Mizzou On Your Own expands on audio tour program

Newly renamed phone tour plans to increase designated sites with audio.
Mizzou On Your Own, formerly known as Mizzou Audio Tour, is a self-guided audio tour sponsored by the Mizzou Alumni Association. Sixteen additional sites are planned to be added for Homecoming.

Mizzou On Your Own, formerly known as Mizzou Audio Tours, is planning to expand its self-guided tour program to incorporate more sites on campus.

The groups involved in Mizzou On Your Own are planning to create 16 more sites for the program in anticipation of Homecoming weekend in October, according to Nathan Hurst, convergence media manager for the MU News Bureau.

“Our tentative goal is to get (the new sites) up and going for Homecoming, because that’s when we’ll see a big influx of visitors on campus,” Hurst said.

The new permanent locations will include spots across campus, from Stankowski Field and the MU Student Center to Memorial Union.

The program was established in September 2011 through the collaborative efforts of MU Pride of Place Campus Heritage Network and is sponsored and funded by the Mizzou Alumni Association, according to David Roloff, alumni association director of membership and marketing.

Other faculty and campus groups also contribute, including Campus Facilities, which provides and installs the site markers.

The concept for the tours originated with associate journalism professor Clyde Bentley, who wanted to incorporate the audio tour technology with a journalism capstone class.

Bentley was later approached to work with Pride of Place by colleagues aware of his experience with the technology and offered the idea to create the audio tours.

“Students will remember physical parts of campus, and it makes good sense to develop that pride of the physical campus early,” Bentley said. “It started with an effort to point out the residence of the quad, but we started looking at all sorts of things that people could be proud of.”

The 16 original sites of the program surround the Francis Quadrangle and include landmarks such as Jesse Hall and the Columns. Hurst said this year’s additions will include temporary tours for Homecoming Week similar to last year, when audio was created for the Tiger Tailgate and Brewer Fieldhouse among others.

Bentley said he believes the technology is useful because it allows for use by a larger audience at their own convenience.

“This is not dependent on having a smart phone," Bentley said. "You just listen to it, so I’m really pleased to see that we’re expanding now.”

To use the tour, one can call 573-629-1364 and follow the instructions at each site. The only fees associated with the call are minutes used on your phone plan.

Hurst said handouts for the current locations are available at the Reynolds Alumni Center and at the kiosk in Jesse Hall, as well as other locations, but will be updated to include the new sites when they are created. Maps are also available online.

Roloff said he believes the audio tours provide a valuable function for the campus and those who utilize the program.

“The three focus areas of the alumni association are connecting alumni, supporting Mizzou and preserving tradition,” Roloff said. “The Mizzou On Your Own service fits all three areas. Alumni can use the service to reconnect to campus and relive fond memories.”

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