Anne Deaton and Chancellor Brady Deaton will be leading the university in a different way this Homecoming. The couple was selected to be the 2013 Homecoming grand marshals.
The couple was chosen in honor of their service and time at MU, said Alyson Friend, the Mizzou Alumni Association Student Programs coordinator.
“Every year, we choose someone who represents the university well,” Friend said. “The Deatons obviously do that very well with their leadership at the university. And with it being their last Homecoming on campus, we thought it would be a really good way to honor them.”
When asked about being chosen as this year’s grand marshal, Anne Deaton’s face lit up with a radiant smile.
“That is just so exciting,” she said. “We were not expecting (to be chosen). We couldn’t be prouder. Homecoming and its tradition here at Mizzou is a part of the excitement of being on campus.”
Chancellor Deaton was equally as ecstatic about being selected as grand marshal.
“It was just a tremendous honor because this is something that our university has such a rich tradition in,” he said. “We were totally surprised by the announcement and feel wonderful about it. It is a crowning reward for our time here.”
Anne Deaton said Homecoming is a special experience on campus.
“Everything about Homecoming just reminds me of the great spirit of this university and the pride everyone takes in it,” she said. “It promotes a good feeling about MU and encourages alums to become reconnected with their university after being away for a while.”
Anne Deaton added that she is looking forward to being accompanied by her husband, their four children and seven grandchildren in the parade this year.
Brady Deaton said he has high hopes for the Homecoming football game against South Carolina.
“I am very, very excited,” he said. “I always expect a Tiger victory and expect no less in this one. But win or lose, we’ll still be proud of our team.”
Anne Deaton is an adjunct professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing, the College of Human Environmental Sciences and the College of Education.
Looking back on her time at MU, Anne Deaton discussed the sentimental connection she has had with the university.
“This university means an enormous amount to me,” she said. “There are students and faculty here who work very hard, and the research we do and the quality teaching that influence our graduates will have a global impact.”
Anne Deaton said she will miss living on Francis Quadrangle and being close to the students the most.
“I usually begin my mornings by looking out the window and seeing students walk past the columns,” she said. “It’s a very uplifting scene. We can take walks on the campus and be surrounded by the students. Their vitality and enthusiasm is contagious.”
Brady Deaton started his MU career as a professor in the department of agricultural and applied economics in 1983. Over the years, Deaton has been the university’s chief of staff, deputy chancellor and provost. Deaton began his position as chancellor in 2004.
“I enjoyed it very much,” Brady Deaton said. “It was an opportunity for me to get acquainted with many faculty, students and alumni around the world that have been in the university. They hold the university so dear and value it so highly, which strengthened my commitment to making this the best university possible. It has been a very rich and rewarding experience.”
Brady Deaton is set to retire as chancellor Nov. 15.
This is only the end of one chapter of the Deatons’ MU career.
The couple will continue their work in international development with the Brady and Anne Deaton Institute for University Leadership in International Development, which will be headquartered at MU.
“I think it’s a good time for this transition,” Brady Deaton said. “I just returned from the World Food Conference in Des Moines and was able to explore some ideas with the people there. I think the time is right today for utilizing professional backgrounds in economics or in the sciences for the work I am interested in doing to alleviate some of the worst conditions in the world, in terms of poverty and hunger.”
Anne Deaton expressed her enthusiasm about the future.
“We’re excited about having a bit more flexibility in our schedule so we can spend more time with our grandchildren,” she said. “At the same time, we’re going to stay busy with the formation of the institute and connecting with colleagues across the country and around the globe.”
The institution was unanimously approved by the Board of Curators in June.
“The institute will enable us to examine ways that a university can be most effective in its international connections,” Brady Deaton said. “It will also give me the opportunity to pursue issues of food security, nutrition and health concerns around the world.”