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University of Missouri-Rolla

Missouri University of Science and Technology
University of Missouri seal
Motto Salus Populi
(Latin, The Welfare of the People)
Established 1870
Type Public
Space grant
Endowment US $1.12 billion (systemwide)[1]
Chancellor Dr. Cheryl B. Schrader
Provost Dr. Warren K. Wray
Academic staff 492 (343 full-time, 149 part-time) (Fall 2012) [2][3]
Admin. staff 906 (779 full-time, 127 part-time) (Fall 2010)[3]
Students 7,647 (Fall 2012)[4][3] (w/2010's 7,206 78% male, 22% female)[5]
Undergraduates 5,843 (Fall 2012) [4]
Postgraduates 1,804 (Fall 2012) [4]
Location Rolla, Missouri, USA
Campus Rural, 284 acres (114.9 ha)[5]
Colors Dark Green, Gold, and Silver               [6][7]
Nickname Miners
Mascot Joe Miner
Missouri S&T logo

Missouri University of Science and Technology (commonly Missouri S&T and formerly known as the University of Missouri–Rolla and originally Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy[8]) is an institution of higher learning located in Rolla, Missouri, United States, and part of the University of Missouri System. Most of its 7,647 students (Fall 2012 enrollment)[4] study engineering, computing, mathematics and the sciences. Although known primarily as an engineering school, Missouri S&T has numerous majors in humanities, social sciences, arts, sciences and business.

The school is known for its repeated success in national engineering design competitions and its century-long tradition of aggrandized celebrations surrounding Saint Patrick's Day.


Missouri S&T was originally a University of Missouri offspring called the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy (MSM), founded in 1870 as the first technological learning institution west of the Mississippi River. Early in its beginnings, the School of Mines was focused primarily on mining and metallurgy. Rolla is located close to the Southeast Missouri Lead District which produces about 70% of the U.S. primary supply of lead as well as significant amounts of the nation's zinc.[9]

The school was founded to be an offsite department of the School of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts of the University of Missouri in Columbia in order to take advantage of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts to "teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the States may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life."[10] The act endowed Missouri a federal land grant of 30,000 acres for each of the state's two senators and nine representatives at the time—or 330,000 acres (133,546.26 ha; 515.63 sq mi). The endowment said that the land could not be sold for less than $1.25/acre and as such as was a minimum endowment of $412,500 for Missouri. There was an intense debate in the state over the location and number of schools before it was finally decided to have one school in Columbia and a branch in the mining area of southeast Missouri.[11]

Iron County, Missouri (Ironton, Missouri) and Phelps County, Missouri (Rolla) made bids for the school. Iron County's bid was valued at $112,545 and Phelps County's bid was $130,545 so the Phelps bid was officially approved on December 20, 1870.[11]

Classes began in November 23, 1871 in a new Rolla High School building that the city of Rolla had just built. The college had an enrollment of 28 and three graduates in 1874.[11] The college bought what is now called the "Rolla Building" for $25,000 in January 1875. That building is now used as the Mathematics and Statistics Department's library, chair's office, part of the main office, and other faculty offices following a $2 million renovation in 1995.[12]

By the 1920s, the school expanded into civil, electrical, mechanical and chemical engineering as well as chemistry, physics, mathematics and geology. The school became home to Missouri's first operational nuclear reactor in 1961.

Until 1964, the school was considered merely an offsite department of MU, reporting to the main campus in Columbia (although it began fielding sports teams in 1935 in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association). As such, its presiding officer was originally called a director (1871–1941), then later a dean (1941–1964).[13] In 1963 the University of Missouri System was created with the additions of standalone campuses in Kansas City and St. Louis. A year later, MSM was upgraded to an autonomous standalone campus as the University of Missouri at Rolla and its presiding officer, like that of its sister schools, was granted the title of chancellor. The curriculum was expanded to include most of the science and engineering disciplines, as well as social sciences and liberal arts such as psychology and history. In 1968, the campus name was slightly altered to the University of Missouri–Rolla, thus conforming to the naming scheme of the other three campuses. Business and management programs were gradually added in the following years. On January 1, 2008 UMR became known as Missouri University of Science and Technology or Missouri S&T for short.[8]

Name change

In making the case for changing the name, then Chancellor John F. Carney III noted that Rolla in 2007 was "one of the few technological research universities in the nation. A technological research university may be defined as one in which a majority of students are enrolled in engineering, the sciences, business or mathematics; the graduate and research programs in those fields are robust; and exceptional academic programs in the liberal arts, humanities and social sciences complement and provide context to the technological strengths of the institution."

