wheat. He included corn, oats, clovers and timothy grass in his studies. Later directors added grain sorghum and soybeans in the rotations. Still yielding knowledge 131 years later, Sanborn Field is the oldest continuous experimental field west of the Mississippi River. Nine of its 45 plots are still part of the original cropping program Sanborn started. Since his time, each experiment’s effects have been measured and each crop harvest recorded along with accompanying weather observations. Having cause-andeffect and longitudinal data for more than a century and a quarter is immeasurably helpful to soil scientists. The farm plots at Sanborn have yielded significant scientific information about soil erosion, fertilizer runoff, crop rotation and the recovery of exhausted soils. For all of this, however, Sanborn Field is most famous for its role in the creation of the antibiotic aureomycin, a contemporary of penicillin patented in 1949.

J.W. Sanborn, who directed the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station and served as dean of MU’s College of Agriculture, founded Sanborn Field to study crop rotation and the effect of fertilizers on crop production.

Pay Dirt

In the mid-1940s, new “miracle drugs,” including tetracyclines (a family of antibiotics similar to penicillin but effective against a wider range of bacteria), revolutionized the treatment of infections that were often fatal to humans at that time. In 1945, Benjamin Duggar, a New York laboratory scientist and former MU botany professor, was searching for organisms producing tetracycline antibodies. He asked William Albrecht (chair of the Department of Soils from the Depression through 1958) for promising Missouri soil, and the sample Albrecht supplied from Sanborn Field’s Plot 23 contained a gold mine — or, rather, what appeared to be a “golden mold.” “They just assumed it was a fungus because it WINTER 2020 71


MU Dairy Science Takes a Sweet Turn

In addition to establishing his namesake field, Sanborn also brought dairy research to MU by purchasing five Jersey cows and a bull. The first course in dairying was offered in 1895, and the program quickly outgrew its facility. Recognizing the importance of dairy research and teaching to the state’s economy, the 41st Missouri General Assembly appropriated funds for new facilities and enacted a law establishing a formal Department of Dairy Husbandry — led by Clarence Henry Eckles — within the College of Agriculture in 1901. The original dairy science building was expanded and renamed Eckles Hall in his honor in 1938. The investment in dairy paid off. Research

During ceremonies honoring J.C. Penney for his donation to Mizzou, Penney took time to feed an MU calf.


led to discoveries that helped Missouri farmers improve their dairy herds and increase milk production. In 1952, retail magnate and native Missourian J.C. Penney expanded the dairy program with a gift to the university. By that time, MU had emerged as a leader in dairy and ice cream research, and the latter distinction lives on. In 1987, MU graduates Wendell, MA ’37, PhD ’40, and Ruth Arbuckle, BS Ed ’36, established an endowment to support ice cream research, and in 1989, Buck’s Ice Cream opened for business in Eckles Hall (updated by this time as a center of food science). Its signature flavor, Tiger Stripe, debuted the same year.

Growth Spurt

When Frederick Blackmar Mumford became the fifth dean of the College of Agriculture in 1909, he inherited a program full of potential but lacking in renown. Mumford made it his mission to raise the college’s stature. As an MU professor, he had quickly achieved tenure and become head of animal husbandry, a program he grew from just nine animals into an important research and education division. Mumford had a knack for turning modest starts into monumental accomplishments. When he arrived at MU in 1895, the College of Agriculture’s library had just four books. When he left in 1938, the library boasted 25,000 volumes — ranking it among the largest in the nation. Under his leadership, the college’s faculty grew from nine full-time members to 75, and student enrollment stood at 900, making MU one of the biggest ag schools in America. Along with faculty, Mumford helped initiate Missouri’s soybean industry, going from nothing to 700,000 acres during his tenure as dean. Today, soybeans are one of Missouri’s most important crops. “He transformed a struggling college into what is now a top ten institution,” the Journal of Animal Science reported in 1992. That’s why Mumford Hall and the college’s top award — annually recognizing outstanding faculty and staff members as well as an honoree for distinguished service — are named for him.

