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Around the Columns

Tigers making memories

College Imprints

Bria Burk, who will graduate in December 2012, designs posters of Francis Quadrangle, filling column shapes with words and memories. She and her brother, Kyle Burk, BS EE, BS CoE ’09, founded College Imprints in January 2010.

Third-generation Tigers Kyle and Bria Burk inscribe more than a decade of memories and college colloquialisms such as “M-I-Z” and “Z-O-U” into the sextet of columns from what remains of Academic Hall.

But think entrepreneurialism, not vandalism. 

Bria, slated to graduate in December 2012, designs posters of Francis Quadrangle, filling column shapes with words and memories. 

She and brother Kyle, BS EE, BS CoE ’09, founded College Imprints customized posters in January 2010 after Bria designed one for parents Karl, BS IE ’82, and Dana Burk, BS BA ’82. 

“I just heard my parents talk about Mizzou so much,” Bria says. So she crafted an image of the Columns out of words, highlighting familial MU memories dating back to the early ’50s, when her paternal grandparents, E.K. Burk, BA ’54, MD ’58, and Marge Burk, BS HE ’55, attended the university.

Bria now works part time in the MU Student Design Center. But College Imprints is a family business. Kyle handles the business aspects. He remembers trips to MU with his father, who would return to Columbia to reminisce with Beta Theta Pi fraternity brothers. Kyle is also a Beta Theta Pi member, and his sister and mother are Pi Beta Phi members.

“My whole family has roots in the town,” Kyle says. He planted more roots in Columbia for the Burk family when he proposed Aug. 15, 2010, at the Columns. Kyle and his wife, Lauren Heyle Burk, BS ’09, returned to their alma mater after taking a detour from a friend’s wedding in St. Louis. 

Kyle planned to propose on Francis Quadrangle and celebrate with friends afterward at Shakespeare’s Pizza. But the order swapped when Lauren noticed the familiar faces at Shakespeare’s as she and Kyle headed to the Quad. “Thankfully none of them blew it and said anything,” Kyle says.

He eventually left with a slightly suspicious Lauren.

As they approached their destination, Kyle grabbed Lauren and led her through the muddy soil up to the Columns and proposed. 

Her answer should surely make it onto a poster in their home.