Portal:Missouri

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Missouri (/mɪˈzʊəri/ (About this sound listen) or /mɪˈzʊərə/) is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2009 estimated population of 5,987,580, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It comprises 114 counties and one independent city. Missouri's capital is Jefferson City. The four largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia. Missouri was originally acquired from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase and became defined as the Missouri Territory. Part of the Missouri Territory was admitted into the union as the 24th state on August 10, 1821.

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Missouri mirrors the demographic, economic and political makeup of the nation with a mix of urban and rural culture. It has long been considered a political bellwether state. With the exceptions of 1956 and 2008, Missouri's results in U.S. presidential elections have accurately predicted the next President of the United States in every election since 1904. It has both Midwestern and Southern cultural influences, reflecting its history as a border state. It is also a transition between the Eastern and Western United States, as St. Louis is often called the "western-most Eastern city" and Kansas City the "eastern-most Western city." Missouri's geography is highly varied. The northern part of the state lies in dissected till plains while the southern part lies in the Ozark Mountains (a dissected plateau), with the Missouri River dividing the two. The confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers is located near St. Louis.

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Lindenwood University, often referred to as Lindenwood or LU, is a private, coeducational, liberal arts university located in Saint Charles, Missouri, United States. Founded in 1827 by George Champlin Sibley and Mary Easton Sibley as The Linden Wood School for Girls, it is the second oldest higher-education institution west of the Mississippi River and since 1990 the fastest growing university in the Midwest.

Lindenwood offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees through nine colleges and schools and has current enrollment of about 15,000 traditional and non-traditional students with over 4,000 living on-campus. The 500-acre (2.0 km2) main academic and residential campus is located 24 miles (39 km) northwest of St. Louis, Missouri in St. Charles, the Daniel Boone historic site in Defiance, Missouri 26 miles (42 km) southwest of the St. Charles campus, a satellite campus in Belleville, Illinois known as LU–Belleville, as well as various distance learning facilities throughout Greater St. Louis.

Although the majority of Lindenwood's students are from Missouri, there is also a large number of out-of-state and foreign students. The university offers a large number of extracurricular activities to its students, including athletics, honor societies, clubs and student organizations, as well as fraternities and sororities. Alumni and former students have gone on to prominent careers in government, business, science, medicine, education, sports, and entertainment.

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Shandi Ren Finnessey (born June 9, 1978; Florissant, Missouri, U.S.) is an American beauty queen, model, television hostess, and actress. She is best known for winning the Miss USA title,[1] as Miss Missouri USA. She previously held the title of Miss Missouri 2002 and competed in Miss America where she won a preliminary award. She placed as first runner-up at the Miss Universe 2004 competition. She is one of three women to have been both Miss Missouri USA and Miss Missouri and the only Missourian to have been Miss USA. Her first runner-up finish at Miss Universe was the best placement in the 2000s and continues to be the best United States placement since Brook Mahealani Lee won the Miss Universe 1997 competition.

She evolved from being a misfit youth who was subjected to verbal bullying to becoming a world-class beauty queen. In 2002, Finnessey authored an award-winning children’s book, The Furrtails, on individuality and disabilities. In the mid-2000s, she was Chuck Woolery's co-host for the game show Lingo on the Game Show Network. Finessey has also hosted PlayMania as well as quiznation and has served as a sideline reporter for the CBS tournament blackjack series Ultimate Blackjack Tour.

Finnessey graduated from Incarnate Word Academy in 1996 and completed a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Lindenwood University in 1999. She has credits toward a masters degree in counseling from the same university.

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A beige- and brown brick, castle-like building with four towers stands atop a flight of stairs.

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  1. ^ "Photo of Shandi Finnessey as Miss USA". Spiegel. Retrieved 2007-09-12.