Bug Wreaks Biblical Havoc

If Mumford is remembered as a crop creator, Charles Valentine Riley years earlier went down in history as a serial crop saver. In 1874, a locust swarm the size of California was decimating crops across America’s heartland. Riley, MU’s first entomology professor and Missouri’s first state entomologist, was determined to control the pests and spare the crops in the swarm’s eastward path. Collecting specimens from Canada on down to what is now Oklahoma, he detailed their migratory, feeding, swarming and reproductive behaviors and wrote guides with best


If CAFNR has achieved a high level of respect and renown — if indeed, it’s kind of a big deal — that’s because its early leaders were patient with small things.

looked furry or fuzzy on the petri plate, but research in the 1960s proved it was a bacterium,” says Robert J. Kremer, BS Ag ’72, MS Ag ’75, an adjunct professor of soil science. In any case, it was a golden opportunity. Duggar isolated Streptomyces aureofaciens from the soil sample and discovered it produced the antibiotic aureomycin, effective against 90 percent of bacterial infections including sometimes fatal diseases that did not respond to other antibiotics. A soil sample from Plot 23 was added to the scientific collection at the Smithsonian Institution, and, in 1964, Sanborn Field was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Widely considered the least toxic and most effective antibiotic of its day next to penicillin, aureomycin was used well into the 1980s.

Tom Guilfoyle, along with his long-term research partner and wife, Gretchen Hagen, joined MU in 1986 as founding faculty of the plant biology cluster of the Food for the 21st Century Program (F21C). In 2009, the American Society of Plant Biologists recognized the pair with its Charles Reid Barnes Life Membership Award for their groundbreaking studies of the control of gene expression by plant growth regulators, particularly auxin. Both Guilfoyle and Hagen retired in 2016. Tom passed away in 2017, but their research legacy remains strong.


Since F21C’s inception in 1984, CAFNR has built robust research programs on its foundation: plant biology, animal sciences, bioengineering and nutrition. From 2002 to 2018, the state’s $85 million investment ($5 million a year) in these targeted programs has fostered research expenditures of over $306 million. Thus, faculty leveraged state dollars by a factor of 3.6.

practices to help farmers control them. Riley is credited with changing the way science studies bugs. His detailed written and sketched observations have been called the birth certificate of modern entomology. In addition to his research combatting locusts, he is credited with saving California’s citrus industry and France’s wine industry from pest infestations. Entomology is an area of scientific investigation where MU stood out internationally almost from the start. Although early research focused on crops, the animal sciences division soon began studying pests that imperil critters. In what may have been the first scientific partnership between two landgrant universities, researcher John Connaway — a medical doctor, veterinarian and, later, chair of animal sciences and eponym of Connaway Hall — collaborated with Texas A&M in 1885 to identify the cause of the Texas fever epidemic in cattle and create a method of controlling it. Connaway’s research with Texas fever and later hog cholera led to controlling malaria, yellow fever and other deadly human diseases. These days, the animal sciences division is studying the honey bee genome to find genetic markers predictive of resiliency against Varroa mites, which can wipe out entire hives.

History in the Making

The theme of greatness from modest starts carries through to the college’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Sport, which began in 1966 as a small recreation and park administration program. It went on to become one of the first programs of its kind to earn accreditation from the National Recreation and Park Association and now graduates nearly 130 students each year. In subsequent decades, Dean Roger Mitchell’s tenure (1983–1998) brought innovative thinking that not only reorganized the college’s departments into units and then divisions but also envisioned the Bond Life Sciences Center. Mitchell’s succes-

