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The mission of the University of Missouri, as a land-grant university and Missouri’s only public research and doctoral-level institution, is to discover, disseminate, preserve, and apply knowledge. The university promotes learning by its students and lifelong learning by Missouri’s citizens, fosters innovation to support economic development, and advances the health, cultural, and social interests of the people of Missouri, the nation, and the world.
The University of Missouri has provided teaching, research and service to Missouri since 1839. The university, the first publicly supported institution of higher education to be established in the Louisiana Purchase territory, was shaped in accordance with the ideals of Thomas Jefferson, an early proponent of higher education.
The university remained a single campus until the School of Mines and Metallurgy was established in Rolla in 1870. In the same year, the university assumed land-grant responsibilities of providing higher education opportunities for all citizens. In 1963, the university again expanded to better serve Missouri by founding a new campus in St. Louis and acquiring the University of Kansas City, creating the present four-campus system.
Today, the University of Missouri is one of the nation’s largest higher education institutions, with more than 75,000 students on four campuses and an extension program with activities in every county of the state.