Previous Story Next Story Back to Index

Gatekeeper of the dome: a closed door
to the top of Jesse Hall

John Murray, MU’s assistant director of business services, explains why access is restricted to one of Columbia’s most iconic landmarks.

Multimedia and text by Erin Dismeier


No one gets past John Murray.

As MU’s assistant director of business services, Murray holds the keys to one of Columbia’s most iconic landmarks. His job includes guarding the entry to Jesse Hall's dome and running the operations in the building.

“My background is in theater and show business,” Murray said. “I came to the university from a more commercial entertainment background to manage Jesse Auditorium.”

After 11 years at MU, Murray said he considers himself lucky to have been able to work at such a beautiful place.

“If I feel like I’m ever having a bad day, I can just look out my window and remember how those Columns have stood through all kinds of trials,” Murray said.

“If I can make it through the small battles I’m fighting that day, then I’m going to be OK.”

“Most people, when they are able to gain access up there, they are very disappointed because there are no views out of the windows.”

— John Murray