Who are the Lafferres?
Building namesakes Tom and Nell Lafferre are both Mizzou alumni who met in 1952 at a Gamma Phi Beta Halloween Party. Thomas H. Lafferre graduated from Mizzou in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He later earned a master’s degree from Washington University in 1967 and a professional development degree from Harvard University in 1980.
He retired as the vice president of operations from Monsanto Chemical Company in 1993 after a nearly 40-year career. He received the college’s Missouri Honor Award for Distinguished Service in Engineering in 1984.
They settled in Brentwood, Tenn., where Tom still resides. Nell passed away in June 2013.
Nell was a six-year member of the board of trustees for the Jefferson Club, which encourages philanthropic support of MU’s mission. Tom Lafferre and current Jefferson Club trustees were on hand in May 2014 when a bench overlooking the Francis Quadrangle outside Lafferre Hall was dedicated in memory of her.
Has Tom Lafferre ever been #LostinLafferre?
“When I was here in ’52-’56, much of this didn’t exist,” Tom Lafferre said, looking around the MU Engineering communications office in the 1991 addition.
“Marty [Walker, MU Engineering’s building administrator] and I have been on every floor in almost every room, so I been around most parts of the building, but I do appreciate that you can get easily lost.
“It interested me to know that there was more than a mile of floor tile, because then I got to thinking, ‘There’s so many rooms that just have cement floors. There’s probably another mile of flooring that’s not tile.'”