Missouri Gov. Mike Parson appointed three new members to the University of Missouri System Board of Curators on Monday.

Robert Blitz, Robert Fry and Jeanne Sinquefield must be confirmed by the state Senate before joining the board, which meets Thursday.

They are not included in a list of nominations to be considered by the Senate’s Gubernatorial Appointments committee, which is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning.

Ahead of these appointments, the board had two open seats and three curators serving on expired terms. The board’s non-voting student representative position is also open.

The UM System Board of Curators is the nine-voting-member governing body that controls MU, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.

The board cannot have more than five members of any political party. It wasn’t immediately clear what the appointees’ partisan affiliations are.

Sinquefield, of Westphalia, will fill the vacant 3rd Congressional District seat on the board. She previously served as Chair of the UM System Review Commission in 2016, and is a member of Missouri 100, a university advisory group made up of donors.

Sinquefield and her husband have donated millions to the MU School of Music, and the Sinquefield Music Center was named in their honor.

Before retiring in 2005, Sinquefield worked as a training executive for Dimensional Fund Advisors.

“I have been pretty active with different parts of the university,” Sinquefield said Monday. “I’m happy to help.”

Blitz, from St. Louis, is a partner at a law firm and will be filling the 2nd Congressional District seat currently held by Curator Greg Hoberock.

Blitz garnered national attention for representing St. Louis City, St. Louis County and the St. Louis Sports Authority in a lawsuit over the St. Louis Rams football franchise’s move to Los Angeles. He also represented the family of an MU football player who died after collapsing during a 2005 workout in a wrongful death lawsuit against the university.

He did not immediately return a call to his office Monday.

Fry is an orthodontist and the founder and director for a nature-oriented nonprofit. He will fill the 4th Congressional District spot on the board, which has been vacant. Fry is from Greenwood.

“I’m very honored and humbled to be considered for this position,” Fry said. “I’m happy to continue the fine traditions of the state and the university.”

The Senate confirmation process, in recent years, has been more than a formality. Current curator Todd Graves’ appointment was filibustered in 2021 before Parson cut a deal with Democrats.

Parson’s appointments to the board arrive with less than four weeks left in the legislative session, where the Senate could still pass bills related to sports betting, gender-affirming health care, changes to the initiative petition process and other key topics.

The curators will meet Thursday on the campus of Missouri S&T for a regularly-scheduled meeting.

This story originally appeared in the Columbia Missourian. It can be republished in print or online.

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