He noted that more than 70 percent of its enrollment was in engineering and more than 90 percent was in engineering, business, science and math—significantly higher than engineering schools such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He noted "The university’s name, however, does not reflect the distinctive nature of the campus. Often, UMR is viewed as a 'satellite' or 'branch' campus due to its name or as a 'feeder' campus for the University of Missouri-Columbia (commonly referred to as the University of Missouri). This branch-campus designation hinders many of our efforts to achieve national recognition and a strong reputation as a technological research university."[14][15]

He noted, "Of the 1.1 million seniors in the nation who took the ACT in 2006, only 551 non-Missouri seniors – or .05 percent – sent their scores to UMR." He also noted that the school's acronym of UMR got it confused with the University of Minnesota Rochester.[14]

Among the other names that were considered were Missouri University of Science and Engineering, Missouri Technological University, and Missouri Science and Engineering University.[15]


Missouri S&T Stonehenge

Missouri S&T Stonehenge is a partial reconstruction of the original Stonehenge monument located on Salisbury Plain, west of London. Missouri S&T's version of the ancient structure is located on the northwest corner of campus, and was dedicated on June 20, 1984 during the summer solstice. It features a 50 foot (15 m) diameter ring of 30 stones around a horseshoe of five trilithons through which various sightings of sunrise and sunset can be made. About 160 tons of granite were used to construct the monument. The rock was cut by Missouri S&T's water jet cutter equipment, which used two waterjets cutting at a pressure of 15,000 pounds of force per square inch (103 MPa), slicing across the surface just like a conventional saw. The cutter moved at a speed of about 10 feet per minute (50 mm/s) and cut between one-quarter and one-half inch (6 and 13 mm) on each pass.[16]

After completion, Missouri S&T Stonehenge received an award from the National Society of Professional Engineers for being one of 1985's Ten Outstanding Engineering Achievements.[17]

A few years after its construction, a new health center building was erected that blocked the sightings of the sun throughout much of the year.

Millennium Arch

The university developed a new way to make deep cuts in granite and worked with artist Edwina Sandys who used the method to create the Millennium Arch sculpture. The Arch is a single trilithon with the stylized silhouettes of a man and a woman cut from the two uprights. The figures cut from the uprights stand nearby as freestanding statues. The work, which is located on 10th Street facing Castleman Hall, was developed as a project of the High Pressure Waterjet Laboratory of the Rock Mechanics & Explosive Research Center at Missouri S&T.

There are two similar but smaller megaliths showing the same silhouette on each side of the sidewalk entrance to the Rock Mechanics & Explosive Research Center.

Curtis Laws Wilson Library

The Curtis Laws Wilson Library is the main academic library on the campus.[18] The third floor of the library is strictly a quiet study area with multiple rooms circling around the main area. The IT Helpdesk Walk-In Center for campus is located in the library on the first floor. The Miner Break Cafe is also located in the back left corner of the first floor.

