January 12th, 2015
COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA) has announced the recipients of the 2014 Geyer Public Service Awards. Award recipients are Missouri State Senator Mike Parson for his continued efforts on supporting higher education public policy and Walter (Wally) Pfeffer for his tireless efforts as an advocate for higher education public policy. The awards will be presented to the recipients at a reception on the evening of Jan. 12.
The MAA’s Legislative Network Committee (MLN) annually presents the awards to one state-elected official and one citizen who exemplify the dedication and spirit of Henry S. Geyer. As former state representative, Geyer believed education was the key to progress and prosperity in Missouri and introduced a bill to establish the University of Missouri in 1839.
“This year’s recipients have demonstrated what it truly means to personally commit to protecting and advancing higher education in this state,” said Lesa McCartney, chair of the MAA’s Legislative Network Committee.
Sen. Mike Parson represents the 28th District in the Missouri Senate, which includes Barton, Benton, Cedar, Dallas, Henry, Hickory, Pettis, Polk and St. Clair counties. He and his wife, Teresa, currently reside in Bolivar. Sen. Parson serves in a leadership position as Senate Majority Whip. Additionally, he serves as vice-chairman of the Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee, as well as on the Small Business, Insurance & Industry Committee. When he is not busy with legislative duties, Parson owns and operates a cow-calf operation near Bolivar. He served as the Polk County Sheriff for twelve years before being elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2004. In addition to his work in public office, Sen.Parson is a member of the Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri State Employee’s Retirement Board, Polk County Cattlemen’s Association and the American Legion.
Wally Pfeffer, a native of St. Louis and resident of Columbia, served as the chair of the Mizzou Legislative Network Committee (MLN) from 2009-2013 and continues to serve as a member of the committee. During his time as chair, Pfeffer testified before House and Senate committees on equalizing state funded scholarships, the 50/50 capital matching legislation, legislation to create citizen-approved consolidated extension districts and higher education funding. During his tenure as chair of the MLN, the membership grew to more than 5,000 advocates, embodying alumni, faculty, staff, parents and students. From 1995 thru 2011, Pfeffer was a member of the board of the MU Political Action Committee, serving as chair from 2005 thru 2011.Pfeffer, who is an award-winning agent for the Mutual of Omaha Companies, also served as a member of the governing board of the Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA) for nine years between 1994 thru 2013. For more than thirty years, Pfeffer has volunteered as a member and past president of the Boone County Chapter of the MAA. For his service to Mizzou and the community, he has been recognized by the MU College of Agriculture Food and Natural Resources, the MU College of Arts and Science, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, the Columbia Public School Foundation, the Mizzou Alumni Association, the NAACP, and the University of Missouri.
For a list of all past Geyer Award recipients visit the Mizzou Alumni Association’s website: