Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

Oct. 3, 2013 Volume 35, No. 7

Campaign Cabinet spends day learning about University of Missouri

Alternate text

Thirty-nine cabinet alumni and 10 faculty, along with spouses and administrators, dined Friday evening on the stage of the Missouri Theatre to close a whirlwind day on the upcoming $1 billion-plus “One Mizzou” fundraiser. Photo by Morgan Lieberman.

Former cabinet member who donated $8.5 million during “For All We Call Mizzou” encourages financial support

As MU gears up for its “One Mizzou” comprehensive  campaign, administrators sought feedback from select alumni on the fundraising goals of the campaign and the goals of the university. 

To help the process, the 39 alumni who make up the Campaign Cabinet spent last Friday learning more about the $1 billion-plus fundraiser, and talking with deans, faculty and a handful of students. 

The “One Mizzou” campaign is scheduled to kick off publicly in 2015–16 and conclude in 2020–21; its quiet phase started in January 2012. 

The last major fundraising campaign, “For All We Call Mizzou,” was from 2000 to 2008 and raised $1 billion for the university. 

In April 2005, alumnus Bill Thompson, tri-chair of the “For All We Call Mizzou” cabinet, and wife Nancy gave $8.5 million to create MU’s Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Bill Thompson, who has a nephew with Down Syndrome, said at that announcement: “We have great confidence in these leaders to use our financial resources wisely to contribute the types of results that will make a difference.”

On Friday, Thompson reiterated that point and told cabinet members it is important to serve as a volunteer and financially support their alma mater.

Cabinet Feedback

During his presentation, Tom Hiles, vice chancellor for advancement, rhetorically asked what the new chancellor’s top priorities should be in his or her first year in the wake of Chancellor Brady J. Deaton’s retirement Nov. 15. At a late afternoon reception in the Residence on Francis Quadrangle, some cabinet members weighed in.

Howard Russell Jr., BS Ag ’79, is an area credit manager at MFA Inc., a regional agricultural supply cooperative serving more than 45,000 farmers in Missouri and contiguous states. Russell hoped the new chancellor would continue MU’s emphasis on important research.. “Research is how you make a difference,” Russell said in the residence’s east parlor. 

He was impressed with the day’s presentations. “We have people in positions of leadership to lead us well.”

Cabinet member John D. Bies, PhD ’72, said he hopes the next chancellor is an academic from an Association of American Universities institution.

Bies is an adjunct professor of comparative politics and government at the University of South Carolina Upstate, and the MU Graduate School representative on the cabinet. In 2013, Bies established MU’s Graduate Student International Fellowship endowment, which helps students pay for international travel. He would like to see MU continue to expand its “international footprint.”

Bies also said the university has a stellar reputation in many parts of America and the world. In South Carolina where he teaches, MU is viewed as a “high-quality academic institution,” he said.

Distinguished Dialogues

Following the reception, the group headed to the Missouri Theatre for “Distinguished Dialogues: An Evening with Mizzou.” In the lobby before dinner, Mizzou Forte, a choir of a dozen students, performed. 

The group proceeded into the auditorium and took their seats on stage for dinner. Among them were tri-chairs Catherine A. Allen, BS HES ’68, LHD ’05, who founded the consulting firm The Santa Fe Group and is the College of Human Environmental Sciences campaign representative; José M. Gutiérrez, BS ’84, M Acc ’85, president of AT&T’s Wholesale Solutions; and Richard Miller, BA ’70, LittD ’00, CEO of Miller’s Professional Imaging, a photography laboratory.                                                                                                                                      

The 10 faculty joining them were:

• Michael LeFevre, vice chair and director of clinical services in the School of Medicine; 

• Marilyn Rantz, Curators Professor of Nursing;

• M. Frederick Hawthorne, director of the International Institute of Nano and Molecular Medicine;

• Michael Cook, a professor of agricultural economics;

• Junamaria Cordones-Cook, a professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures;

• Carolyn Henry, a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and the School of Medicine;

• Shibu Jose, director of the Center for Agroforestry;

• Kattesh Katti, Curators Distinguished Professor of Biological Engineering, Physics and Radiology;

• Wilma King, a professor of history;

• Steve Watts, a professor of history whose most recent biography is Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream

“Our goal is for you to come away from this evening with firsthand experience of the quality of our teaching, research and service to Missouri, the nation and the globe,” Deaton told the guests.

Watts, who also has written biographies on Henry Ford and Walt Disney, said at the reception that he wanted to open up a discussion at his table on the “consumer culture of self-fulfillment as opposed to the Victorian idea of self-denial.” The other faculty also planned dinner table discussions on an aspect of their scholarly expertise.

On the stage in a darkened theatre of empty seats, alumni, faculty, adminstrators and spouses shared stories, laughs and stimulating conversation.