MU History Working Group

The MU History Working Group is developing ideas and recommendations to acknowledge and honor laborers and enslaved people who built Mizzou.


The University of Missouri was founded in 1839 when many Missourians held slaves, including founders of the university such as James S. Rollins.

In 2017, the University of Missouri Faculty Council passed a resolution in support of installing a memorial to honor slaves whose labors contributed to the establishment of the university.

In the fall of 2018, Chancellor Alexander Cartwright established the MU History Working Group, to be led by Vice Chancellor for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Kevin McDonald and Vice Chancellor for Operations and Student Affairs Gary Ward. The group is composed of students, staff, faculty, historical experts and alumni representing diverse viewpoints.

The Group’s Charge

The group is tasked with exploring how the university could provide a more holistic representation of history on the MU campus for the purposes of educating students and the community about the vital contributions of laborers in the establishment of the university. The committee will review the history and roles of enslaved people, as well as other groups who may have helped build the original university.


The MU History Working Group is seeking university community feedback and ideas. All input will be reviewed and considered. Please share your ideas by emailing