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Mizzou: Then & Now

Mizzou's campus through the years

Then and Now

The Columns. Jesse Hall. Memorial Union. When years and miles separate alumni from the University of Missouri, sentimental Tigers may daydream of these architectural icons. But with roughly 16.5 million square feet and an ever-changing landscape (see the slideshow below), your Mizzou memories probably include a number of perspectives unique to your time in Columbia.

Adobe Flash version 8, or higher, and Java Script are required to view the slide show for this feature story.

Whether you graduated in the post-GI Bill 1940s, the happening 1970s or the new millennium, you’ve witnessed a slice of Mizzou’s steady metamorphosis. Panoramic walkways and gardens now embellish every corner, new facilities have sprouted, older buildings have been renovated and entire blocks have been bulldozed and beautified.

Gary Smith, M Ed ’65, EdD ’71, admissions director emeritus who worked at MU for 33 years, enjoys walking down memory lane — but he prefers present-day Conley Avenue, Hitt Street or Rollins Road.

“In terms of campus environment, I can’t think of anything I miss,” Smith says. “If I think I miss something, I realize that I like what’s here now so much more.”

Of course, the nature of nostalgia means many former students may fondly remember swimming at the Natatorium or returning from class to Pneumonia Gulch. But for every Kuhlman Court that has been demolished, there’s a new Carnahan Quadrangle improving the view.

Perry Chapman, MU master planning consultant, credits his predecessor Jack Robinson for the University of Missouri’s more cohesive look. Put into effect in 1982, the campus master plan signaled a departure from buildings as “objects in space,” which were popular in the 1960s, toward objects that define the space between them.

“Historically, the Francis Quadrangle is the gold standard,” says Chapman, who has held his position since 1998 and retired in June 2010. “Newer spaces such as Hulston Hall, Reynolds Alumni Center and Cornell Hall have been built to shape the Carnahan Quad. And ultimately, we expect that Strickland Hall (formerly the General Classroom Building) will be expanded to do the same thing.”

Carnahan Quadrangle has arguably undergone the most dramatic transformation of any campus area, but as the photographs show, aspects of numerous spaces at Mizzou have been upgraded over the years. Anyone who has flipped through old volumes of the Savitar has
experienced the wonderment of a campus perpetually in flux.

Mizzou’s pride in its classic beauty is written into the alma mater, just as its status as a world-class research university is part of the mission statement. For generations of Tigers, those ideas honor “then” and advance “now.”

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