Academic and Administrative Buildings

  • Bertelsmeyer Hall: (under construction) Future site of the Chemical Engineering department
  • Butler-Carlton Hall: Civil, Architectural, and Environmental engineering departments
  • Castleman Hall: Alumni Affairs, Performing Arts, Music, and Leach Theater
  • Centennial Hall: New Student Programs office, computer labs, and classrooms
  • Computer Science Building: Computer Science department
  • Emerson Electric Building: Electrical and Computer engineering departments
  • Engineering Management Building: Engineering Management, Systems, and Industrial engineering departments
  • Engineering Research Laboratory: Laboratory research space
  • Fulton Hall: Nuclear engineering and Graduate Studies departments
  • Harris Hall: Economics department and ROTC
  • Humanities and Social Sciences Building: English, History, Psychology, and Foreign Language departments
  • Interdisciplinary Engineering (IDE) Building: Design workshop and additional classrooms
  • V.H. McNutt Hall: Materials engineering, Mining engineering, Petroleum engineering, Geological engineering, geology, and geological sciences departments
  • Norwood Hall: Student services such as career development and counseling
  • Parker Hall: Main official functions of the school including the registrar, financial aid, admissions, and the cashier
  • Physics Building: Physics department
  • Rolla Building: Mathematics and Statistics
  • Schrenk Hall: Biochemical engineering, Chemical engineering, Chemistry, and Biological Sciences departments
  • Straumanis-James Hall: Materials research center, laboratory research space
  • Toomey Hall: Aerospace and Mechanical engineering departments


Missouri S&T was ranked 45th overall, and 12th among public universities, by U.S. high school counselors in 2008[19] In 2009, Forbes ranked S&T as number 1 in the Midwest and 12th among U.S. public universities for "getting rich", having named it a top 25 "most connected" campus in 2006, and a top 25 entrepreneurial campus in 2004.[20] In September 2010, Missouri S&T's Experimental Mine was named the United States' No. 1 "awesome lab" by Popular Science magazine.[21][22] In 2010, the average ACT score for entering freshmen was 27.7 (90th percentile), considerably[23] higher than both the state (21.5) and national (20.9) averages.[24]

Missouri S&T's residence hall system is widely recognized; the university was voted "School of the Year 2005"[25] by the Midwest Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls, or MACURH (a regional subdivision of NACURH) and its honor organization, National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH), was chosen as the 2008 National Chapter of the Year.

The school operates the 200 kW Missouri S&T reactor on-campus for educational, training and research purposes. The Missouri S&T reactor is the first nuclear reactor to have become operational in Missouri, and first achieved criticality in 1961.

Student Engineering Projects

The Student Design & Experiential Learning Center (SDELC)[26] was established in 2000 to better support the various multi-disciplinary student design teams. In 2004, the Center's mission expanded to provide experiential learning in academic courses, identify and support student service learning projects within the curriculum, and support ad-hoc student teams in specialty academic events involving multi-disciplinary student research.

By 2006 the SDELC had expanded to ten student design teams. The center's expanded mission involved better funding and offering support and resources to multi-disciplinary project teams that had a research base to their activities. The SDELC provided academic credit opportunities in the form of three, one-hour classes on design, leadership and communication. The center also offers a half-credit course on experiential design through the Residential College (RC) program which has a per-semester enrollment of over 100 students engaged in hands-on learning projects. The SDELC's student design teams, research teams and projects, and academic courses are the foundation of experiential learning at Missouri S&T.[26]

The and 2009 out of a total of 20 teams. The team is one of only three teams to compete in four decathlons, and one of two teams to compete in four consecutive decathlons. The 2011 Decathlon is the first that Missouri S&T did not participate, but the Solar House Team is back in the 2013 Decathlon in Irvine, California. The team took first place in the Energy Balance category at the 2005 competition. At the 2002 competition the team took first place in Refrigeration, second place in Energy Balance and third in Hot Water. In 2002 and 2005, the Missouri S&T team took 9th place out of 14 teams and 7th place out of 18 teams respectively. After competition, the homes are returned to the Solar Village on the S&T campus where they are rented as student housing.

This chapter of Engineers Without Borders currently has four ongoing international projects in Guatemala, Honduras, and Bolivia. Over one hundred students are part of the team that work to develop sustainable solutions to engineering problems, such as lack of access to drinking water, in developing countries.

