Contact: Renee Graham
Public Communications Officer
Mayor Bob McDavid will officially welcome Commander John Patrick Friedman and Chief of the Boat Wayne Fetterley from the Pearl Harbor based USS Columbia (SSN771) Los Angeles Class nuclear submarine during a public "self host" reception from 5 - 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 10, at Bleu Restaurant, 811 E. Walnut. The official welcome and ribbon cutting ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m.
During their namesake city visit, Commander Friedman and Master Chief Fetterley will meet with MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin and present him with a gift from the officers and crew. They will teach at MU Naval ROTC and continue their relationship with the MU College of Engineering, the Athletic Department and MU Veterans Center. Commander Friedman and Master Chief Fetterley will also further their relationship with Columbia College, attend Northwest Rotary and present a program for Benton Elementary School children.
This year's visit marks the 20th anniversary of Columbia's namesake partnership with the USS Columbia. Mayor Mary Anne McCollum led the local delegation to the USS Columbia's christening in Groton, Conn., Sept. 24, 1994. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, the ship's sponsor, christened the ship, breaking a bottle of champagne across the bow in the age-old Navy tradition. This ceremony was the last of its kind, as the USS Columbia was "The Last Slider" - the last of 187 Navy submarines to be launched by dramatically sliding 1,300 feet down a wooden ramp into the Thames River.
USS Columbia ties extend to local businesses, citizens and organizations. During an early visit to Columbia's Flat Branch Pub & Brewing, crew members enjoyed their visit so much that they named their crew dining hall Flat Branch Café. Years later, the dining hall features a Flat Branch logo modified for them by owner Tom Smith. The crew entertainment system, a gift from all three namesake Columbia's (Missouri, Illinois and South Carolina) was custom designed for the submarine by D&M Sound. When the submarine was deployed during football season, the MU Athletic Department and committee members sent a complete Mizzou tailgate party to the crew and helped the local Columbia Submarine Committee organize a CoMo cookout for their families.
For more information, contact Anne Moore, Columbia Submarine Committee chair, at 573-449-3933 or email email@example.com or Renee Graham at 573-874-7316 or by email at RYG@GoColumbiaMo.com.