Students wear snapbacks featuring University of Missouri Mascot, the Tigers. Photo via Jeremiah via Flickr
If you’re new to the University of Missouri (UM), or even if you’ve been a student for a while now, there are a few traditions you should be aware of. Since the university was founded in 1839, it has developed historical significance in the midwest as well as across the nation. UM was the first public college established west of the Mississippi River and is the largest university in the state. The student body has grown to nearly 40,000 students who can select from over 300 degree programs. The student body is dedicated to keeping the school’s traditions preserved, and much of student life revolves around traditional events such as homecoming, the Tiger Walk, and Tiger Prowl. More about these UM traditions and others is detailed below.
UM is credited with being the inventor of homecoming, as it is celebrated today at universities across America. They hosted the first homecoming in 1911, when playing against the University of Kansas. The athletic director invited graduates to “come back home” for the football game, and the turnout was amazing! Since then, UM has incorporated many additional events into the homecoming tradition, and the celebration takes place not over a single weekend or week, but across three weeks! There’s a reason they call it the longest and the greatest homecoming in the nation.
School songs are a big part of university culture. Nearly every university has at least three staple songs in their songbook: an alma mater, chant, and fight song. These songs are played at football games, basketball games, other sporting events, graduation ceremonies, and student and faculty activities. Every UM student should know the Old Missouri (alma mater), Every True Son (chant), and Fight Tiger (fight song).
Tiger Walk and Prowl:
Most students feel a sense of solidarity with their entrance and graduating class. While students of all different years, whether freshman, sophomores, or juniors, or seniors, will mingle and become friends, students experience a special closeness with those who are in their same year. One of the best bonding experiences and traditions at UM for new and graduating students is the Tiger Walk and Tiger Prowl. The two ceremonious events involve running through (freshman) or out from (seniors) the iconic columns at the Francis Quadrangle. The first and last day of college are two bookends to a unique chapter of life unlike any other. Each is marked by participation in either the Tiger Walk or Prowl.
Marching Mizzou is the University of Missouri’s marching band. They pep up students for athletic events, such as football and basketball, and perform at other events such as parades and competitions. They’re known for their quick moving and entertaining style, bringing famous performances such as “Flip Tigers” to Faurot Field. The band is the largest student organization on campus, and includes woodwind and brass sections, drumline, color guard, and twirlers. The Golden Girls dance team also perform with the band frequently.
The Golden Girls perform with Marching Mizzou, Photo by Miguel Mendez via Flickr
Student life is greatly enhanced by the presence of traditions. UM excels at enriching student and campus life with a long list of traditions. These are continually upheld by spirited students, the university’s Greek chapters, and the Mizzou Alumni Association. To stay involved with UM, visit their official website, or check them out on Facebook. You can leave your mark on the legacy of Mizzou traditions by getting involved at every given chance!