Anyone with a little free time can brush up on his or her knowledge of the University of Missouri, thanks to the Mizzou Audio Tour. The free self-guided tour winds through the heart of campus — all that’s needed is a cellphone and some walking shoes.
Started in early September and sponsored by the Mizzou Alumni Association, the tour will help faculty, staff, students and visitors get better acquainted with 16 different locations, most of them on or adjacent to Francis Quadrangle, at their own pace.
The tour is a collaboration of university departments involved in the MU Pride of Place Campus Heritage Network. The tour is the brainchild of Associate Journalism Professor Clyde Bentley. LeAnn Stroupe, director of Visitor Relations, identified the sites for the tour, while University Affairs and Campus Facilities also had a hand in the project.
“We’re always looking for ways for alumni to connect and engage with the campus,” said David Roloff, director of Alumni Relations, “and we saw this as a perfect opportunity to have a wider reach on campus to allow alumni and visitors to really learn more about the historical landmarks on campus, but also to learn traditions behind them. And that’s the beauty of the Mizzou Audio Tour. It’s right up our alley.”
To take the tour, call 573-629-1364 and follow the prompts according to an accompanying sign at each site. Information about the site is relayed back in a voice message. Each message is approximately two minutes long and free; it only costs the user cellphone minutes.
The pre-recorded messages — written and recorded by Nathan G. Hurst, the convergence media manager for the MU News Bureau — include historical information and local secrets, such as student traditions, about each site.
Roloff said the tour could be expanded in the future to include more campus sites, and “there’s some talk” of campus dignitaries recording some of the messages.
Printed maps of historical sites can be found in Jesse Hall, the Reynolds Alumni Center or can be downloaded at Mizzou.com/audiotour.
“We just think people will really enjoy it. We think it’s a great addition to campus.” Roloff said.