The Advanced Aero-Vehicle Group constructs a remote controlled airplane for the annual Society of Automotive Engineers' Aero Design competition. This year's plane, which had an 8-foot wingspan and weighed only 9.4 pounds, competed in the Aero Design's advanced class designation at the east competition, were they placed first in 2013. The project is of interest mainly to aerospace engineering students, but students from other disciplines are also on the team. In 2005, the group placed third at the east competition and fifth at the west competition. The Advanced Aero Vehicle Group also constructs a rocket every year. The rocket competes in the USLI competition hosted by NASA, in which the rocket must carry a payload one mile into the atmosphere. The AAVG group is also working on a research and development subgroup to compliment the existing plane and rocket groups.

The Missouri S&T Human Powered Vehicle Team demonstrates the engineering excellence of its members via a human-powered vehicle. The team promotes alternative energy technology while providing tomorrow’s engineers with hands-on experience in applying classroom knowledge. Through the spirit of intercollegiate competition, this project hopes to foster leadership, teamwork and the continuous advancement of technologies for the betterment of humanity. The Missouri S&T Human Powered Vehicle Team competes annually at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Human Powered Vehicle Challenge in both West and East Coast Competitions. The team has placed among the top two overall in 14 of 16 competitions, and holds the female sprint record of 41.8 mph and male sprint record of 48.6 mph.[28] In 2010, the team swept both the East and West Coast competitions and placed 1st in every event: Design, Male Drag Race, Female Drag Race and the Endurance Race, giving the team 1st Place Overall and National Speed Class Champions.

The Missouri S&T Formula SAE team constructs a small formula-style race car every year, suitable for mass production and sale to weekend autocrossers. The team competes in Brooklyn, Michigan against more than 100 other teams from universities around the world. The vehicle's cost, sales presentation, engineering design, acceleration, braking and racing performance all factor into its final score. The team has placed in the top ten in eight of the past twelve competitions, including first-, second- and fourth-place finishes.[29]

The Missouri S&T Concrete Canoe Team designs and constructs a concrete canoe and races it on a lake in regional and national competitions. The team has participated in concrete canoe competitions since the 1970s. The entire project, including fundraising and construction, is completed by the students. The team took third place in 2004.[30]

Missouri S&T's solar car team has met with much success. Every two years, the team constructs a single-passenger car, its top covered with solar cells, that runs exclusively on solar power. The car's chromoly steel frame houses lithium ion batteries, which are much lighter than conventional lead-acid batteries. Every time the car is rebuilt, changes make it lighter and more efficient. The team regularly enters solar car races in the United States and occasionally enters international races. The car claimed first place in Sunrayce '99, first place in the 2000 Formula Sun Grand Prix, fourth place in the Australian World Solar Challenge in 2001, second place in the 2001 American Solar Challenge, and first place in the 2003 American Solar Challenge.

The Missouri S&T Satellite Project team started as an Aerospace enigineering course (AE301 Spacecraft Design) when NASA put out a contest for a 2 year development and build project (Nanosat Program), that must accomplish its goals in the harsh environment of space. After taking third place in Nanosat4, the Team is still perfecting this project and fixing minor errors in the first model. The team is still working hard to perfect their twin satellites for their flight in space and preparing for entry into the Nanosat 6 competition.

The S&T Robotics Team participates annually in the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (obstacle courses consisting of lane markers and obstacles. The current vehicles are designed to be omnidirectional so that they can easily drive around obstacles. Typically there are 30-50 students on the team and two faculty advisors. The students handle all design and management aspects of the team but occasionally receive help from technicians to fabricate parts.

Missouri S&T is home to one of the few Mine Rescue Teams made up entirely of college students. The team competes regularly against professionals in simulated mine disasters. The team placed 12th and 14th in the competition among industry teams at the South Regional Mine Rescue Competition, sponsored by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration. The Missouri S&T team also had the highest scores on two written exams that were part of the competition.


According to, Missouri S&T is ranked 82nd among top engineering graduate schools in the U.S. in 2012.[31]


Main article: Missouri S&T Miners

Missouri S&T athletic teams are known as the Miners; and the women's teams are referred to as the Lady Miners. The name comes from the university's history as a mining school. Missouri S&T competes at the NCAA Division II level in thirteen sports and is a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) for most sports, and the New South Intercollegiate Swimming Conference (NSISC) for men's swimming.[32]

Club and intramural sports

Club sports associated with Missouri S&T include Ultimate frisbee,[33] Lacrosse, Rugby Union, Roller Hockey, Trap and Skeet,[34] and tennis.