sor, Dean Thomas Payne (1999–2016) brought the center to fruition and also spearheaded hands-on learning opportunities, including Tiger Garden (See Page 76) and Sorenson Estate. Since the 1970s, women researchers such as biochemistry Professor Emerita Judy Wall have brought further renown to CAFNR. Wall — a Curators Distinguished Professor, the university’s highest rank — studies bacteria that metabolize toxic metals and can potentially help clean up contaminated soils and groundwater. From a long history of successes built on modest starts, CAFNR has evolved into an institution that regularly secures large grants (including $8.6 million in June to start a center for swine research that translates into treatments for human diseases) and international recognition, including a No. 1 ranking in the world for the reproductive biology program and top 15 rankings worldwide for the animal and plant science programs. One of the biggest testaments to CAFNR’s success is its students’ continued esteem long after they graduate and go on to write their own success stories. One such student never got to write his happy ending, but he did compose a poem that would forever leave his mark on campus. Robert McGhee “Peaches” Graham earned a Bachelor of Science from the College of Agriculture but quit his advanced degree program to run one of his family’s farms. He took a fondness for Mizzou home with him and then to the trenches of World War I. The young Army captain penned the poem to MU administrators, beseeching them to build a memorial building for fallen soldiers and even describing details now recognizable as Memorial Union. McGhee was killed in action in 1918 while patrolling enemy lines in France. Although McGhee’s story is a sad one, it goes to show that generation after generation of CAFNR students have big dreams and the wherewithal to make them come true. M

MU College of Agriculture graduate Robert “Peaches” Graham wrote the poem that inspired the construction of a bell tower on the MU campus to memorialize the university’s fallen soldiers. Graham died in World War I in 1918, and the Memorial Union’s bell tower was completed in 1926. View a CAFNR history timeline at cafnr.missouri.edu/150th.

WINTER 2020 73

Imagining a

Healthy World A new strategic plan aspires to no less than making food more nutritious, the economy stronger, humanity healthier and the planet itself more robust than ever. BY NANCY YANG, MA ’83

Missouri’s blue highways roll through the great expanse of farmland and rural communities that have long driven the state’s economy. Agriculture, the state’s largest economic driver, generates more than $88 billion a year in economic impact, a figure Christopher Daubert and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) plan to help double over the next decade. As the college’s vice chancellor and dean, Daubert’s ambitious goal reflects the breadth and impact of CAFNR, which is among the world’s top 15 programs for animal and


plant sciences and a perennial leader at Mizzou in research expenditures. Missouri’s second-largest industry, tourism, also falls under CAFNR’s purview through its programs in hospitality management and parks, recreation and sport. CAFNR launched a strategic plan in April 2019 as a roadmap for finding transformative solutions that adapt to rapid changes in agriculture and the environment. Its unifying theme — Imagining a Healthy World — encompasses six strategic priorities as well as Programs of Distinction and Grand Ideas.


Recognizing that students and their families have choices about where they will go to school, the college considers students among CAFNR’s leading stakeholders and believes that putting their degrees to work is critical. “I’m really proud that nearly 95 percent of CAFNR graduates are either furthering schooling or employed in their disciplines,” Daubert says. • Enroll 650 new students annually • I ncrease scholarships awarded annually to $2 million

Championing Global Citizenship and Engagement

CAFNR feels a great responsibility to protect the health of the planet while also finding solutions to feed the rapidly growing number of people worldwide, Daubert says. Vice Chancellor and Dean Christopher Daubert


Ensuring Student Success

Advancing Research and Innovation

By fostering a collaborative research environment, CAFNR leads innovation and entrepreneurship. The college integrates research results and teaching to give its students and partners a competitive advantage. A key avenue is through conducting research at Mizzou’s Agricultural Experiment Station, a system of 18 farms, centers and forests throughout the state. “Our experiment stations are a great way to share what we learn in our labs and our classrooms with the people of Missouri,” Daubert says. • Increase research staff by 20 percent • I ncrease by 10 percent a year proposal submissions and research expenditures • Double intellectual property outputs and outcomes

Empowering Missourians

“We have a responsibility to help Missouri communities thrive,” Daubert says. Beyond growing agricultural and natural resource economies through research, policy and other science-based methods, CAFNR offers Extension programs that advance economic prosperity, lifelong learning and healthy living. • Double the economic impact of Missouri agriculture • I ncrease by 25 percent the number of producers attending field days and workshops

