B-School Traditions: An Old-Fashioned Missouri Bonfire

University of Missouri MBA students in Moberly, Missouri on Sept. 20 Photograph by Alex Kriegshauser/University of Missouri

Each fall, a few weeks after students return to campus, MBAs from the University of Missouri’s Trulaske College of Business head to rural Moberly, Mo., to enjoy a mid-Missouri tradition: a bonfire. “Many of our students—no matter where they’re from—have never experienced a bonfire, including roasting hot dogs and making s’mores,” says Joe Stephens, assistant dean of MBA programs.

Officially, the purpose of the bonfire evening is to kick off the B-school’s MBA International Week, a series of events, including a pot-luck lunch, that celebrate the many nationalities represented on campus. But over the years it has turned into a way for second-year MBAs to reconnect with their classmates after the summer, as well as to get to know their first-year counterparts in a setting free of the typical student stresses.

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