Intramural sports have a very large following at the Missouri S&T. With over 60 men's teams and over 10 women's teams, sports are arranged into divisions. Nineteen different sports are contested each year: Golf, Softball, Swimming, Ultimate, Cross Country, Football, Billiards, Badminton, Volleyball, Darts, Racquetball, Bowling, Basketball, Table Tennis, Tennis, Track, Washers (similar to Horseshoes), Weightlifting, and Soccer.

Student life

The Missouri S&T event calendar includes current campus events.[35] The student government is designed to enhance the collegiate experience of every student at Missouri S&T.

There are over 200 student organizations at Missouri S&T ranging from professional societies to community service organizations and beyond. Missouri S&T has many organizations independent of university funding with which students are very active. Independent houses include: Swimmer House, Green Phish, Old Rock House, New Rock House, The Annex, The Barn (Formerly The Buffalo Barn), The Swamp, Room 7, Nice House, Mean Phish, Pike Street, Goal Phish, 711, and The Bunker.

Student media

The student-run newspaper at Missouri S&T, The Missouri Miner, is published every Thursday during the school year and can be read online.[36] In February 2007, the paper threatened to sue the school because the university cut funding.[37] After a one-school-year break for many reasons including a funding cut, The Missouri Miner started republishing in the Fall 2009 semester.

There are two broadcast radio stations associated with Missouri S&T: KMNR, previously known as KMSM, is a student-run, freeform radio station whose music playlist varies with the mood and inclination of the DJ, with some playing caller requests. Every year KMNR hosts two concerts – Freakers Ball in the fall and MasqueRave (formerly Glitter Ball) in the spring. KMST, previously known as KUMR, is a member-supported public radio station, typically playing classical, bluegrass and jazz and National Public Radio programs. On July 16, 2007, KUMR officially changed its call letters to KMST, in advance of the change of name from "University of Missouri-Rolla" to the "Missouri University of Science and Technology".

There is also an amateur radio station, WØEEE, founded in 1931 and run by the Amateur Radio Club,[38] the first campus club at MSM and one of the oldest student/college amateur stations in the US.

Greek Life

Approximately 25% of the undergraduate student body belongs to a social Greek organization.[39] There are five sororities and twenty-two fraternities.[40] The various social, service and honorary Greek chapters perform substantial amounts of community service each year and raise thousands of dollars for local and national charities. They also promote scholarship and leadership amongst their members.

Fraternities at Missouri S&T include: Alpha Epsilon Pi, Alpha Phi Alpha, Beta Sigma Psi, Delta Lambda Phi, Delta Sigma Phi, Delta Tau Delta, Theta Xi, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Alpha Psi, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi Alpha, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Nu, Sigma Pi, Sigma Tau Gamma, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Phi Beta Sigma, Phi Kappa Theta, Omega Psi Phi, and Triangle. Sororities on campus include: Zeta Tau Alpha, Kappa Delta, Chi Omega, Phi Sigma Rho, and Delta Sigma Theta.


St. Patrick's Day is the largest annual celebration and predominant cultural event at Missouri S&T, with each year's observance touted as the "Best Ever!". During St. Pat's, students wear green sweatshirts (which are sold as fund-raisers throughout the season), carry shillelaghs and party (including drinking green beer). One tradition, observed primarily among fraternities, is the "killing" of rubber snakes in commemoration of St. Patrick's mythical banishing of snakes from Ireland. Along with snake invasion comes the tradition of Follies. Students meet daily at "the Puck" (a short cylindrical stage bearing a large shamrock) to hear jokes and participate in short competitions. On the third day of Follies, students move to the town's band-shell to participate in the ceremonial arrival of St. Pat's Court. The day after Follies, students participate in "Gonzo and Games". Gonzo and Games are two days of elaborate games in which different organizations compete. Friday of St. Pat's week is concluded with Coronation, a ceremony where the Queen of Love and Beauty is announced. The final event of St. Pat's week is a Saturday morning parade on Pine Street, which is painted green by St. Pat's Board Alumni. This parade is known throughout the United States and boasts well over one hundred floats and participating groups. The rationale for the celebration is the notion that St. Patrick is the patron saint of engineers.[41][42] The recognition of St. Patrick as the "Patron Saint of Engineers" began in 1903 when the Engineering students of the University of Missouri in Columbia claimed St. Patrick's Day to be a holiday for engineers.[43] The tradition has remained to this day and has been adopted by many other schools across the nation. St. Patrick's Day 2008 marked the one hundredth consecutive year of St. Patrick's Day celebrations at Missouri S&T.[44]

