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Boothe for one

Leon Boothe

1959 Savitar photo of Leon Boothe

These days, three students lead a group of about 30 others who organize the massive Homecoming celebration. But back in 1959, the top layer of management was a lone student. “I was the one honcho, the Homecoming chairman,” says Leon Boothe, BS Ed ’60, MA ’62, of Cincinnati. “I appointed leaders for the parade and house decorations and other events who formed their own committees and reported to me. I was like a CEO. We had staff meetings, deadlines and progress reports. It was such a big and demanding job that I had my own office in the alumni association space in Read Hall. I even had my own little window to look out.”

When the president of Student Government appointed Boothe to the job, he wasn’t sure he could take it on. In addition to majoring in history, he was vice president of the student unions, president of his house in Defoe Hall, and he worked at the Western Historical Manuscript Collection. That string of accomplishments has continued during Boothe’s career in higher education, including his presidency of Northern Kentucky University, where he is now president emeritus and professor emeritus of history.

Today, more than 50 years since Boothe first set foot on campus, he still relishes the memories. “Going to Mizzou was such a marvelous experience that coming back transports me back in time. As much as Mizzou has grown, the White Campus is still the White Campus, and the Red Campus is still the Red Campus — I just feel really at home there.”

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