Alan Marshall

I have worked at the University of Missouri for 31 years, 25 of them as the manager of information technology. For the past 16 years, I have run the Upward Sports basketball and cheer leagues in Columbia.

One of the wonderfully unique things about Columbia is how it retains a small-town feel even though it is a large, vibrant community. As a college town, Columbia has people of all nationalities and from all walks of life. People are friendly and compassionate. Almost everywhere I go, someone smiles and greets me warmly whether I know them or not. Columbia has a very family-friendly environment.

The education system is excellent. We have tremendous health care options. Columbia is a diverse, loving, caring and supportive community.

Anyone who moves to Columbia should know about our great parks and wonderful trails for walking, running and biking. I enjoy co-ed softball in the spring, summer and fall. I also like to ride my bike on the trails and walk my dog at Stephens Park. Columbia also hosts the Show-Me State Games, a statewide competition for all ages in a variety of sports.

One of the best-kept secrets in Columbia is Buck’s Ice Cream Place at MU. Buck’s is home to MU’s own ice-cream flavor, Tiger Stripe. It’s a great place to enjoy your favorite variety at any time of year.

My favorite fun fact about Columbia is that we are the birthplace of the homecoming celebration. Homecoming began at MU in 1911, when Coach Brewer invited all alumni back to town for the football game against our archrival, Kansas.