You’re a Mizzou fan, but senior Shannon Fennell is a superfan

Superfan Shannon Fennell: “Find your niche, I want you to love it here because I love it here.”
Mizzou super fan Shannon Fennell. Courtesy of Shannon Fennell

Senior Shannon Fennell didn’t plan on going to school in Missouri, almost a nine-hour drive from her hometown of Allen, Texas. But when she toured the university, she fell in love.

“It was literally the worst day to ever go on tour,” Fennell said. “I’m on Tour Team; I know. It’s rainy, it’s muggy outside, it’s disgusting, and I fell in love. I fell in love with everything about the school; it made me feel at home.”

Fennell won the Fan of the Game award during her first game in Tiger’s Lair, and for Homecoming in 2015, Fennell had “MIZ” shaved into the side of her head.

“Parents would compliment me on it, like, ‘Oh, you’re that spirited, you’re that tour guide,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I am actually,’” Fennell said.

Fennell was president of McDavid Hall and has been a member of Marching Mizzou, Phi Sigma Pi, Sigma Alpha Iota, Tiger’s Lair, Women of STEM, Griffiths Leadership Society for Women, Tour Team and Summer Welcome.

Fennell wanted to become a Summer Welcome leader because her own Summer Welcome reassured her that she had made the right decision in picking Mizzou.

“Summer Welcome solidified that it’s going to be OK,” Fennell said. “These are your people; this is your time; you are going to love it here. And I wanted to make that for everyone else as well. Find your niche, I want you to love it here because I love it here.”

Although Fennell said that choosing her favorite MU memory is like having to pick a favorite child, she picked a moment from her freshman year in McDavid Hall, when her building went to support their hall coordinator at one of his drag shows.

“Literally he almost cried just to see all of us,” Fennell said. “We were all just in the front row going ham … It was my first drag show, and it was just so many of us stepping out of our comfort zone just to support our hall coordinator.”

Another defining moment for Fennell came during last fall’s protests and the ensuing Yik Yak threats, when she scrolled through her Facebook feed to see fellow MU students offering up their homes to those who didn’t feel safe on campus.

“That was such a defining moment of, ‘Wow, this is actually what it means to be a Tiger,’ that people actually care about me, no matter what my skin tone is,” Fennell said.

After all the negative publicity surrounding last fall’s protests and the allegations against Delta Upsilon, Fennell recommends that anyone on the fence come and see her school for themselves.

“Just come visit here because you will notice that we are a family, and most people that say these things don’t even go here,” Fennell said. “They don’t understand; they don’t know how it feels to be here.”

After graduation, Fennell hopes to continue with Griffiths Leadership Society and join the Mizzou Alumni Association and the alumni band, which plays in the pre-show at Homecoming.

Though she’s no longer a part of Marching Mizzou, she still knows the songs by heart.

“It’s engraved in you,” Fennell said. “I can pick up my piccolo and still be able to play all the fight songs.”

Edited by Kyra Haas | khaas@themaneater.com

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