UMSL community gathers to celebrate 60th anniversary of the university’s founding
A mix of students, faculty and staff members had already started trickling into the lower level of the Millennium Student Center Friday morning at the University of Missouri–St. Louis when Mindy Dilley picked up the microphone to officially kick off the celebration.
“It’s now 9:30, it’s UMSL’s birthday, and we’re excited,” said Dilley, the associate director of student involvement, as she hit play on a mix of music that began with Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday.”
Members of the Chancellor’s Council eventually arrived to join in the festivities, and by 10 a.m., all eyes turned to Chancellor Kristin Sobolik standing on stage behind a cake decorated with the UMSL’s 60th anniversary logo.
“Happy birthday to the University of Missouri–St. Louis!” Sobolik said as applause filled the room. “What a great day! Everybody showed out in their red and gold for Red & Gold Day – except for Chief Dan Freet.”
That elicited more than a few chuckles, though Freet – ever on duty – turned to show off the university colors in the department patch on the arm of his uniform shirt.
Sobolik continued: “We are so excited to celebrate the 60th anniversary of our favorite university, the University of Missouri–St. Louis. This is UMSL Red & Gold Day. I’m Chancellor Kristin Sobolik, and I tell you, I’m so pleased that you came out to support your university just like you do each and every day.”
She noted how 60 years ago – Sept. 15, 1963 – the university was formed on land that was once Bellerive Country Club. It was established with support from surrounding community in Normandy, Missouri, and with backing from the Missouri Legislature, led by then-Rep. Wayne Goode.
Sobolik directed the audience’s attention to the statue of Goode a short stroll from the door to the MSC.
“He’s beaming,” Sobolik said of the statue of Goode, who passed away in October 2020 at the age of 83. “He’s happy about all the support that he sees for his university. So thank you all for helping us celebrate as we continue to rise up after 60 years.”
Soon after, Sobolik picked up a knife resting on the table and, joined by Louie the Triton, cut into the cake as all those in attendance sang “Happy birthday.”
The party continued throughout the remainder of the morning with people taking photographs with colleagues or with Louie on stage in front of the 60th anniversary backdrop.
The crowd shared cake and conversation, and members of the Office of Student Involvement raffled off door prizes, including UMSL sweatshirts, T-shirts, hats and pennants.
People on campus weren’t the only ones celebrating the 60th anniversary.
Alumni and friends across the St. Louis region and far beyond took photos wearing their red and gold with fellow graduates at their places of work and shared them on social media.
Chief of Staff Adella Jones led a team of staff members in delivering cakes to notable people around town to share in the celebration. With Louie along for the ride, they visited St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, Greater St. Louis Inc. CEO Jason Hall, Sen. Brian Williams and Chancellor Emerita Blanche Touhill.
Back on campus, the UMSL Alumni Association held a Triton Traditions Scavenger Hunt, in which teams of up to six students, alumni or staff members answered trivia questions, competed in games such as free-throw shooting contests and set out to solve puzzles and collect photos around campus – at the MSC, Bugg Lake, the Recreation and Wellness Center and University Libraries. More than 10 teams participated and won prizes such as T-shirts, flags and UMSL-themed St. Louis Cardinals hats.
UMSL also launched a 60-day walking challenge for faculty and staff members with a goal that each participant will walk 600,000 steps between now and Nov. 15. For more information on the challenge or to register, faculty and staff members van visit https://www.umsl.edu/campusrecreation/fitnessandwellness/index.html. Registration must be completed by Sept. 22 to participate. Walking can be done anywhere, but all registered participants will have access to the RWC track or treadmills between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday throughout the challenge. There will be individual and department competitions.
Below are a taste of some of the posts shared on social media.
— Greater St. Louis, Inc. (@GreaterSTLinc) September 15, 2023
Did you know that Ameren was Triton powered? Check out these UMSL alumni and Ameren employees show their Triton pride! Show your pride on Red and Gold Day by tagging UMSL and use #umsl60 in your post. #umsl60 @umsl @ameren pic.twitter.com/SYFx0I9c6i
— UMSL Alumni (@UMSLalumni) September 15, 2023
Usually they're in St. Louis Cardinal Red, but check out these St. Louis Cardinals employees and proud UMSL alumni showing their UMSL pride! Tag UMSL and use #umsl60 to show us your Red and Gold Day pride. #umsl60 @cardinals @umsl pic.twitter.com/r0w1DiLumi
— UMSL Alumni (@UMSLalumni) September 15, 2023
— Moneta (@monetagroup) September 15, 2023
— Patricia Zahn (@PatriciaZahn) September 15, 2023
Short URL: https://blogs.umsl.edu/news/?p=99762