COLUMBIA — The Mizzou Alumni Association renamed Maryland Avenue on Friday while celebrating its Leaders Day and the start of Leaders Weekend.
Mayor Bob McDavid, alumni association President Randy Wright, alumni association student board President Justin Yeater and 150 MU alumni were in attendance.
Some MU students and Columbia residents have expressed disapproval of the name change because of the perceived historical value of Maryland Avenue.
Wright said the name “Maryland Avenue” was originally suggested by an MU professor in 1904 but bears no other historical significance.
The street’s name change was based on more than school spirit, Wright said. He said the name “Tiger” was adopted during the Civil War by a unit of armed guards from Columbia.
“It’s more important to the city than Mizzou,” Wright said.
McDavid thanked those who disapprove of the name change in his brief speech. He said he thought the renaming took place in the right location.
“It only makes sense to name it Tiger Avenue,” McDavid said. “It’s the entrance to our campus and the entrance to our city.”
In spite of some opposition to the street’s new name, event attendees appeared enthusiastic and pleased. Band music played and cheerleaders chanted as Truman the Tiger surprised the audience by arriving in a convertible and placing the new street sign on a stage.
“I think it’s great,” said 2000 MU alumna Casey Gentry of the street name change. “It has more meaning and more significance to the university and city.”