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Each year, the Mizzou Legislative Network of the Mizzou Alumni Association awards the Henry S. Geyer Award. The award was named for Representative Geyer of St. Louis; he authored the Geyer Act of 1839, which established the university.

This award recognizes the work of public officials and citizens who have made a positive impact on higher education and Mizzou. Nominees do not have to be MU alumni.


2014 Geyer Award Recipients


Senator Mike Parson

Senator 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 and have two children and five grandchildren.

Following graduation from Wheatland High School in 1973, Senator Parson served six years in the United States Army. He then went on to receive higher education at the University of Maryland and University of Hawaii. Senator Parson serves in a leadership position as Senate Majority Whip. Additionally, he serves as Vice-Chairman of the Agriculture, Food Production & 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, Senator Parson is a member of the Missouri Farm Bureau, Missouri State Employee’s Retirement Board, Polk County Cattlemen’s Association and American Legion.



Wally Pfeffer


Wally Pfeffer 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, Mr. 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. Membership in the Network grew to over 5,000 advocates, embodying alumni, faculty, staff, parents and students during his tenure.

As chair of the MLN, Mr. Pfeffer was an ex-officio member of the Flagship Council. From 1995 thru 2011, Mr. Pfeffer was a member of the board of the MU Political Action Committee, serving as chair from 2005 thru 2011. Mr. Pfeffer also served as a member of the Governing Board of the Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA) for nine years between 1994 thru 2013. For over thirty years, Mr. 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 College of Agriculture Food and Natural Resources, the 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.

A native of St. Louis, Mr. Pfeffer graduated from DeSmet Jesuit High School and attended the University on an Evans Scholarship, earning a bachelor of general studies from the College of Arts and Science in 1989.

An award winning agent for the Mutual of Omaha Companies. for 36 years, Mr. Pfeffer's photos of community and social events regularly fill the pages of the Columbia Daily Tribune and Inside Columbia magazine. He is the father of Hillary Taylor Pfeffer, a junior at Webster University pursuing a bachelors degree in stage management in the Theatre Conservatory.


Past recipients:

2013: Representative Mike Thomson and Chancellor Emeritus Brady Deaton
2012: Senator David Pearce and Steven Dickherber, Ben Levin and Zach Toombs
2011: Representative Chris Kelly and Gary Forsee
2010: Senator Kurt Schaefer and Sam Hawkins
2009: Representative Gayle Kingery and Christine Koukola
2008: Congressman Ike Skelton and Mr. Ed Turner
2007: Senators Chuck Gross & Charlie Shields and Mr. R. Barnes Whitlock
2006: Representatives Bryan Pratt & Brian Yates and Mr. Richard Mendenhall
2005: Senator Chuck Graham and Mr. James C. Sterling
2004: Senator John Russell and Mr. Dudley McCarter
2003: Congressman Kenny Hulshof and Dr. Hugh Stephenson Jr., MD
2002: Representative Ted Farnen and Mr. Harry Cornell
2001: Secretary of State Bekki Cook and Dr. Al Hahn
2000: Representative Emmy McClelland and Dr. Melvin George
1999: Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond and Mr. Everett Brown
1998: Senator Ken Jacob and Mr. Chris Kelly
1997: Representative Steve Gaw and Dr. David Leuthold
1996: Senator Joe Moseley and Dr. Charles McClain
1994: Governor Mel Carnahan and Mr. Fred Hall
1993: Lt. Governor Roger Wilson and Mr. John Phillips
1992: Senator James Mathewson and Mr. Bert Bates
*No awards were presented in 1995