$1.3 million endows MU lecture series to honor Sen. Kit Bond

Monday, March 7, 2011 | 8:08 p.m. CST; updated 9:11 p.m. CST, Monday, March 7, 2011

COLUMBIA — A new lecture series honoring former U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond will feature speakers on economics, science and public policy.

Chancellor Brady Deaton announced the Christopher Bond Distinguished Lecture Series on Monday at the Reynolds Alumni Center. Friends and colleagues of Bond raised more than $1.3 million for the endowment. Deaton said the fundraising will continue.

MU's largest private gifts

  • The Reynolds Foundation gave $31 million for the creation of the Reynolds Journalism Institute in 2004.
  • Bill and Nancy Laurie gave $25 million to the construction of Mizzou Arena in 2001.
  • The Reynolds Foundation gave $15 million to the Reynolds Journalism Institute in 2009.
  • Bill and Nancy Thompson gave $8.5 million to launch the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in 2005.
  • The Robert J. Trulaske family gave about $5 million to the business school in 2005.


Deaton has appointed a committee to select the speakers. The committee will designate the cities across Missouri that will host the lectures.

At the announcement, UM Board of Curators Chairman Warren Erdman spoke glowingly about Bond's service to the state.

"Kit loves Missouri," Erdman said. "In everything Kit has done, you can tell he loves this state."

The mood in the Great Room of the Reynolds Alumni Center became more sentimental when Bond's friend and former Missouri colleague, U.S. Sen. John C. Danforth, came to the stage.

Danforth spoke about their time together working in the Senate, calling it an "absolute pleasure to be his colleague."

"He is so tenacious, focused ... and such a standard for what public service should be," Danforth said.

In his speech, Bond said today's issues in a global society need to be dealt with in a "constructive and productive manner."

"We have all kinds of challenges," Bond said. "I hope we can bring distinguished speakers here to talk about national and international issues of importance."

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