COLUMBIA — The 89th Annual Tap Day began with the march of initiates to the six societies. Initiates wore robes and hoods to hide their faces from a crowded Jesse Auditorium full of fans.
The secret groups in attendance were QEBH, Mystical Seven, LSV, ODK, Mortar Board and Rollins Society.
QEBH gave an honorary tap to newly retired MU head football coach Gary Pinkel.
Pinkel resigned from his position as head football coach following the 2015 football season. He later announced he had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Greg Stringfellow was a football manager for a couple of years under Pinkel, and he was tapped into ODK today. Stringfellow said he was happy to see Coach Pinkel be honored.
"Honestly, to be tapped means so much," Stringfellow said. "I can't think of someone who deserves it as much. He truly did so much for this campus and this institution."
The event was kicked off by Mortar Board and its initiates because the group is celebrating its centennial.
Students, faculty and staff were all walked onto the stage and their identities were revealed to the crowd.
Some were giddy with smiles, others cried tears of joy, but all of them appeared to be happy to be recognized for their contributions to MU.
Stringfellow said, "It's just so humbling and such an honor to be recognized among all these amazing people. It showed what I am doing on campus is making making a positive difference for people."