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Jan. 23, 2014 Volume 35, No. 16

Deaton, Rep. Thomson receive Geyer awards from the Mizzou Alumni Association

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Chancellor Emeritus Brady J. Deaton received a Geyer Award Jan. 13 at G2 Gallery in Jefferson City, Mo. Photo by Rob Hill.

The Geyer Act made it possible to establish the University of Missouri, celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2014

Every year, the Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA) presents the Henry S. Geyer Award to a public official and a citizen who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to higher education and Mizzou. On Jan. 13 at the G2 Gallery in Jefferson City, Mo., the Mizzou Legislative Network of MAA presented the 2013 Geyer Award to Rep. Mike Thomson, R-Maryville, and MU Chancellor Emeritus Brady J. Deaton. 

When Geyer and fellow members of the Missouri General Assembly wrote the legislation that established the state university in Columbia, “They were thinking big about the University of Missouri and what they wanted it to be,” said MAA Executive Director Todd McCubbin. 

Thomson embodies the spirit of Geyer, said Pat Thomas, the awards chair for the Ag Alumni Association that nominated him. Thomson spent nearly 38 years in public education, first teaching and serving as a high school guidance counselor and then returning to his alma mater, Northwest Missouri State, as an instructor and administrator.

“I got up every morning for 55 years and went to school,” Thomson said. “It’s natural for me to bring that commitment to the legislature.” 

As chair of the Higher Education Committee and a member of the Budget, Education and Joint Education committees, Thomson has supported legislative bills throughout the past six years that established the Missouri Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Initiative; improved Access Missouri and Bright Flight scholarships awards; created an at-large position for the Board of Curators; and improved remedial education, transfer and articulation agreements, and reverse transfer policies. 

One bill Thomson supported improves transfer agreements among public two- and four-year higher education institutions and requires the Department of Higher Education to create a statewide core transfer library of a minimum of 25 lower-level courses that are accepted at all public colleges and universities in the state.

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