Party animals

Tigers celebrate Mizzou's 175th birthday with fanfare and revelry.

Photos by Shane Epping
Published Feb. 11, 2014


Truman the Tiger bursts through a banner at the MU Student Center during a party celebrating the 175th anniversary of Mizzou's founding.

Mizzou threw a huge birthday party Tuesday to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the university's Feb. 11, 1839, founding. Mini Mizzou played. Golden Girls danced. Truman burst through a birthday banner. We had confetti cannons. We even had birthday cake shaped like Jesse Hall.

Party-goers gathered in the MU Student Center to watch celebratory videos that tug at Tigers' heartstrings and hear remarks from Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, Graduate Professional Council President Jake Wright, Missouri Students Association President Mason Schara and Gary Link of MU Athletics.

Truman blew out the birthday candles with help from the new chancellor and Cindy Mustard, BA '65, a member of one of Mizzou's founding families. Afterward students lined up for presents: cupcakes, Tiger Stripe ice cream and commemorative T-shirts.

Tigers unable to attend the party watched a live stream online and tweeted comments with the hashtag #Mizzou175. Keep sharing your birthday wishes and favorite memories; we're celebrating all year.


Cindy Mustard, BA ’65, lights the birthday candles. Mustard is the great-great granddaughter of Benjamin Conley, who donated $200 to the university subscription effort in 1839. Now co-owner of Tiger Trolley Tours, Mustard is widely known in Columbia for her volunteer work.


Truman the Tiger, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin and Cindy Mustard blow out the candles atop Mizzou's birthday cake, a delicious replica of Jesse Hall.


Cannons explode, showering Truman, Loftin, Mustard and fellow Tigers in shiny black-and-gold confetti.


Three Mizzou chancellors come together for the party: Chancellor Emeritus Richard Wallace (1997-2004), Chancellor Emeritus Brady Deaton (2004-2013) and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.


A future Tiger records the event on a cell phone.


Gary Link addresses the crowd. Link is the special assistant to the athletics director, a Mizzou sports commentator and a former Mizzou basketball player, .


Students line up for cupcakes, T-shirts and Tiger Stripe ice cream.


Tigers pick up (and photograph) gold cupcakes.


Truman snuggles up to his new friend, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.


Gold-glitter-covered 175th anniversary signs add sparkly flair to the event.

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