Truman, Chancellor Alex Cartwright, and President Mun Choi show off their "paws" at the end of the press conference where Cartwright was officially welcomed to the Mizzou community.

Truman, Chancellor-designate Alexander Cartwright and UM System President Mun Choi show off their “paws” at the end of the announcement during which Cartwright was officially welcomed to the Mizzou family.

The Mizzou community welcomed Alexander Cartwright as the university’s new chancellor with an announcement and reception in the Reynolds Alumni Center’s Great Room Wednesday. Attendees included UM System President Mun Choi, former Interim President Mike Middleton, Provost Garnett Stokes, Truman the Tiger and Mini Mizzou, as well as a standing-room-only crowd of students, faculty and staff.

In his remarks, Cartwright talked about his childhood in the Bahamas, where his math education ended in the seventh grade and formal schooling in the 11th grade. After moving from the Bahamas to Iowa, Cartwright worked janitorial jobs, earned a GED and enrolled in community college before transferring to the University of Iowa, where he earned first a bachelor’s degree and then a doctorate in engineering.

“I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to lead such a prestigious institution when I was growing up in the Bahamas,” Cartwright told the crowd. “I never would have thought I’d have the opportunity to attend college, much less become a faculty member at an AAU institution.”

Cartwright said his special appreciation for public institutions of higher education inspires his vision for Mizzou as he becomes our new leader.

“My story is not unique. We see these stories all the time — people who have benefited from attending a public land grant university like Mizzou,” said Cartwright, who was a first-generation college student. “We must ensure that the university provides access and opportunity to all Missourians.”

Cartwright, currently provost and vice president for the State University of New York system, takes office as Mizzou’s chancellor Aug. 1.

Chancellor Alex Cartwright takes a question from a curator in the audience about his expectations for the 2017 football season.

Chancellor-designate Alexander Cartwright takes a question from a curator in the audience about his expectations for the 2017 football season.

Members of the Mizzou community fill the Great Room at the Reynolds Alumni Center for today's press conference.

Members of the Mizzou community fill the Great Room at the Reynolds Alumni Center for the chancellor announcement.

Members of Mini Mizzou entertain the crowd after Cartwright is officially announced as Mizzou's newest chancellor.

Members of Mini Mizzou entertain the crowd after Cartwright is officially announced as Mizzou’s newest chancellor.

Chancellor Alex Cartwright sports a black and gold tie and lapel pin.

Chancellor-designate Alexander Cartwright sports a Mizzou theme tie and lapel pin.

Kathryn Reed, Melinda Cartwright and committee member

Alexander Cartwright is married to Melinda Cartwright, center, and together they have two children, Alyssa, a senior at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Andrew, a sophomore at Cornell University.

Chancellor Alex Cartwright answers a question from a student in the audience.

Cartwright answers a question from a student in the audience.

Chancellor Alex Cartwright and President Mun Choi share a handshake when Choi introduces him to speak.

Cartwright and UM System President Mun Choi share a handshake at the lectern.

President Mun Choi smiles when Dr. Cartwright speaks of Choi's contagious enthusiasm.

Choi smiles at Cartwright’s comments about the president’s contagious enthusiasm.

Chancellor Alex Cartwright answers questions from members of the press immediately following his introduction to the Mizzou community.

Cartwright answers questions from members of the news media immediately following his introduction to the Mizzou community.

Chancellor Alex Cartwright and President Mun Choi share a laugh after Choi says they're so similar they could be twins.

Cartwright and Choi share a laugh after Choi says they’re so similar they could be twins. His comment was in context to the importance of working together and communicating a unified voice.

Cartwright meets Columbia's mayor, Brian Treece, and his wife Mary Phillips after the press conference ends.

Columbia’s mayor, Brian Treece, and his wife, Mary Phillips, talk with Cartwright after the press conference ends.

Mizzou athletic director Jim Sterk shares a laugh with Chancellor Cartwright during the reception that followed the press conference.

Mizzou Athletics Director Jim Sterk shares a laugh with Cartwright during a reception that following the press conference.

Chancellor Alex Cartwright speaks with former interim President Michael Middleton during the reception.

Cartwright speaks with former UM System Interim President Michael Middleton.

Former interim President Michael Middleton, President Mun Choi, and Julie Middleton pose for a portrait.

Mike Middleton, Mun Choi and Julie Middleton pose for a portrait.

Chancellor Alex Cartwright stops for a photo request from students at the reception.

Cartwright poses for a photo with students.