The Mizzou community welcomed Alexander Cartwright as the university's new chancellor with an announcement and reception in the Reynolds Alumni Center's Great Room Wednesday. Attendees included UM System President Mun Choi, former Interim President Mike Middleton, Provost Garnett Stokes, Truman the Tiger and Mini Mizzou, as well as a standing-room-only crowd of students, faculty and staff.
In his remarks, Cartwright talked about his childhood in the Bahamas, where his math education ended in the seventh grade and formal schooling in the 11th grade. After moving from the Bahamas to Iowa, Cartwright worked janitorial jobs, earned a GED and enrolled in community college before transferring to the University of Iowa, where he earned first a bachelor's degree and then a doctorate in engineering.
“I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to lead such a prestigious institution when I was growing up in the Bahamas,” Cartwright told the crowd. “I never would have thought I’d have the opportunity to attend college, much less become a faculty member at an AAU institution.”
Cartwright said his special appreciation for public institutions of higher education inspires his vision for Mizzou as he becomes our new leader.
“My story is not unique. We see these stories all the time — people who have benefited from attending a public land grant university like Mizzou," said Cartwright, who was a first-generation college student. "We must ensure that the university provides access and opportunity to all Missourians.”
Cartwright, currently provost and vice president for the State University of New York system, takes office as Mizzou's chancellor Aug. 1.
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