Students say goodbye to Brady Deaton

“I think this is a testament to how many people’s lives you touched, and how many more you will,” Missouri Students Association President Nick Droege said to the chancellor.

Outgoing Chancellor Brady Deaton and his wife, Anne, celebrate after being surprised by a crowd of students who gathered at their home to say goodbye. The event was organized by MSA President Nick Droege.

Brady and Anne Deaton had seen many students on the doorstep to their residence on the Francis Quadrangle over the years.

However, they did not expect to see a huge group waiting outside to say goodbye on Nov. 13.

At 6:20 p.m., Missouri Student Association President Nick Droege rallied students and Truman the Tiger by the Thomas Jefferson statue on the quad.

The plan was for the band to play the alma mater “Old Missouri,” and “Every True Son/Daughter,” with the students singing along.

Droege and Graduate Professional Council President Jake Wright presented the Deatons with gifts and said a few words, and Delta Chi Fraternity gave an acapella performance of “Old Missouri.” Droege said the surprise was aimed toward the Deatons’ love of live performances.

As Anne and Brady Deaton stood outside their residence, looking at the crowd singing with tears in their eyes, Droege handed them two figureheads of the Deatons with various signatures that the gathered students had signed earlier.

“I think this is a testament to how many people’s lives you touched, and how many more you will,” Droege said, gesturing at the group.

Wright presented the Deatons with a framed quote from a speech their daughter Christina Deaton DeMarea gave at Brady Deatons’ Nov. 4 retirement reception, saying that it was a small token of appreciation.

The quote from DeMarea was: “The lesson that they taught us the most was that education means nothing, and will achieve nothing, if it is not coupled with action that is guided by the deepest compassion, integrity and the courage to stand up for what is right.”

Anne expressed her appreciation to the group, saying that the couple had begun their days for years looking out the breakfast window to see students walking by the columns.

Deaton was no less touched.

“This is such a tremendous honor for us, very unexpected,” he said.

Sophomores Erin Mikel and Preston Dynes were in the crowd.

As freshmen, the two had been part of the Chancellor’s Leadership Class, a yearlong program that provides 30 incoming freshmen with opportunities to develop leadership skills.

“(Brady Deaton) means a lot to us,” Mikel said. “We would have dinner at his house, and he spoke to us a few times.”

Dynes said he also felt Deaton’s presence prominently.

“I’ve only been here for a year, but he’s already done so much to make my experience at MU worthwhile,” he said.

The night ended with individual students forming a line for hugs from Anne Deaton, and handshakes from Brady Deaton.

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