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Our History

The òȾòƵ of Missouri System is a prevalent part of Missouri and its culture, no matter which corner you visit or where you may live. But, the UM System hasn’t always looked the way it does now; a lot of history has come together to form the UM System we know today.

Throughout its history, the UM System has been able to give back more by working together; a tradition that will continue through the years to come. Each component works toward upholding the phrase that’s part of the university and state motto; “salus populi”, meaning “the welfare of the people”.

Significant Dates


Missouri is admitted to the union from a portion of the territory acquired in the Louisiana Purchase.


Missouri legislature passes the Geyer Act, securing funds for the first public university west of the Mississippi River. This state university is established in Columbia and governed by a new Board of Curators.


The òȾòƵ of Missouri is accorded land-grant status under the Morrill Act of 1862, prompting the legislature to authorize a school of agriculture and mechanical arts in Columbia and a school of mines and metallurgy in Rolla.


Extension division is established, extending the land-grant mission to turn knowledge into public value and provide higher education opportunities for all citizens.


A private university, the òȾòƵ of Kansas City, is chartered.


The òȾòƵ of Missouri System is formally established, bringing together the universities known today as MU, Missouri S&T, and UMKC, and added a fourth public university, UMSL, in St. Louis.


The hospital and clinics as part of the òȾòƵ of Missouri-Columbia are administratively separated from the medical school, creating what is known today as MU Health Care.

For more information

Each component of the UM System has its own unique history. Visit the website for each to learn more:

  • History of MU Health hospitals:

Reviewed 2019-08-05