Religious Organizations

Missouri S&T also has several religious organizations for students, including but not limited to the following: Baptist Student Union (BSU), Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Muslim Student Association, and Wesley Methodist.


The naming structure for the head of the university has changed reflecting its changes through the years. It is currently headed by a chancellor who in turn reports to the University of Missouri system.[45]

The chancellor lives on campus at the Chancellor Residence (constructed in 1889 as the “Club House” dormitory, converted to a room house, before becoming the Missouri State Geological Survey headquarters before finally becoming the Chancellor Residence in 1905).[46]

  1. Charles Penrose Williams, Director, 1871–77
  2. Charles Edmund Wait, Director, 1877–88
  3. William Holding Echols, Director, 1888–91
  4. Elmo Golightly Harris, Director, 1891–93
  5. Walter Buck Richards, Director, 1893–97
  6. George E. Ladd, Director, 1897–07
  7. Lewis Emmanuel Young, Director, 1907–13
    Leon Ellis Garrett, Acting Director, 1913–15
  8. Durward Copeland, Director, 1915
  9. Austin Lee McRae, Director, 1915–20
  10. Charles Herman Fulton, Director, 1920–37
  11. William Reuel Chedsey, Director, 1937–41
  12. Curtis L. Wilson, Dean, 1941–63
  13. Merl Baker, Dean/Chancellor, 1963–73
    Dudley Thompson, Acting Chancellor, 1973–74
  14. Raymond L. Bisplinghoff, Chancellor, 1974–76
    Jim C. Pogue, Interim Chancellor, 1977–78
  15. Joseph M. Marchello, Chancellor, 1978–85
    John T. Park, Interim Chancellor, 1985–86
  16. Martin C. Jischke, Chancellor, 1986–91
  17. John T. Park, Chancellor (initially interim), 1991–2000
  18. Gary Thomas, Chancellor, 2000–2005
  19. John F. Carney III, Chancellor, 2005 – August 2011
    Warren K. Wray, Interim Chancellor, September 2011 – March 2012[47]
  20. Cheryl B. Schrader, April 2012 – present[48][49]

Notable alumni and former students

Computer Sciences





  • Thomas Akers, retired Air Force Col., a veteran of four space flights, holds bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from UMR ('73 and '75), made a guest appearance on the TV show Home Improvement[55] on season 3 episode 24 "Reality Bytes", and taught mathematics as a professor at Missouri S&T for over a decade before retiring in 2010.[56]
  • Janet Kavandi, whose debut space shuttle flight in June 1999 was the final Mir-shuttle docking, holds a master's degree in chemistry from Missouri S&T ('82).[56]
  • Sandra Magnus, who became a NASA astronaut in 1996, holds a bachelor's degree in physics ('86) and a master's degree in electrical engineering ('90) from Missouri S&T.[56]


Notable faculty


  • James Bogan,[62][63] Curators' Teaching Professor of art history and film, and winner of the University of Missouri System Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2005[64]


  • John C. McManus, U.S. Military historian and author of several books,[65][66] teaches history at the university as an associate professor. He received the 2012 Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in April, 2012[67]

Math and statistics



External links

  • Official website
  • Official Athletics website

Coordinates: 37°57′20″N 91°46′25″W / 37.955544°N 91.773513°W / 37.955544; -91.773513

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