The University of Missouri is steeped in tradition.
“When I was going through the college admissions processes, Mizzou’s traditions made it an appealing option,” said Breanne Brammer, MU alum. “I felt at home on campus.”
Traditions at MU are held close to the hearts of students and staff, and symbolize growth and stability.
“Tradition on campus is important to students,” said Maresa Sykes, MU junior. “Being a part of on-campus traditions has been a monumental part of my Mizzou experience.”
From the columns on Francis Quadrangle to Memorial Union, from homecoming to the infamous rock “M”, from Tiger Walk to Tiger Prowl, and from Tap Day to landmarks on campus such as the engineering shamrock or the bust of David R. Francis, stories of the past are never far away.
“Walking through the campus past the columns for Tiger Prowl will forever remain one of my favorite Mizzou traditions,” said Brammer.
In addition to the monuments and landmarks, there is the longstanding tradition of the “senior bucket list” — a list of seven tasks many students try to complete before graduating from MU.
1. Yell, “I love Mizzou” in Speaker’s Circle
Just outside the Arts and Science Building where Ninth Street meets Conley Avenue, you will find Speaker’s Circle. Constructed in 1986, Speaker’s Circle is an addition to Conley Plaza. UM System President C. Peter Magrath designated Speaker’s Circle on Feb. 2, 1987, as the only area on campus where speakers do not need a permit. There are no limits on the number of speakers or the amount of times they speak, the only requirements are that they do not disturb classes and pedestrians are allowed to pass through. By yelling “I Love Mizzou” while standing in the center of speakers circle, your voice will echo down the street for many of Columbia residents and MU students to hear. What better place to show your love for the University of Missouri, and all things black and gold?
Swim in Brady Fountain
Brady Fountain is located outside the student center by the Arts and Science Building. The fountain has running water in it during warm weather months from spring through fall. Students on the MU campus are familiar with several different fountains, but swimming in Brady Fountain will allow you to cross another item off your bucket list. Remember to bring a towel to avoid a damp walk home.
Ride the Tiger
In the center of Tiger Plaza sits a 1,200-pound, 11-foot-high bronze tiger statue. Tiger Plaza is directly between Cornell and Strickland Hall and sits to the south of Jesse Hall. It is a tradition to climb the tiger and take a ride. To make this “senior bucket list” item that much sweeter for MU students, it is rumored that a Jayhawk – the University of Kansas’ mascot – lies in the belly of this unique tiger.
Streak Across the Quad
Francis Quadrangle is the site of two well-known MU traditions, Tiger Walk for freshmen entering the University, and Tiger Prowl for those who have completed their MU undergraduate journey. On Francis Quadrangle stands the historic columns, a national landmark that was left behind after the burning of Academic Hall in 1892. David R. Francis fought to keep the University in Columbia, so the quad was named after him. The historic columns were chosen as the center of campus when it was time to rebuild. Streaking the quad may be an embarrassing task, but if you can make it from Jesse Hall to the Reynolds Journalism Institute, you have succeeded.
Kiss Farout Field’s 50-Yard Line
Farout Field, also known as Memorial Stadium, was designed in 1952 and is home to Missouri Tigers Football. In 1972, the field was renamed to Farout Field in honor of long-time coach Don Farout. It a “senior bucket list” item to kiss the 50-yard line. Although sneaking onto the field is considered trespassing, rushing the field after a big Mizzou win with thousands of fellow students and tiger fans is a plausible way to mark this item off of your bucket list.
Explore the Tunnels
The MU underworld, as some like to call it, is a system of tunnels that serve a significant purpose underneath campus. The tunnels allow maintenance to be done without tearing apart large areas of campus. Although they are large enough to move and work in, they are for authorized personnel only. Along with these secret tunnels, there are tunnels that are permitted for student use. Underneath Laws Hall lies a tunnel that runs to other residence halls as well as dining halls.
Climb Jesse Hall
Jesse Hall is the main academic hall on MU’s campus. Built in 1893, after the burning of Academic Hall, Jesse Hall is located on the south end of Francis Quadrangle. The dome on Jesse Hall sits nine stories above the ground and is taller than the building itself. The dome was first lit in 1987; bright white lights shine on it through the night except for special occasions such as Engineering Week, when the lights are green and homecoming when the lights are gold. Climbing the dome of Jesse Hall is a nearly impossible task due to security systems on the building. Climbing Jesse Hall is now considered trespassing.
You may not complete the list, but you can’t avoid traditions at MU.
“Every time I walk through Memorial Union or across the Quad I am reminded of our university’s rich history,” Brammer said. “Our campus’s traditions have instilled within me pride for Mizzou, I will continue to be apart of the Mizzou family long past my days as a student.”