The Friends of the President is comprised of local business and community leaders who meet with University leadership to address mutual concerns and issues that impact the sustainability, vitality and future growth of and planning for the community.
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To increase awareness and support of the UM System and its universities and higher education issues in the local community and cultivate partnerships with local business and community leaders in areas of education, service, research and economic development.
Group membership is based on an informal list of “friends,” with additions to the list coming from the president, general officers and other members of the group based on current issues. The group includes representatives from area financial institutions, major regional employers, developers, city leaders and local media conglomerates.
Members are invited to several luncheons and social events, included in messaging throughout the year and often invited to relevant campus programs. At the luncheons, members hear from the UM System president and MU chancellor, as well as timely presentations from campus administrators on topics such as facilities/construction, enrollment and athletics. Members are given the opportunity to interact with the leadership, asking questions and providing valuable feedback and insight. Select members may be engaged for legislative outreach, but due to the composition of the group (media, city government) we do not activate the group as a whole as legislative advocates.