April 07, 2023
For Blake and Brady Murr, civil engineering is more than a degree. It’s an opportunity to improve communities. And it’s a legacy worth preserving.
“Our grandfather owned a construction company in Macon, Missouri,” Blake said. “He retired by the time we were born, but he still had the equipment, and we grew up around that, helping with projects around the house.”
“And our dad works for MoDOT, so we’ve been around it our whole lives,” Brady added.
So the twins were thrilled to each received a scholarship from the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Missouri last month. While the funding for school helps, they both agreed the award means more than paying the bills.
“Especially since it’s the AGC and has such close ties with the construction industry,” Blake said. “It’s validating and shows we’re on the right path.”
For much of their lives, the Murrs have shared that path. They started college together at Moberly Area Community College (MACC), which they agreed provided a smooth entryway into Mizzou. For a couple of semesters, they took classes both at MACC’s Columbia location and at Mizzou Engineering.
“The engineering program at MACC is designed to fit Mizzou, so we knew everything would transfer,” Blake said. “It was a seamless transition.”
The Murrs became full time students at Mizzou this semester and are now taking many of the same classes as they pursue a major in civil engineering and minor in construction management. They’re also involved in helping build the bridge for the Steel Bridge Team, which they especially enjoy.
“There are a lot of people and opportunities at Mizzou,” Blake said. “It’s easy to get connected.”
And they’ve already gotten to know civil engineering faculty, a close-knit group committed to student success.
“There are opportunities to get to know professors early on,” Brady said. “Even in classes where there are a lot of students, you get to know professors pretty well.”
In addition to classes, Brady works part-time at Emery Sapp & Sons in Columbia, where he interned last summer and will again this summer. In his role there, he’s had opportunities to work alongside project managers on bridge projects using a variety of materials including non-traditional concrete.
Blake conducted an internship at Capital Paving and Construction in Jefferson City and plans to intern there again this year. He enjoyed learning about all aspects of the industry, from the bid process to construction and quality control testing.
Last summer was the first time the twins went their separate ways, but while they work for different companies, they both share a goal to someday become project managers at heavy civil construction companies in the state.
“The construction industry is booming, and I don’t see that slowing down,” Brady said. “It’s reassuring.”
But, for the Murrs — who lost their grandfather a couple of years ago — it’s more than job security.
“Our grandfather went to college but couldn’t afford to finish, so he started his own business,” Blake said. “He was able to better the community, and that’s what we want to do.”
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