MU Alumni Celebrate the New Traditions Plaza

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Sarah Sabatke – MUTV 23 News Staff Writer

The Mizzou Alumni Association dedicated Traditions Plaza, a new outdoor amphitheater on campus, on Friday, Oct. 24.

The creation of the new campus landmark was entirely funded by donations, and MU alumni contributed every brick.

Construction began on the plaza during the first week of July, and the last brick was put into place on Friday morning. The plaza is located at the end of Carnahan Quadrangle, across the street from the iconic Jesse Hall, and is now the largest programming stage in central campus. The university plans to use the space for spirit rallies, concerts, outdoor classes, and other campus activities.

Tom Schultz, MU alumna and past director of the alumni association, enjoyed experiencing the new space and the traditions that it represents.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing. It not only takes up the space that can be used for a lot of alumni activities, but it was sponsored by the Alumni Association; not one individual, but by all these people who have their names on the bricks. It’s going to be a great thing for rallies, for homecoming, and for various things at the university,” said Schultz.

The upper terrace of the plaza features a platform called the “Mizzou Legacy Circle.” The circle is reserved for the pavers of families with two or more generations of MU graduates. Granite tiles make up the amphitheater and pay tribute to MU history, traditions, and notable alumni.

MU alumni and descendants of its founding families filled the stage as Chancellor Loftin cut the ribbon, formally dedicating Traditions Plaza as the newest campus landmark. The chancellor welcomed graduates back to MU, and emphasized the importance of tradition throughout the event.

“We have 17 traditions we want to recognize. We’ve immortalized those in granite blocks where those traditions are carved, and generations can come here year after year and see those traditions carved in those stones as a permanent reminder of what this place is all about… If you meet somebody today who graduated 50 years ago, you will have experienced the same traditions in some cases. That’s the beginning of a friendship, a network experience, a job, a sale if you’re looking for a client. All kinds of things you can do with that kind of connection that uniquely come from places like Mizzou, that have these longstanding traditions that tie us together,” said Loftin.

The Chancellor also expressed his excitement in experiencing his first MU Homecoming after taking office on Feb. 1 of 2014.

“I’m still learning every minute right now because my it’s first one here. Where I came from last didn’t have homecomings. This place, I believe, is the oldest homecoming in existence, so we have a long history here of doing this. And just seeing the people around campus today who’ve come back for this moment is very special. Tomorrow with the parade, to be able to experience that directly myself, to be able to see some of the decorations around town, the floats, that’s special as well. Then to beat Vanderbilt!”

Traditions Plaza will act as a permanent symbol of MU’s strong traditions and pride of place. As old friends excitedly reunited and new friends were made, it was clear that the universities ever-expanding family has not lost their passion for Missouri’s flagship university.

 

 

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