Mel George is heavily involved in MU life, despite his official retirement five years ago.
George arrived at MU in 1960 and has held an assortment of positions, including assistant professor of mathematics and vice president of academic affairs. He is also a two-time interim president of the university system. Although he also taught at the University of Nebraska and St. Olaf College, he always returned to Columbia.
“Columbia is such a great town; the education systems bring vitality to it,” George said.
Today, his title is president emeritus, one that hardly covers all of his roles at the university.
“I like to be busy,” he said. “I like to feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.”
The contribution he is truly passionate about is “On Mathematics and Music, Order and Beauty in Human Life,” a course that will be available again next year. George said the topic intrigues him because every mathematical person he has known has been interested in music. This class examines the similarities between the two and draws students from a variety of majors.
George’s other contributions range from singing in the MU Choral Union to being involved in the library’s capital campaign to serving on the Strategic Planning Advisory Council and the Campus Institutional Review Board.