The traditional symbol of the University of Missouri is the row of six ionic columns on Francsi Quadrangle. The Columns once supported the portico of Academic Hall, the first building erected on campus. Academic Hall was built between 1840 and 1843 and on Jan. 9, 1892, was destroyed by fire. The treasured MU Columns were almost lost when the rubble was being cleared from an 1892 fire. They were saved by Gideon F. Rothwell, the president of the Board of Curators, who uttered the words “Let the columns stand. Let them stand for a thousand years.”