From the desk of Bill Stackman, vice chancellor for student affairs
A proud, two-time Mizzou alumna, Kathy Murray is a member of the Campus Activities Programming Board (CAPB) team. She has worked for Mizzou in a variety of capacities, including student organizations, student government services, Summer Welcome, leadership and campus activities.
Let’s get to know Kathy!
Bill Stackman: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Kathy Murray: I grew up in a military family and never lived in one place for a very long time. My father’s last station was in St. Louis, and I wanted to attend the flagship school in Missouri, so I went to Mizzou. Oh, and throughout high school, I watched Marching Mizzou on TV and thought that would be a fun thing to do.
BS: What motivates you in your work?
KM: My love for students and a desire to present engaging, fun, social opportunities to build a sense of belonging and community among students. I like to think that CAPB has an impact on the campus, and in some small way, I have a positive impact on the students with whom I work.
Everything we do to provide social programs for students at Mizzou is built by a partnership of students and staff. I am very fortunate to be a part of a team made up of the most amazing, hardworking, creative, step-up-to-the-plate-with-a-positive-attitude colleagues, including Liz Ronecker, Holly Parsons, Carolyn Faber, Michell Lencioni, all the CAPB Directors, board and event staff.
BS: How are campus activities an important part of the Mizzou student experience?
KM: Events offer students an opportunity to connect with each other, feel more engaged with the campus, and begin to develop a sense of belonging.
Events can have lasting impact. I often hear stories from students how they met their future best friends, roommates, and even spouses at events. One alum worked with us to return to the Midnight Barbecue years after first attending, so that he could propose to the person he met at the barbecue 10 years prior.
BS: How does CAPB manage to sustain that role during the pandemic?
KM: COVID-19 has shown us that events and connections are extremely important. Events are not just fun and games, but a deeply rooted part of the campus tradition. This pandemic has shown all of us how important it is to stay connected to others, to take mental breaks from time to time and to practice self-care.
In coordination with the Incident Command team, CAPB planned events with modifications to keep people safe while enriching students’ lives. From activity kits that allow students to decompress and do something fun, to outdoor films and drive-ins that allow students to be with friends while staying safe, we are still creating a culture of belonging on MU’s campus, even if our events look different than they have traditionally.
BS: What is your best advice for Mizzou students to be successful?
KM: Get involved! The most important task for us all right now is to stay safe so we can return to an activity-filled campus in the fall. But even during the pandemic, by following the guidelines in Show Me Renewal, you can still come out to events, join an organization, or offer to help with a project.
Begin to make connections and build new skills by participating. You will not regret the experiences you will have or the networks that you build. When you enjoy your campus experience, it will be easier to excel in your academics, leadership experiences and in life.