Heavy automobile traffic used to populate the street between the University of Missouri’s Jesse Hall and Memorial Union before the existence of Lowry Mall. Talks of transforming MU into a pedestrian campus began in the 1960s when students complained about dodging cars on their ways to class. It wasn’t until Barbara Uehling’s term as chancellor that talk became reality. Although most students and faculty were excited about replacing the road with a red brick pathway dotted by white concrete accents — a plan meant to tie together red and white campus — money was tight. The five-phase project, which also created Speaker’s Circle, was finally finished in 1984, almost entirely due to budget allocations from the Student Fee Capital Improvement Committee and the university.

Memorial Union, which was only the newly finished Memorial Tower in 1926, stands proudly at the east end of Lowry Mall. The World Wars and a lack of funding impeded construction, but the north and south wings were completed in 1952 and 1963, respectively. It’s tradition for students to tip their hats and speak quietly as they pass through the archway inscribed with names of 455 MU men who died in World War I and II. Today, the words of a pamphlet written in 1923 imploring alumnus to help fund the building’s construction still ring true: Memorial Union is a “grateful recognition of the sacred debt we owe to the brave sons of Old Missouri,” “a home in the heart of the University life” and where “the strongest and most democratic and best Tiger spirit will be created.”

Recent News

A Passion for Family Medicine

Caring for your family is a difficult task. As a family physician, caring for hundreds of families is a big responsibility. One local nonprofit...

A Legacy for Columbia’s Future

Local business owner Thom Baker seeks to leave Columbia a gift when he retires. Tucked away in his equipment-lain home office, Thom Baker of...

Kevin Crane, Circuit Judge, Circuit 13 Division 3

Bio: I was born in 1961 at Boone County Hospital to Laura Pace Crane, a librarian, and Thomas E. Crane, a rural letter carrier....

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, United States Representative District 4

Bio: I represent Missouri’s 4th Congressional District. I currently serve on the House Agriculture and Armed Services Committees, and I am the Chairwoman of...

Finley Gibbs, Candidate for 13th Circuit Judge, Division I

Bio: I live in Columbia and have been married for 30 years to Becky. We have two sons in their 20’s. I graduated from...