The University of Missouri-Columbia was founded in 1839 as the first public university west of the Mississippi River, the first public university in Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase territory. Our distinct mission, as Missouri's only state-supported member of the Association of American Universities, is to provide all Missourians the benefits of a world-class research university. We are stewards and builders of a priceless state resource, a unique physical infrastructure and scholarly environment in which our tightly interlocked missions of teaching, research and service work together on behalf of all citizens. Students work side by side with some of the world's best faculty to advance the arts and humanities, the sciences, and the professions. Scholarship and teaching are daily driven by a sense of public service--the obligation to produce and disseminate knowledge that will improve the quality of life in the state, the nation and the world. The University of Missouri-Columbia, as the state's major land-grant university, honors the public trust placed in it and accepts the associated accountability to the people of Missouri for its stewardship of that trust. Our duty is to acquire, create, transmit, and preserve knowledge, and to promote understanding.