Humble families, humble beginnings
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In 1839, about 900 Boone County residents donated cash or land to bring the University of Missouri to Columbia. Although 15 of the donations were $1,000 or more, nearly half of them, 429, were $25 or less. These founding families likely had little idea of the transformational seeds they were sowing - the generations of their descendants who would be educated, meet spouses and find their callings at the university, and how it would grow from a single building that would burn down in 50 years to a $2.1 billion world-class enterprise for teaching, research, medicine, athletics, and entrepreneurship.