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Feb. 4, 2010 Volume 31, No. 18

Photos document "MU - Then and Now"

Gary Smith retired from MU in 2000 as the longtime admissions director and registrar after working on campus for 33 years. About a year later, “after I caught my breath,” Smith says, he was walking on campus, looking around him and thinking of all the changes he had seen over the years.

What once had been shabby areas of storefronts and boarding houses gradually were transformed into an impeccably groomed campus that consistently wins national awards for its landscaping and its thoughtful strategic planning that includes greenbelts and public areas.

“I thought, my god, look at the campus today; look at how much it’s changed,” Smith recalls. That epiphany started him thinking about putting together a photo exhibit that would compare the old with the new and showcase all the progress that has been made. Working with Campus Facilities and other MU departments, Smith developed an exhibit called “MU — Then and Now.”

It’s a nostalgic tribute to the old and a proud pat on the back for the new at Mizzou. Smith has used the exhibit when he travels the state and the country speaking to alumni groups. And for old campus veterans, the photos jog the memory and provide a “remember when?” moment.

For instance, there’s Carnahan Quad south of Jesse Hall, that just 15 years ago was a ragtag collection of shops, apartment houses and gravel parking lots. Or Kuhlman Court, a one-time residential neighborhood between University Bookstore and Ellis Library, that has been converted to a park-like setting. There is even an old photo of dairy cattle grazing on the east lawn of Eckles Hall.