Howard Richards to Be the Face of MU’s College of Arts and Science in St. Louis
MU’s College of Arts and Science is extremely pleased to announce the hiring of Howard Richards as senior manager of external relations in the Greater St. Louis area.
Richards was born in St. Louis and considers it home, though his career has taken him around the world. He graduated with a degree in communication from MU in 1988. “Mizzou provided me with a great foundation,” says Richards. “I came in as a boy and left a man. I was prepared for the real world when I left Columbia. The mentors that I had and the lessons I learned really helped me prepare for what life is like outside college.”
While at MU, Richards was a standout offensive tackle for the Tigers. In 1980 he was named offensive co-captain and received second team All-American honors. The Dallas Cowboys selected him in the first round of the 1981 NFL draft. When he completed his career in the NFL, Richards served 13 years in the Central Intelligence Agency.
After more than 30 years of being away, Richards returned to St. Louis, where he has become a staple in the community. Many Missourians recognize Richards’ voice instantly because he serves as the football color analyst for the MU Tigers on Learfield Sports' Tiger Radio Network. Richards is also involved in a variety of charitable organizations. Through his varied life experiences, he has developed outstanding communication skills that allow him to connect with people.
It is a fitting next step for Richards to become the senior manager of external relations for the college. He will become the face and voice of A&S in St. Louis. In his new role, he will be responsible for developing, implementing, and coordinating an overarching outreach strategy for St. Louis on behalf of the college. Richards will aim to increase applications and enrollment of underrepresented students, magnify the college’s presence in St. Louis, expand professional development opportunities for students, facilitate new research connections for faculty, and increase opportunities for gifts and other financial support for the college.
Dean Michael J. O’Brien says, “We want to expand the university’s reputation and role in St. Louis, with A&S taking the lead. Howard is the perfect person to help the college with this goal—he will open doors for us in St. Louis that we didn’t even know existed.”
Many share O’Brien’s excitement. Dudley McCarter, an attorney in St. Louis and president of the MU Alumni Association, says, “Howard has a passion and love for Mizzou that is matched by few people. He never hesitates to praise Mizzou for his education and express his pride to be a Mizzou graduate. He has become involved in a wide range of organizations in St. Louis and has impressed everyone who has met him. Whether he is on the radio, speaking to a civic group, or talking to high school students at a school assembly, he has a way of connecting to his audience, and his audience is interested in what he has to say. He will quickly become the face and voice of Mizzou in St. Louis, and I am thrilled about it.”
Richards has ambitious plans and visions for the college when his position officially begins on May 18. “I want to promote awareness of the benefits of an A&S degree from MU. Additionally, we would like to attract more minority students in the St. Louis area and emphasize the value of an A&S degree, which will hopefully encourage them to attend,” says Richards. “I also aim to vigorously promote the significance of the Association of American Universities throughout the St. Louis community. It’s very important that people understand how critical our AAU membership is to MU’s success and why MU needs its support.”