WARRENSBURG, Mo. — The University of Central Missouri celebrated their homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 23 and broke a record in the process.
UCM celebrated their 150th anniversary that day, and given their mascot, the procession included 50 mules.
After review, Guinness World Records confirmed that UCM now holds the title for “largest ridden parade of mules.”
“When we first announced that we were going to try to do this in UCM’s 150th year, the number one question we were asked was ‘Why?’ and the answer is if anyone were to set a record for a parade of mules, it should be UCM at the Homecoming parade,” said Jackie Jackson, associate vice president for UCM Alumni Foundation. “This accomplishment is demonstrative of who we are as a university – a proud ‘Mule Strong’ institution that thrives with the community’s involvement and support.”
The mule is not only the university’s mascot, but also Missouri’s state animal. Organizers solicited the help of mule owners who did not have connections to UCM.
“There were times my staff was apprehensive as to what we were going to do with 50 mules in the parade, but as the day got closer the enthusiasm only grew,” said Beth Rutt, director of student activities. “It was amazing seeing the riders and their mules coming over the top of the hill bringing up the end of the parade.”
With the official confirmation of the world record, UCM will be planning a public celebration in 2022.
The mule has been the mascot for the University of Central Missouri since 1922.