Publisher’s Column

Proud Past, Promising Future

Here at the University of Missouri we spend a lot of time thinking about the future: about discoveries that will change lives, and about ways to best employ science and scholarship in the service of a better tomorrow.

But it is also fitting that we occasionally pause to consider what’s come before. Recently, for example, the MU community has marked both the 150th anniversary of the Land-Grant College Act and the 175th anniversary of the founding of this University. In this issue of Illumination, we’re narrowing our focus to highlight two campus institutions — one old, one newer — that shed light on both the University’s rich history and its continued vitality.

The first is MU Extension. Now a century old, MU Extension has been, and continues to be, a crucial driver in bringing university-developed technology to rural economies. These advances, in turn, have helped transform the American Midwest into the world’s breadbasket.

The second is the tenth anniversary of the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center, MU’s light-filled landmark of new-era science. Our story describes how the Bond LSC’s innovative design has fostered a better approach to problem solving, one that has become a model for collaborative research across the globe.

In the current Illumination you’ll also encounter additional faculty researchers making contributions that I suspect future generations will look back on with approval. Avian ecologist Frank Thompson, for instance, has determined that songbirds may be at greatest risk during their juvenile development, a finding that could help reverse the alarming population decline of many species. You’ll also meet John Tanner, a biochemist, and learn how he has harnessed the power of an enormous “synchrotron” to map a protein with great therapeutic potential. And you will see how a group of intrepid atmospheric scientists and their students are getting up close and personal with “elevated convection” storms, one of nature’s most intense weather events.

In these stories and others, it’s easy to see how previous accomplishments are serving as a prelude to contemporary successes. I hope you’ll also agree that, here at MU, our proud past points to an even more promising future.

Hank Foley signature

Hank C. Foley, PhD,
Senior Vice Chancellor for Research, Graduate Studies and Economic Development

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