Founders Day pop quiz

On Feb. 11, Mizzou celebrates the 185th anniversary of its founding. Brush up on your Mizzou knowledge with a round of true or false.

Feb. 7, 2024
Contact: Deidra Ashley,

1. The University of Missouri was the first public university west of the Mississippi.

True. Through the Geyer Act, the Missouri legislature established the University of Missouri as the first public higher-education institution west of the Mississippi and the first in the territory obtained in the Louisiana Purchase. Mizzou was founded Feb. 11, 1839.

2. Mizzou’s first graduating class consisted of ten students.

False. The first graduating class consisted of just two students: cousins Robert L. Todd and Robert B. Todd. The ceremony was held in 1843 and lasted three hours.

3. The first Mizzou vs. KU basketball game was played in 1891.

False. The first Mizzou vs. KU football game was played in Kansas City on Oct.31, 1891. It was the first time the two schools had competed in any sport. They wouldn’t play their first basketball game until 1907.

4. The University was almost relocated to a different city.

True. After the fire that destroyed Academic Hall in 1892, many state legislators proposed relocating the university. Missouri Governor David R. Francis was a major advocate for Mizzou remaining in Columbia, and he was successful in his argument. As a result, Francis Quadrangle was named in his honor.

5. The first home football game was played at Memorial Stadium.

False. Memorial Stadium wasn’t opened until 1926, when it was dedicated to students who lost their lives in World War I. Prior to this, the Tigers played on Rollins Field (which was later renamed Stankowski Field).

6. The Shack’s original location was in the MU Student Center.

False. The Shack was originally located where the Reynolds Alumni Center now stands. It was destroyed by a fire in 1988. In 2010, the MU Student Center opened with Mort’s Grill and The Shack as a tribute to the popular student hangout.

7. Mizzou co-founded the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

True. Mizzou’s first intercollegiate athletic conference was the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which it co-founded in 1907 with Drake, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Nebraska and Washington University in St. Louis.

8. Lowry Mall was once a city street.

True. In 1981, Lowry Street was reconstructed into a pedestrian mall. Now known as Lowry Mall, it’s home to the Student Success Center and Ellis Library.

9. The Mizzou campus is a registered botanical garden.

True. The Mizzou Botanic Garden was established in 1999 to help fulfill Chancellor Barbara Uehling’s vision to “unify and beautify” the campus. The garden consists of 1,252 acres.

10. The dome of Jesse Hall is taller than the main building.

True. At 102 feet, 7 inches, the dome is taller than the 77-foot main building. It rises nine stories above Francis Quadrangle and provides a stunning view from the top.

Story written by Jennifer Manning

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