Mizzou Alumni Association honors 39 undergraduates, 18 graduate and professional students

The students were chosen out of more than 150 applicants for displaying academic achievement and leadership qualities.
Mizzou ‘39 honorees wait during the award’s reveal ceremony. courtesy of the Mizzou Alumni Association via Flickr

The Mizzou Alumni Association honored 39 graduating seniors as recipients of the Mizzou ‘39 Award on Feb. 27. The award is given each year to a group of students who display “academic achievement, leadership and service to Mizzou and the community,” according to the association’s website.

The recipients are chosen after applying and entering two separate rounds of interviews. Julia Davis, program assistant at the Reynolds Alumni Center, said that there were over 150 applicants.

Throughout the application process there were as many as 15 judges who were chosen as campus representatives who have “a lot of wisdom as far as talent and diversity and service to the university,” Davis said.

“The judges made it a point to tell me how awesome it was to hear from every single interviewee they encountered,” Davis said. “But I would imagine that’s probably true of other classes, as well.”

Davis said that being chosen as a Mizzou ‘39 recipient is considered an honor and a way for seniors to be recognized before they graduate.

Another major component of the award is the students all choose a mentor, some faculty or staff member that has helped and shaped them during their years in college.

Davis said the mentors are chosen as a way for the recipients to appreciate their professors’ help.

“We could recognize so many students for doing amazing things because we have mentors who work behind the scenes on a daily basis and advise these students and stay late for these students,” Davis said. “And this kind of gives them a way to say, ‘Thank you. Now I’m ready to move on to the next chapter of my life.”

Psychology and sociology major Lindsay Smith was chosen as one of the Mizzou ‘39 recipients. Smith chose Dr. Laura Scherer as her mentor and has worked in her psychology lab for two years.

Smith said she was shocked because she had not expected to be considered one of the most distinguished students in her class.

“I didn’t think that it was real,” Smith said.

She said that being part of Mizzou ‘39 will allow her to better connect and network in years to come. She also said that it’s more than just something to add to a resume.

“I didn’t just throw all this stuff on my resume because it was fun for me; I did it because I wanted to impact people on campus, hopefully in a positive way, and I think that the committees recognized that,” she said.

In addition to the 39 undergraduate students, the Mizzou Alumni Association also chose to honor 18 graduate and professional students as part of a new program called Mizzou 18.

Davis said these applicants went through a similar process and were chosen for exemplifying “world-class research, collaborating with faculty and staff and demonstrating leadership to undergraduate students.”

“[The Mizzou Alumni Association is] excited to see how continuing to have Mizzou 18, along with Mizzou ‘39, can play out in the future,” Davis said. “We like the idea of them being very tied to one another, but we also like them being recognized separately because they both deserve such recognition. It will be interesting to see where that goes in the future.”

The Mizzou 18 recipients were revealed the day before the Mizzou ‘39.

Edited by Morgan Smith | mosmith@themaneater.com

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