Top students: Christopher Dade distinguishes himself through involvement and scholarship

Dade’s willingness to dedicate himself to his studies and campus organizations has led to many opportunities at MU and beyond.


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You might see Christopher Dade around campus all the time — and he wouldn’t have it any other way. His dedication to five different campus organizations gives him the opportunity to meet many new people.

Dade grew up knowing and loving MU. From the first home football game he attended to the first time he was able to climb onto the Columns by himself, he felt like MU was home before he was even a student. By the time he left his small rural hometown of Rogersville, Missouri, he was expertly prepared to become a tiger. Dade acknowledged that not everyone has the privilege of feeling so comfortable and explained how this was a driving force in his choice to become so involved.

“I want to ensure that every student feels like they can call Mizzou home,” Dade said. “I know how lucky I’ve been to find my community and find my home on campus, and I know how good of a feeling that is.”

Dade has not only been involved with many organizations, but he has also assumed leadership roles within those groups. Dade was involved in Marching Mizzou and was a trumpet section leader during his junior year. He has also been a part of the Mizzou Tour Team and was involved with Mizzou Alternative Breaks for all four years of his college experience, three of those years as a site leader.

In addition, Dade was part of the Alumni Association Student Board, serving as vice president of external relations his junior and senior year. Through AASB, he helped the university execute various traditions such as Tiger Walk, Senior Sendoff, Mizzou ‘39 and Mizzou 18. His biggest goal with these events was to make them as inclusive and accessible as possible so that any MU student can participate.

Dade has also played a significant role in The Associated Students of the University of Missouri as president the past two years. ASUM is the student lobbying association at MU, and Dade said his priorities have concerned advocating for student interests in Jefferson City such as keeping the cost of tuition down and providing resources for campus mental health.

Dade has also been actively involved in his studies throughout his time at MU. As a chemistry major, he began and will end his career at MU working in the lab of John J. Tanner, Ph.D. His freshman and sophomore years were spent as a Discovery Fellow through the MU Honors College, and he has continued with studying proteins in an effort to understand how diseases occur and how drugs can be developed. His studies took him to Germany the summer of 2016 through a DAAD RISE scholarship, where he studied compounds to see what is in potentially medicinal plants.

His dedication is perhaps what led him to his next achievement: acceptance into the George J. Mitchell Scholarship Program, which is run by the US-Ireland Alliance. Through this program, he will complete his master’s degree in public science communication at Dublin City University. Dade was one of only 12 U.S. students to be chosen for this program, which covers all tuition and accommodations and includes a stipend for living and travel expenses. Dade is eager for the chance to learn from the other students accepted into the program, whose fields of study range from conflict resolution to music composition.

“We get to spend the year studying in Ireland but also getting to know each other and getting to know what everyone is doing,” Dade said.

Though Dade’s achievements would give every reason for him to be confident, he, like many, has experienced periods of self-doubt. He found self-assurance by remembering that everyone’s background provides a unique opportunity to learn and that his is no exception.

“You will always be surprised by what other people can teach you and what you might be able to bring to the table,” Dade said. “For a long time, I struggled with what I could bring to the table. Like, I’m learning so much from other people, but what can I possibly teach them? I realized eventually that my background is just as important.”

Dade is sad to leave behind the people at MU that he has grown close to but feels optimistic about the opportunities for future generations of students.

“There is a lot of potential energy and momentum on campus,” Dade said. “Incoming students have incredible opportunities on campus and opportunities to shape campus into what they want to see Mizzou become.”

Edited by Brooke Collier |

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