Showcasing Leadership

CAFNR cultivates leaders who shape education, research, engagement and policy. Recent national recognition for CAFNR faculty members has included awards from the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. •D ouble faculty engagements in national and international leadership roles •D ouble the number of students engaged in new and existing CAFNR leadership programs


Cultivating a Diverse and Inclusive Community

“We embrace the cultivation of ideas from people of different beliefs and backgrounds,” Daubert says. “CAFNR is a community that promotes security for all and includes everyone in the conversation.” • Double diversity among faculty, staff and administration • Match ethnic and minority enrollment to state demographics • Integrate cultural awareness in curricula

• Increase by 10 percent annually submissions for collaborative international education and research grant proposals • Grow extramural funding to make international programs self-sustaining

Programs of Distinction

CAFNR’s Programs of Distinction have helped vault the college to national and international acclaim. Examples: The Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute educates policymakers, researchers and the public about developments affecting agriculture and natural resources. And the ShowMe-Select Replacement Heifer Program helps Missouri’s beef industry raise its quality and standards. The program, which began in 1996, is the only statewide on-farm beef heifer development and marketing program of its kind in the United States. To date, MU’s investment in implementing the program has resulted in an estimated impact of $200 million statewide. The National Swine Resource and Research Center is part of the MU Livestock Engineering Team, a Program of Distinction. The center was established in 2003 to serve as a resource for biomedical investigators and researchers, providing those individuals with access to critically needed swine models for human health and disease. As part of the Interdisciplinary Plant Group, another Program of Distinction, scientists working at Bradford Research Center move large drought simulators along tracks to shelter plants from rain in a $4.2 million National Science Foundation-funded study of corn root growth in drought.

Grand Ideas

“This is where we’re taking some risks,” Daubert says. Grand Ideas are uncharted territory: programs that aren’t fully implemented but have the potential to catapult CAFNR to greater distinction. Gov. Mike Parson has embraced one such idea, the ShowMe-State Food, Beverage and Forest Products Manufacturing Initiative. Now in development, the initiative seeks ways of expanding the uses, markets and cash flow of Missouri-based products. “Massive changes are happening in agriculture and natural resources,” Daubert says. With the world’s population projected to increase to 9 billion by 2050, along with rapidly changing climates, it’s up to science to help communities adapt, he says. “As a land-grant institution, we work hard to share current technologies with our students and Missourians. But we also must go beyond that and teach next-generation practices that will keep our agriculture and natural resource industries thriving and striving to be on top far into the future.” More: Read the strategic plan at cafnr.missouri.edu/strategic-plan. WINTER 2020 75



Mission Critical

At the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR), students don’t just go to class. They also head to the farm, field, lab and flower shop to gain valuable experience while working. Faculty don’t simply research how to develop stabilized biological molecules. They start companies that earn patents, launch products and boost the economy. And the discoveries made in the lab don’t stay there. Agriculture and Environment Extension specialists turn data into insights Missourians use to build strong livestock operations, manage insects and weed pests, and make better business decisions. At CAFNR, hands-on learning, cutting-edge research and community engagement are leading the way to a healthier world. Story by Kelsey Allen, BA, BJ ’10



