The quad has long been a symbol of Mizzou pride and history. It is named after David R. Francis, the governor of Missouri who was instrumental to the rebuilding of the university after Academic Hall was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1892.
Many other traditions are associated with the quad.
David R. Francis’ nose
The Journalism School
The Columns are all that remains of Academic Hall, the first and main building on campus until it burned down on January 9, 1892. The Columns were originally deemed to be unsafe, but a rally in their defense kept them on campus to become an enduring symbol of MU.
Both Tiger Walk and Tiger Prowl are symbolic events that take place at the Columns.
Tiger Walk and Tiger Prowl
Established in 1995, Tiger Walk takes place each August before classes begin. To symbolize their entrance into Mizzou, the freshman class meets and walks through the Columns toward Jesse Hall.
Tiger Prowl is the corresponding event for seniors upon their graduation. Though their studies are completed, this walk through the Columns does not symbolize their leaving the university. It symbolizes the enduring connection that they will have as alumni.
David R. Francis’ Nose
As tribute to former governor of Missouri and a great proponent of the university, a statue of David R. Francis stands just northeast of the entrance to Jesse Hall. It is said that when a student rubs his nose, they’ll get an “A” on their next exam. Due to this tradition’s popularity, the nose has needed replacement a few times over the years.
Built in 1871, Switzler Hall is the oldest classroom building on campus. The bell in its tower used to signal the beginning and end of class periods, but now it only rings on Tap Day or to honor the death of a member of the Mizzou family.
Tap Day is the annual spring ceremony that recognizes outstanding students, faculty and staff. It is one of the highest honors on campus to be inducted into one of the six secret honor societies on this day.
Up until the end of World War II, there were rules about which students could walk on the quad. Freshmen were required to wear beanies and were not allowed on the quad. If a student wearing a beanie was caught on the Quad, the seniors would grab their paddles and form paddle lines.
The University of Missouri presented the world with the first ever School of Journalism, and has maintained recognition as one of the top journalism schools ever since.
Years ago, two students were under the J-School archway and bragging about having cheated on an exam. The dean of the school heard from his office above and failed both students. Legend has it now that when walking under the archway, students should always speak in a whisper. If they don’t, they risk failing their next exam!