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Alumni Profile

Mizzou shares the dream

Ty Christian

Mizzou alumnus Ty Christian gave his alma mater an 18-inch bronze replica of the 30-foot statue of Martin Luther King Jr. that stands in Washington, D.C.

As chief marketing strategist on the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Ty Christian shares more than just “the dream.” Christian, BA ’77, of Orlando, Fla., was integral to immortalizing the famed civil rights leader with a 30-foot granite monument dedicated Oct. 16, 2011, in Washington, D.C.

To further honor King, Christian presented his alma mater with an 18-inch bronze replica of the original stone statue sculpted by Chinese master sculptor Lei Yixin. For now, the handsome miniature will tour several campus buildings.

Although Christian has rubbed elbows with billionaire media moguls and presidents, it was his grandmother, Ida Mae Randall, who instilled in him an appreciation for opportunity.

“She felt and dealt with the humiliation and disrespect of racism,” says Christian, managing partner of the marketing firm TRC Consulting Group. “And like Dr. King, she used self-confidence and respect for one’s self as a primary tool to overcome the challenge.”

Adding some edgy levity to the Jan. 25, 2012, Missouri Theatre ceremony was Larry Wilmore, correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The audience also viewed several commercials Christian’s group created to promote the project. His efforts ultimately raised $118 million.

Yet, Christian credited the woman who helped raise him.

“She was consumed with the fact that she was equal to everyone,” he said. “Not better. Not worse. Equal.” — Marcus Wilkins