David R. Francis Quadrangle

The Quad

Quad Sign


Tiger Walk

David Francis Monument

Switzler Hall










Jornalism School Archway

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.

The Columns
David R. Francis’ nose
Switzler Hall
Tap Day
Paddle Lines
The Journalism School

The Columns

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.

Switzler Hall

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

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.

Paddle Lines

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.

Journalism School

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!

Campus Spots

Memorial Union

Engineer's Shamrock

Peace Park

Aside from the quad, there are many other places on campus that share in the rich tradition and history of the university. These places include Memorial Union, Tucker Hall, the Engineering Shamrock and Peace Park.

Memorial Union

Completed in 1926, the Memorial Union tower was constructed as a tribute to 116 University of Missouri students who lost their lives in World War I. When the north portion was completed in 1950, the building was re-dedicated following World War II. When walking underneath the tower, people should always tip their hats and speak in a whisper to honor of our fallen soldiers.

Tucker Hall

The east side of Tucker Hall has an interesting pattern of windows upon it. It is said that when entered on an old computer punch card, this pattern spells out “M-I-Z beat k-U!”

Engineering Shamrock

The patio outside of Engineering Building East is home to the stone shamrock symbol of engineering. It is said that you are destined to marry an engineer if you walk across this embedded stone.

Peace Park

Following the tragic shootings at Kent State University, MU students deemed the area of MacAlester Park “Peace Park”. If you walk across the stone bridge with your significant other, you’ll be destined to marry.


MU - KU Rivalry


Homecoming King and Queen 2003

The unique history of MU continues with respect to our long-standing rivalries. These rivalries include Kansas, Iowa State, and Nebraska.

Rooted in the Civil War, our rivalry with Kansas is the oldest college rivalry west of the Mississippi. It’s no wonder that this rivalry brought about the first ever Homecoming game.

During a football game against Iowa State, crossed telephone wires allowed the two teams to hear their opponent’s plays, and the exchange of the Telephone Trophy was born.

We also exchange a bell with the University of Nebraska.


The Homecoming tradition at Mizzou was started in 1911, when the MU football coach and Director of Athletics, Chester Brewer, invited alumni to “come home” to Columbia for the annual football game against the University of Kansas.

Mizzou still boasts the largest student-run Homecoming in the nation. The annual events include a parade, blood drive, talent competition, tailgate and much more.

Tiger Tradition

Truman The Tiger

The symbol of the tiger at the University of Missouri is rooted in the Civil War. The militiamen that protected the Columbia area were known as the Fightin’ Tigers.

Tiger Traditions include Truman the Tiger and the Tigers for Tigers organization.

Truman the Tiger

Truman the Tiger, our beloved mascot, was born in 1986. He is named after Harry S Truman, 33rd president of the United States who was from Independence, Mo.

Tigers for Tigers

Our love of tigers has led to the creation of Tigers for Tigers, the first organization of its kind that fights for the preservation of endangered tigers around the world.

More Traditions

Tiger Plaza

Class Ring

While Mizzou has a rich history of traditions, many traditions have recently started or are gaining popularity. These include True Tigers, Tiger Plaza and the Official Mizzou Ring.

True Tiger Network

Established in 1991 True Tigers is the organization of student members of the Mizzou Alumni Association. With great benefits, exciting events and fun traditions, it is a great way for students to begin lifelong relationships with the university.

Tiger Plaza

Tiger Plaza was commemorated in October of 2002. Featuring a 6 x 11 ft., 1,200 lb. bronze statue of a bengal tiger and a beautiful fountain engraved with the words of the alma mater, Tiger Plaza further contributes to the rich traditions of MU.

Official Mizzou Ring

Gaining popularity, the Official Mizzou Ring is a symbol of accomplishment at the university. Upon completion of 60 hours of study, students are eligible to receive their rings in an annual ceremony.

Mizzou Legacy WalkMizzou Legacy Walk

Located at the entrance to the Reynolds Alumni Center this brick walkway features customized inscriptions of 2,576 students, alumni, fans and friends. More than one million dollars in revenue and earnings were generated through the project with net proceeds benefiting student scholarships. The
Mizzou Legacy Walk was dedicated Homecoming Weekend 2007 and the last brick was laid in time for Homecoming Weekend 2012. Each May, MAA staff and student leaders line the walkway with luminaries on the eve of May Commencement to honor the alumni who have walked before them.