Learning by Doing Emily Koch stands in front of a room of 25 students enrolled in the Introduction to Floral Design course offered by the Division of Plant Sciences. The junior agricultural education major from Belle, Missouri, population 1,500, is one of six teaching assistants (TAs) at Tiger Garden, a student-run floral shop where the campus community can purchase flowers and plants. It’s also where students get practical experience running a small business, from learning floral design to solving daily operation problems. Today, Koch is teaching her students how to tie bows, but there’s a snag. For some inexplicable reason, she keeps turning her back to the class. Panic sets in when she realizes students can’t see what she’s doing. That makes her start talking faster and faster. She gets through the demonstration but not before making a mental note about what she’ll do differently next time. “Most students don’t get to student teach until their senior year,” says Koch, who hopes to follow in the footsteps of her high school agriculture instructors. “But when I’m up in front of 25 kids in a lab and I mess up, how do I handle that? That’s not something I knew until I got to be a TA. I get to learn about myself, what styles work best for me, things I do when I’m nervous and how that affects the students.” That type of hands-on learning is central to CAFNR’s educational approach. As the college enters its 150th year, it is expanding opportunities for students to go beyond the classroom. Starting with the 2020 academic year, all undergraduate students will engage in a “signature experience.” The categories are research, study abroad, service learning and experiential learning. “These aren’t things I thought about doing when I went to college,” says Senior Associate Dean Bryan Garton, BS Ag ’85, MS ’89. “But it’s amazing the number of students who come to our college for hands-on experience and the ability to work in a lab with our world-class researchers. They might begin as a freshman washing petri dishes and test tubes. But by the time they are a junior, they’re doing an undergraduate research internship.” Recently, students have studied plant immunity to pathogens, determined how to use Asian carp for humanitarian aid, and looked at the connection between extreme weather and climate change. CAFNR also provides more than $70,000 in study abroad scholarships, offers more than 40 clubs and organizations where students can build leadership skills, and creates real-life experiences through the student-operated Buck’s Ice Cream, Mizzou Meat Market and Café at Eckles. Like Koch, many students seek out these experiences. During spring break 2019, Koch studied abroad in Holland where she visited the biggest cut-flower wholesaler on the planet and took design classes to better understand Dutch horticulture. “Having the ability to learn in more than one way is cool,” Koch says. “I get to see it, I get to hear it and I can take notes. But I also get to have the hands-on experience. It pushes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to try new things.” Junior agricultural education major Emily Koch, left, gets and gives hands-on learning experiences as a teaching assistant at the student-run floral shop, Tiger Garden. WINTER 2020 77

Using Chung-ho Lin’s continuousflow enzymatic bioreactor system, researchers removed the sugar molecules from the surface of Type A, B, and AB red blood cells. With that, the blood became universal.

Creating a Healthier World When an accident victim is rolled into an operating room for emergency surgery, there often isn’t time to determine their blood type. But that patient can’t take just any blood. For a transfusion to be successful, their blood type and the donor’s blood type must be compatible, so the hospital staff must reach for Type O-negative blood — “universal” blood that can be transfused to patients with any blood type. Problem is, Type O-negative is in short supply, and only 7 percent of the population has it. Researchers at the Bond Life Sciences Center had been trying to figure out how to boost the supply of universal blood, but the enzymes that convert common blood are expensive and inefficient. Next door in the Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building, Chung-ho Lin, a research associate professor at CAFNR’s Center for Agroforestry, and his team had just developed a cheap and effective way to convert cellulose into glucose for advanced biofuels. The research teams joined forces, and using Lin’s continuous-flow enzymatic bioreactor system, they removed the sugar molecules from the surface of Types A, B, and AB red blood cells. With that, the blood became universal.


To help bring this technology, among others, to market, Lin and his team — which includes HsinYeh Hsieh and George Stewart of the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology and Shibu Jose, associate dean for research at CAFNR — formed Tiger Enzyme Solutions, a startup housed on campus at the Missouri Innovation Center. Potential clients of the technology include blood banks and transfusion services in hospitals, military clinics and VA medical centers. The expected market ranges from $500 million to $1 billion a year worldwide. That quality of interdisciplinary research is why the Center for Agroforestry is one of seven Programs of Distinction, a CAFNR initiative that recognizes and rewards pioneering programs. “Over the past 15 years, the inaugural class of programs has brought in nearly half a billion dollars in funding and has made a real impact,” Jose says. A few examples: MU Livestock Engineering Team program director Randy Prather and his team have developed pigs resistant to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, which costs the pork industry $2.5 billion a year. Interdisciplinary Plant Group researcher Kristin Bilyeu and her team discovered a way to increase oleic acid levels in soybeans from 20 percent to 80 percent, improving the functionality of soy-



bean oil and making it healthier for consumers. Today, this line of non-GMO high-oleic soybeans — trademarked SOYLEIC and licensed by the university to the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council — is growing across the U.S. Other Programs of Distinction include the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, the Interdisciplinary Reproduction and Health Group, the MU Forage-Livestock Group, and the Show-Me-Select Replacement Heifer Program. “These programs are rich in interdisciplinary talents, and we are confident that they’ll continue to grow and attract the best faculty and students,” Jose says.


