UMSL to mark 60th anniversary with yearlong celebration

by | Mar 13, 2023

The university will commemorate the date of its founding with Red and Gold Day on Sept. 15, and it will serve as a centerpiece of a celebration throughout the 2023-24 academic year.
60th anniversary logo

UMSL will commemorate its 60th anniversary with a celebration throughout the 2023-24 academic year.

Planning is underway to commemorate the University of Missouri–St. Louis’ 60th anniversary throughout the 2023-24 academic calendar.

“Any university milestone can be a galvanizing moment, and what we’re really hoping to do is enhance relationships and create awareness about the good work and value of the university,” said Susan Elliott, UMSL’s managing director of external and donor relations, who along with Chief of Staff Adella Jones is co-leading the planning committee for the 60th anniversary celebration. “While we’re going to be looking to the past, because you can’t celebrate an anniversary and not, we want to use this as an opportunity to highlight and focus on UMSL’s successes and where it’s headed.”

The centerpiece of the yearlong celebration will be Red and Gold Day on Sept. 15. That’s the date in 1963 that the university was officially founded as part of the University of Missouri System, which was established the same year.

There will be a celebration on campus that day, complete with birthday cake. But all members of the UMSL community – students, faculty, staff and alumni – will be encouraged to wear red and gold wherever they are around the world, including the UMSL campus, the workplace or while running errands. The goal is to mark the occasion and show off pride in the university, which from its humble beginnings has grown to count more than 110,000 graduates.

Members of the 60th Anniversary Planning Committee meet around a table in a conference room in Woods Hall

Members of the 60th Anniversary Planning Committee gather in the first-floor conference room in Woods Hall to discuss ideas for UMSL’s upcoming anniversary celebration. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The party will continue six days later as UMSL holds its annual Founders Celebration on Sept. 21 in the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, and there will be other events connected to the anniversary throughout the academic year.

UMSL’s 60th anniversary celebration comes at a time when the university is in the midst of roughly $100 million in campus enhancements, including improvements to University Libraries, construction of the Richter Family Welcome and Alumni Center and the renovation of classroom and laboratory spaces. Those planned changes are designed to better serve the needs of students today and into the future.

In addition to events, UMSL will also use the 60th anniversary to highlight some of the stellar accomplishments of its alumni, who are making an impact in a wide variety of fields, both in the St. Louis region and elsewhere. Later this year, the UMSL Alumni Association will begin requesting nominations for an Alumni 60 for 60 campaign, and it will highlight each of those noteworthy graduates at regular intervals throughout the year.

The UMSL community takes pride in its service to the St. Louis region, so students, faculty, staff and alumni will also be asked to contribute to at least 60,000 collective hours of community service.

For questions about the 60th anniversary, or to share ideas, email or contact one of the members of the 60th Anniversary Planning Committee.

60th Anniversary Planning Committee

Alumni Engagement: Phil Donato
Athletics: Kevin Smith
College of Arts and Sciences: Laura Westoff
College of Business Administration: Eboni Valentine
College of Education: Nancy Singer
College of Nursing: Elizabeth Mantyche
College of Optometry: Jacqueline McNair
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion: Myron Burr
Economic and Community Development and Research: Patricia Zahn
Enrollment Management: Austin Culbertson
Faculty Engagement: Loyola Harvey
Finance: Mike Osteen
Information Technology: Jennifer Simms
Marketing and Communications: Jenny Martin and Traci Moore
Pierre Laclede Honors College: Edward Munn Sanchez
School of Social Work: Diane O’Brien
St. Louis Public Radio: Leslie Davis
Staff Engagement: Britne Bacca-Haupt
Student Affairs: Jessica Long-Pease
Student Involvement: Dorian Hall
UMSL Global: Bob Ell
UMSL/WUSTL Joint Undergraduate Engineering Program: Haiyan Cai
University Libraries: Libby Wheeles

UMSL 60th Anniversary Core Committee

Managing Director of External Relations: Susan Elliott*
Chief of Staff: Adella Jones*
Vice Chancellor for Advancement: Lisa Capone
Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Engagement: Jennifer Jezek-Taussig


Steve Walentik

Steve Walentik