COLUMBIA — The Missourian's 2014 "Welcome Back" edition offers a glimpse of what has happened around Columbia over the summer. Also, don't miss our Collegetown section to help you get acquainted with MU.
CoMo Connect: A new city bus system launched in early August that eliminates the previous "hub-and-spoke system." Now riders will be able to transfer buses along routes rather than just at the Wabash Station.
Downtown: There have been a few changes at businesses downtown over the summer. The Broadway Diner extended its hours, The Blue Note ownership changed hands and an apartment complex has faced challenges in starting construction. If you're interested in learning more about downtown and the history of Columbia, the Historic Preservation Commission is offering free walking tours.
Restaurants: A number of new restaurants opened or will open soon, while others closed down over the summer. Here's a look at what's changed. Columbia residents also have something new to look forward to — doughnuts. Strange Donuts, a St. Louis-based shop, and Columbia-owned Harold's Donuts plan to open storefronts downtown this fall.
New faces: There are some new faculty faces around campus this fall. Here's a look at four of the new faculty members.
New clubs: More than 20 new student organizations have been approved for the 2014-15 school year including the Japanese Student Association, Sports Law Society and Chronically Awesome Association.
Upcoming events: There's never a shortage of things to do on campus. Here's a look at some of the upcoming concerts and speakers.
Building changes: One of the most obvious changes on campus is the closing of Jesse Hall for renovations. Swallow Hall and Pickard Hall also have closed. Here is a guide to the new locations for offices and museums affected by the closures. There are also several changes coming to dorms around campus. The renovations at Johnston Hall are complete, while many other projects will expand housing on campus over the next few years. Some of the dining halls got a facelift and will have new offerings for fall.
Alternative sports: Looking for a new way to get active? There are some alternative sports options around Columbia including roller derby and bike polo.
Key games: The Missouri football team opens its conference play at South Carolina, its only regular season loss in 2013. Here are other key games to watch.
2013 vs. 2014: Missouri made headlines during its second season as a member of the Southeastern Conference, taking the East title and winning the Cotton Bowl. But what will the headlines be for 2014? The new quarterback and the defense are the most likely story lines.
The players: There has been turnover in the starting lineup for the 2014 as players departed. But there are capable replacements, here are five players to watch.
Stadium upgrade: One of the biggest changes fans likely will notice is the expansion of the east side of the Memorial Stadium.
Columbia College and Stephens College
Arts: High school students at a Columbia College arts program created a mural that will be on display at the Roots 'N' Blues 'N' BBQ Festival.
New administration: New Columbia College President Scott Dalrymple started May 1, and there are some other changes to the administration at the college.
Smoke-free: Stephens College became a smoke-free campus July 1.