Engaging with Missourians When triple-digit winds from Hurricane Michael tore through pecan groves in Southern Georgia in 2018, Jeff House empathized. He grew up under the pecan trees on his father’s farm in Portageville, Missouri. But he also saw an opportunity. The storm destroyed 740,000 trees — a sixth of all pecan trees in the state — and ruined 55 million pounds of nuts. “We make high-quality pecans here,” says House, the MU Extension agronomy field specialist in New Madrid County. “But one of the biggest challenges has been selling the product. Now, there’s a gap.” To help ensure southeast Missouri pecan growers are the ones to fill that gap, House uses drone technology and remote sensing to improve the precision of their production. Images from the drone, when combined with remote sensing analytics, allow farmers to monitor for tree growth, fruit production, and pest and disease occurrence. “We can pick up things with this imagery that we can’t with our naked eyes — nitrogen deficiency, any kind of nutrient deficiency,” House says. “It’s a way of georeferencing problems in these larger groves so that we can more efficiently manage the trees and increase production.” That’s what Agriculture and Environment Extension is all about, says Associate Dean Rob Kallenbach. “We have a singular goal: Double the economic value of agriculture in Missouri by 2030 while sustaining our natural resources.” To help reach this goal, MU Extension reorganized in 2018. Extension developed a new position for each county called a county engagement specialist. These professionals give every Missourian local access to university resources. Because the specialists cover relatively small areas, they have more time to collaborate with local leaders to foster community development.

The reorganization also frees up agents who deal with livestock, agronomy and agribusiness to spend more time in the field. So, while House is mapping pecan groves, County Engagement Specialist Richard Rickman is making connections with the New Madrid mayor and city council. “We’re in one of the poorest areas of the state,” Rickman says. “When the city learned about Extension educational opportunities and programs for young people and seniors, they jumped in. The mayor said, ‘Because you’re here, we want to take advantage of that.’ ” So in September, Extension opened an office in New Madrid in a building owned and paid for by the city. There’s an empty lot next to the building that Rickman hopes to transform into a teaching garden for 4-H youth and a large cooling facility in the back where he envisions holding demonstrations on how to process carrots and safely store dried food for farmers. “We have some of the best farmland here in the Bootheel,” Rickman says. “We like growing cotton and corn and soybeans, but there can be new revenue streams, and we can be the place showing that’s a possibility. Hopefully, with the help of the university programs, we’re able to get the opportunities for people here off the ground.” M

“We have a singular goal: Double the economic value of agriculture in Missouri by 2030 while sustaining our natural resources.” — Rob Kallenbach, associate dean of CAFNR Extension

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LET’S CELEBRATE In 2020, your College of Agriculture, Food and

Natural Resources is thrilled to celebrate 150 years of serving Missouri and the world! We thank CAFNR’s alumni and friends who have helped build the college’s rock-solid foundation. This Golden Legacy has prepared us well for the next 150 years — our Bold Future. We hope you have enjoyed reading about our past, present and future in this special issue of MIZZOU magazine, which kicks off our sesquicentennial year. The fun accelerates in February as we enjoy the 25th CAFNR Unlimited Feb. 22 and Founding Day Feb. 24.

CAFNR 1870 2020


The celebration will culminate with a weekend of festivities in October 2020, launching CAFNR’s next 150 years. Learn more and find out how to take part in anniversary activities at cafnr.missouri.edu/150th.

CAFNR 1870 2020



New ideas from the next generation. The most complex challenges can’t be solved alone. They require open collaboration and continued innovation, seeking better answers to even our best solutions. That’s why Bayer is supporting the College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources and working with graduates to help shape the future of agriculture. Together, we can reimagine what’s possible for people and our planet.

Visit bayer.com/cropscience to learn more. bayer.us



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