The big M picture

MU students form a line to pass rocks from a truck in order to fill in empty spaces in the M before it is painted on Aug. 20 at Faurot Field.

Line of rocks

Austin Nichols hands a rock across a fence to Amber Honig on Aug. 20. Students formed long lines to pass rocks to strategic places in the M where rocks were missing or had been weathered.

Kissing the 50 yard line

A pair of MU freshmen pose for a picture as they lie on the ground and kiss the fifty yard line of Faurot Field, one of the seven MU traditions, on Aug. 20.

Repainting the tunnel

MU students repaint the tunnel under Stadium Boulevard leading to Faurot field on Aug. 20.

Whitewashing the M

Margaret Bedwell slops paint out of a bucket while whitewashing the rocks that make up the M on Aug. 20 at Faurot Field.

Paddling the dragon boat

Christina Glauner paddles near the front of the dragon boat during a trial run on June 26 at Creve Coeur Lake in Creve Coeur, Mo. Glauner and a handful of other paddlers first came up with the idea to race the Missouri River 340 in a dragon boat during the safety meeting of the 2009 race.

First day at Lange

Avrian Moreno, left, and Jessica Gomez walk Gomez’ younger sister Rocio Gomez to Lange Middle School for the first day of school on Aug. Laurie Milburn, a sixth grade math teacher at Lange, greeted families and students as they arrived.

Walking to Derby Ridge

Samantha Baker forms a train as she holds hands with her son Joshua Fitzmorris, 5, and daughter McKenzie Baker Aug. 19 on their way to Derby Ridge Elementary School. Baker said her son, who is entering Kindergarten, was excited for his first day of school.

Missouri cornerback Carl Gettis at practice

The Tigers return their top five defensive backs from 2009, including Carl Gettis, who is entering his fourth season as a starter.

Welcome Back 2010 e-book cover

The cover of the e-book edition of the Welcome Back 2010 special section of the Missourian.

MU running backs Marcus Murphy and Henry Josey

Missouri freshmen running backs Marcus Murphy, left, and Henry Josey have formed a close friendship since they started playing for the Tigers.

FIve-year-old high-fives crossing guard

Skyler Roberts, 5, high-fives crossing guard Ralph Bowers as he crosses the street with Cassie Sapp and Zach Green at Russell Boulevard Elementary on Thursday. The first day of school began Bowers' 14th year as a crossing guard.

Waiting for the bus

On Thursday, West Boulevard Elementary School students, from left, kindergartener Anisia Hernandez, 5, fourth-grader Blessing Oliver, 9, preschooler Isaiah Oliver, 5, and first-grader Messiah Oliver, 6, watch as their bus pulls up on Worley Street on the first day of school.

First day of school

Lainey Reeves, 5, embraces her uncle Chip Miller after disembarking from the school bus on Thursday at Russell Boulevard Elementary. It was Lainey's first day of school.

Raising the flag

Evan Drane, 10, clips the flag to the flagpole before raising it while Cora Siewart, 5, and Catherine Siewart assist him and wait for photos at Russell Boulevard Elementary on Thursday. Many parents brought their students to school early to document their first day.

Getting off the bus

Assistant Principal Tami Ensor ushers kids off the school bus at Russell Boulevard Elementary on Thursday. School staff were on hand early to help guide students to classrooms on their first day.

First-grade teachers at Shepard share laughs

Holly Snyder shares a laugh with fellow first-grade teachers Janine Taylor, Jessica Bach and Ann Cardetti during a meeting in Shepard Elementary on Wednesday. The first-grade teachers were meeting to plan ahead of the first day of school.

Shepard third-grade teachers plan curriculum

Hannah Hassemer helps plan the year with fellow third-grade teachers during a meeting at Shepard Elementary School on Wednesday. The teachers were spending the day planning for the next day, which would be the first school day of the year.

Stephens College orientation leaders generate game ideas

Sam Schwartzman and Ricardo Rique-Sanchez exchange ideas during a planning meeting for Stephens College orientation student leaders inside of Stamper Commons on Wednesday. The student leaders were brainstorming ideas for icebreaker games to put new students at ease in their first days on campus.

Columbia College orientation leaders build rapport

Austin Miller shares a laugh with his fellow Columbia College orientation leaders during a team building game inside of the Atkins-Holman Student Commons on Columbia College's main campus on Tuesday, Aug. 10. Miller and his peers were working to build communication between themselves before student orientation began.