Mizzou's Big Week

10 things you must experience

So much is happening on campus the week of Sept. 15-21. In true Tiger style, we're marking the university's 175th fall semester with a multi-day party. We're inaugurating our chancellor. We're hobnobbing with world-renowned artists, scientists, historians and other assorted experts. We're hanging out with mom and dad. We're going to the game. By Sunday, you might be giddily worn out, Tigers; pace yourselves.

Here's a small sample of the things you can do/see/hear this week at Mizzou:

1. A Thomas Jefferson expert.

Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, comes to the Missouri Theatre Monday, Sept. 15. The University of Missouri was the first public university founded in the Louisiana Purchase territory, and we have historical and philosophical ties to Jefferson — not to mention his original tombstone and a life-size bronze sculpture of the third president (pictured, knitbombed, in 2010).

2. World-famous chimpanzee pal Jane Goodall.

The 80-year-old anthropologist, primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace comes to Mizzou Arena Wednesday, Sept. 17, as part of the Delta Gamma Foundation Lectureship in Values and Ethics. Yes, that Jane Goodall. We’re pretty stoked.

3. A residence hall room on fire in the middle of campus.

As part of Safety Week, on Thursday, Sept. 18, a typical student room will be constructed on Speakers Circle and then burned to the ground. (It takes about three minutes.) Other Safety Week events address personal safety, sexual violence, sexual health, pedestrian safety, campus emergencies and active-shooter threats. Outdoor Safety Week events originally scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 17, have been rescheduled because of rain.

4. Academics decked out in fancy regalia.

The inauguration of Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin includes a processional by Mizzou faculty and esteemed delegates from other universities and “learned societies.” They'll be clad in gowns, hoods and tams — maybe bonnets. Mark Twain (pictured at Mizzou in 1902, when he received an honorary doctorate) will not be in attendance, but his lectern will be used in the ceremony.

5. Chancellor Loftin's big day, a new mace, some mules and an afterparty.

Along with his distinctive style of dress (which you may replicate), our chancellor is bringing new traditions to Mizzou. Staff members have designed and constructed a ceremonial mace, made with a beam from Switzler Hall and a 3-D printer, to be unveiled at the 3:30 p.m. installation ceremony Thursday, Sept. 18, after which R. Bowen and Karin Loftin will be ferried by mule cart to a 5 p.m. reception in Memorial Union. Inauguration Week also is peppered with lively discourse among intellectual bigwigs.

6. A legendary African musician.

Music buffs have the very rare opportunity to meet world-renowned mbira player Fradreck Mujuru Thursday, Sept. 18. The Zimbabwean musician is on a two-month tour of North America with Californian Erica Azim, and Mizzou is one of their stops. Hear the pair perform the music of the Shona people at First Presbyterian Church, next to Ragtag, at 7 p.m. after the inauguration reception (and student mbira workshops). Prepare to be mesmerized.

7. Founding families' old clothes.

Selections from the wardrobes of Faurots, Jesses and Hearneses — and other highlights of the Missouri Historic Costume & Textile Collection — are on display as part of the 2014 ArtiFact Museum and Gallery Crawl, happening 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18. Tour Mizzou's many galleries, museums and gardens while talented students perform live music.

8. Glowing Columns.

We're holding a special ceremony on the Quad at 9:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, to illuminate the Columns, commemorating Mizzou's 175-year history. Let them stand a thousand years.

9. Fun with moms and dads!

Family Weekend happens Sept. 19-21. Show your guests a good time. Bring your family to class. Take photos with Truman. Check out scads of open houses. Watch the football game. Fill up at various breakfasts, brunches and barbecues. Do not send your parents home with your laundry.

10. Football.

Mizzou takes on Indiana at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, on Faurot Field. During a special 175th anniversary halftime, Marching Mizzou will perform an entire show centered around the history of the university — with a nod to the newly inaugurated chancellor. See you there, Tigers.

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