Truman the Tiger runs with graduating seniors during the Tiger Prowl, Photo via KOMUnews via Flickr
From the time a student begins college to the day of their graduation, many life experiences and moments of personal growth occur. The first and last day of college are bookends to a unique chapter of life unlike any other. To celebrate the beginning and end of students’ journies through college, the University of Missouri (aka UM or Mizzou) hosts an annual Tiger Walk and Tiger Prowl. The first celebrates new students, and the latter congratulates graduating seniors.
The Tiger Walk is an annual tradition that welcomes new students to Mizzou. It’s a great opportunity for students to meet other new freshmen and to become familiar with campus. During the event, a procession ceremony takes place during which students walk (or sometimes run) through columns at the Francis Quadrangle toward Jesse Hall, symbolizing their entrance into college. Once the freshmen make it through the procession, they can enjoy the famous Tiger Stripe ice cream and watch Marching Mizzou perform. Appearances by Truman the Tiger and the Mizzou Golden Girls can also be expected. The first Tiger Walk took place in 1995 and has continued to be a tradition highly anticipated by new students every year.
The Tiger Prowl and Senior Sendoff is hosted by the University of Missouri Alumni Association to congratulate the graduating class and welcome them into the Mizzou alumni family. The prowl takes place on the south side of the Francis Quad, where grads symbolically exit through the historic columns, leaving the university and moving on to their professional lives. However, the graduates are never truly part from the university. They’re still connected as alumni and are invited to continue the celebration on the Carnahan Quad after passing through the columns. The event proceeds with live entertainment, games, food, and beverages, including beer for grads ages 21 and up. Attendees should be sure to register in advance and check in to receive a wristband. Seniors are not required to register in advance but will need to provide ID and receive a wristband if they wish to enjoy any alcohol offered at the event.
About the Columns
The columns students walk through during these celebrations are remnants of what was once Academic Hall. It was the first campus building and was the primary building for campus activities. It burned down on January 9, 1892, but the columns remained and are still present on the MU campus. The columns are located on the David R. Francis Quadrangle, which is named after the governor of Missouri who helped rebuild the university after the devastating fire.
The Columns and Jesse Hall, Photo by Adam Procter via Wikimedia, CC BY 3.0
Before students complete their journey from Tiger Walk to Tiger Prowl, there are tons of other Mizzou traditions to take part in, such as homecoming festivities and football games. Students know that tradition is a big deal at Mizzou and is a big part of the reason why students show so much school pride. Go Tigers!