University of Missouri
In 1839, the Missouri Legislature passed the Geyer Act to establish funds for a state university. It would be the first public university west of the Mississippi River. To secure the university, the citizens of Columbia and Boone County pledged $117,921 in cash and land to beat out five other central Missouri counties for the location of the state university. The land on which the university was eventually constructed was just south of Columbia's downtown and owned by James S. Rollins.
He was later called the "Father of the University." As the first public university in the Louisiana Purchase, the school was shaped by Thomas Jefferson's ideas about public education. In 1862 the American Civil War forced the university to close for much of the year. Residents of Columbia formed a "home guard" militia that became known as the "Fighting Tigers of Columbia". They were given the name for their readiness to protect the city and university. In 1890, the University's newly formed football team took the name the "Tigers" after the Civil War militia.
In 1870 the institution was granted land-grant college status under the Morrill Act of 1862. The act led to the founding of the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy as an off shoot of the main campus in Columbia. It developed as the present-day Missouri University of Science and Technology. In 1888 the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station opened. This grew to encompass ten centers and research farms around Missouri.
By 1890 the university encompassed a normal college (for training of teachers of students through high school), engineering college, arts and science college, school of agriculture and mechanical arts. school of medicine, and school of law.On January 9, 1892, Academic Hall, the institution's main building, burned in a fire that completely gutted the building, leaving little more standing than six stone Ionic columns. Under the administration of Missouri Governor David R. Francis, the university was rebuilt, with additions that shaped the modern institution.
Our distinct mission, as Missouri's only state-supported member of the Association of American Universities, is to provide all Missourians the benefits of a world-class research university. We are stewards and builders of a priceless state resource, a unique physical infrastructure and scholarly environment in which our tightly interlocked missions of teaching, research, service and economic development work together on behalf of all citizens. Students work side by side with some of the world's best faculty to advance the arts and humanities, the sciences and the professions. Scholarship and teaching are daily driven by a commitment to public service the obligation to produce and disseminate knowledge that will improve the quality of life in the state, the nation and the world.
William F. Baker Engineer of Burj Khalifa Kate Capshaw Actress, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Chris Cooper Academy Award-winning actor Sheryl Crow Musician, singer, and songwriter Linda M. Godwin NASA astronaut Jon Hamm Actor, Don Draper of AMC's Mad Men Martin Heinrich Current United States Senator for New Mexico Jim Lehrer Journalist, PBS NewsHour Barbara McClintock Cytogeneticist, winner of Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine Russ Mitchell Journalist, CBS Brad Pitt Actor and film producer Sam Walton Founder of Walmart
The grounds of the campus are designated a botanical garden by the state of Missouri. As noted above, the academic buildings are classified as two main groups: Red Campus and White Campus. Red Campus is the historical core of mostly brick academic buildings around the landmark columns of the Francis Quadrangle; it includes Jesse Hall and Switzler Hall. In the early 20th century, the College of Agriculture began a period of rapid expansion in which several buildings were constructed to accommodate the growing program and student body. The new buildings, constructed in Neo-Gothic style from native Missouri limestone, form the White Campus. Its most notable building is Memorial Union.