From the highest ranks of college sports to their community nonprofit work, the Aldens have always worked well together.
What keeps you busy during the week?
Mike: Community events, doing consulting work in higher education and athletics through our company MRJ Advisors LLC, and working on our farm property in Williamsburg, Missouri.
Rockie: Walking group, Zumba, hikes, volunteering, working on the United Way campaign, hanging out and working on our property in Williamsburg, reading, and traveling.
What is your favorite art/culture activity in Columbia?
M: That’s a tough one. True/False and the Ragtag Film Society are incredible jewels for Columbia and Boone County. Then there’s Art in the Park, First Fridays, Columbia Farmers Market, and much more, but we don’t have enough room to mention them all!
What’s it like to work together?
R: Good! We’ve worked together on a lot of community and volunteer efforts, and after 30 years we’ve worked out most of the kinks. We have similar styles that mesh well together, but we also have different gifts and skill sets so we can divide and conquer.
What is unique about your relationship?
M: I’m not sure it’s unique, but after 29 years of marriage and 31 years together, we have a tendency to finish each other’s sentences.
R: We’ve grown stronger through adversity. Different challenges have been hard to get through, my health and his career stresses in particular, but we always try to learn and grow and adapt.
What do you like to do in your free time?
M: We like to travel, exercise, and spend time at our farm.
What has been your favorite project to work on together?
R: Probably because we’re currently working on it, the United Way campaign was first on my mind. We’ve had a lot of time and learned so many amazing things about COMO! But I also really enjoyed partnering in Mike’s work in Vietnam and also in MU Athletics and our church barbecue.
What is the key to a lasting and healthy relationship?
M: Communication, good listening skills, patience, and finding those things you have in common that you’re both passionate about!
R: Patience. Everybody says it, but it’s true! You should also strive for flexibility and looking at things through your partner’s lens.
What is the best quality of your partner?
R: Again, hard to pick one: committed, dependable, loyal, kind, smart, and hardworking.
M: Compassion, empathy, and a tremendous heart for service.
What does the future hold for the two of you?
M: Hopefully lots more time together to contribute to and learn from so many incredible people and organizations.
What is your favorite restaurant in Columbia?
R: That’s a hard one because there are so many, but Murry’s, Teller’s, and Barred Owl are a few.
What brought you both to Columbia?
M: Tiger athletics and the opportunity to work at MU. We love Mizzou and Columbia!