By Tess Vrbin

A large crowd gathered in Traditions Plaza on Monday for the reveal of the 2016 Mizzou 39, an honor given to 39 seniors for outstanding leadership, service, and academic achievement during their four years at MU.

MU Alumni Association Executive Director Todd McCubbin introduced the ceremony. After saying there had never been warmer weather for a Mizzou 39 reveal, he acknowledged the abundance of tradition on the MU campus.

“One of the things we always talk about when we celebrate tradition is excellence,” he said. “You’re going to meet 39 outstanding seniors (who) embody that excellence.”

The Alumni Association Student Board chooses the Mizzou 39 every year. McCubbin introduced AASB President Sarah Vickery, who introduced this year’s recipients.

“As we stand here on Traditions Plaza, we remember the founders of this university 177 years ago,” she said. “In 1839, these individuals gave of their time and resources to ensure that the university would make its home here in Columbia. Like the many Missouri faithful who followed, each recipient has demonstrated honorable selflessness by giving of their time and talent as campus and community leaders.”

As Vickery read the list of names, the recipients emerged from behind the brick walls and lined up on the stage. Each person received and lit a candle. When all 39 students had formed the line, they and the audience sang the Alma Mater.

After the ceremony, recipient Cole Lawson said being named one of the Mizzou 39 was a great way to finish his college career.

“It really sends me off on a good note (from) the university that I’ve fallen in love with over the past four years,” he said. “It’s been a transformative experience.”

Tyler Easton said he was honored to be one of the Mizzou 39 and had been thinking about it since his freshman year. Standing on the stage with the other 38 honorees was an unforgettable experience, he said.

“These are 38 other people who have had a profound impact on Mizzou,” Easton said. “I feel incredibly proud to represent the university and be onstage with all those accomplished people.”

Lawson agreed that the friendships between the honorees made the night memorable.

“Whenever you get into different aspects of campus, you find friends that you can surround yourself with and challenge you and make you better,” he said. “That’s what those other people onstage did for me.”

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