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July: Briefly in the News

Mizzou Online

TheBestSchools.org, a website profiling american colleges and higher education programs, included the University of Missouri in its 2015-2016 list of best online colleges.

The Mizzou Online program was listed as the 13th best online program in the country. MU offers more than 90 online degrees and certificates, including nine bachelor’s degrees, almost a dozen doctoral programs and more than 40 master’s degree programs.

The website selected colleges based on academic excellence, faculty credentials, student support, awards, rankings and reputation.

$6 Million Gift

MU alumnus Harry Cornell donated $6 million to the Trulaske College of Business’s Cornell Leadership Program. The gift was given in perpetuity, ensuring the program’s funding for the future.

“I feel fortunate to have the ability to pay back my alma mater for the great education I received years ago,” Cornell says. The CLP was founded in 2006 after a previous gift from Cornell; the recent donation brings his total giving to more than $13 million.

The CLP is a four-year program for elite students in the business school. Cornell, a resident of Joplin, is a chairman emeritus of Leggett & Platt Inc., a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Carthage, Missouri.

Honeybaked Ham

The HoneyBaked Ham Co. & Café relocated one block east, from West green Meadows Road to east green Meadows Road. The new location is part of the new academy village, east of Providence Road, which also includes a Dunkin’ Donuts.

MU J School

Timothy Blair, an MU alum living in Bel air, California, donated $1 million to the Missouri School
of Journalism for research and education on LGBT issues. In a press release, Blair said he hoped the donation would help journalists use their platform to dispel stereotypes about the LGBT community.

Pedestrian Safety

Mayor Bob McDavid formed the Mayor’s Task Force on Pedestrian Safety, responding to a series of pedestrian traffic accidents in the past six months. The task force will consist of around 15 members and will be lead by Councilmen Clyde Ruffin and Ian Thomas.

Enhanced Drive-Thru

Landmark Bank announced that three “enhanced drive-thru locations” will be able to serve customers seven days a week, beginning May 18. The locations utilize video teller technology, aiming for a more personal customer experience. The bank’s facilities at Highway 63 South, Cherry Hill and Stadium West are the first to try the new technology.

“We’re excited to be able to offer the convenience of weekend hours to our customers,” says Shon Aguero, retail banking executive. “We’re all busy, and we have grown used to doing our shopping and other business whenever we can get to it. There is no reason banking should be different.”

A Facelift for Shelter Fountain

Shelter Insurance, one of Columbia’s top 10 employers, held a “celebration of the arrival of spring and the 50-year anniversary of a Columbia landmark — the Shelter Fountain,” according to Shelter’s website.

The fountain was recently renovated as a 50th birthday present. Updates include a larger center basin, more water surface and more water in motion. The new fountain has 49 nozzles and approximately 38 feet of waterfalls, including a nozzle in the center basin with a 20-foot spray height. The fountain was also outfitted with energy-efficient Led lights.

“We are very proud of the fact that the Shelter Fountain has been a community landmark for nearly a half a century,” says Rick Means, Shelter president and CeO, “but in order to keep it functioning for another 50 years, these improvements are necessary.”
Shelter Insurance was created in 1946.

Speak Up Como

The website SpeakUpCoMo went live on May 1. On the site, citizens are encouraged to comment on posted projects, vote on ideas, take surveys and submit their own ideas for improving the city.

The site, according to a city press release, is designed to make public discussions accessible and convenient without taking the place of in-person public engagement.

“Our form of local government works best when more folks can provide meaningful feedback and easily share their ideas, not only with the staff and council but also with other participating citizens,” says City Manager Mike Matthes.

“SpeakUpCoMo is another tool for us to make decision-making more accessible.”
The site was created on a platform called SpeakUp, which is designed to help government agencies gather feedback from the public.

$750,000 Pledge

MFA Inc. and MFA Oil have pledged $750,000 to the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, which will establish an endowed MFA Professorship in agribusiness to support agriculture education.

“We’re proud of our partnership with the university and CaFNR,” says Ernie Verslues, president and CEO of MFA Inc. “Some areas of this company have contact with the university at least every week, and we look forward to continuing a long-lasting relationship.”

The gift will be distributed over four years. If future gifts from MFA reach more than $1.1 million, the endowed professorship will become an endowed chair in the department.

Top 10 Award

The American Academy of Family Physicians named the MU School of Medicine a top 10 school for family physicians. MU was recognized with the same award the previous two years. Of all MU School of Medicine graduates, 18.8 percent enter family medicine.

Board Break-A-Thons

Jade Hockman, of Hockman’s ATA Martial arts, donated $25,000 to MU Children’s Hospital after more than four years of fundraising efforts. Hockman hosted several “Board Break-a-Thons” at the martial arts studio to raise money, with the first in December 2010. The final $1,000 came from Aspen Heights Apartments, which donated the money after Hockman offered to teach self-defense classes to residents for free.

Hockman’s ATA Martial Arts is located on Corporate Lake Drive in south Columbia.

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