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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.


2015 Geyer Award Recipients

Senator Ron Richard
Senator Ron Richard represents the 32nd Senatorial District in the Missouri State Senate, which includes Dade, Newton and Jasper counties. His time in the State Legislature began in 2002, when he began serving as a State Representative for the 129th House District.

In 2008, he was elected as Speaker of the House, making him the first Speaker from Newton County. Richard was later elected State Senator in 2010. In this position, he is the first Speaker of the House to be elected as senator in 100 years. Senator Richard was elected Majority Leader in 2012. In 2015, he was elected by his colleagues to serve as President Pro Tem of the Senate. He is the first person in the history of the state of Missouri to serve as both Speaker of the House and President Pro Tem of the Senate.

Senator Richard is the former mayor of Joplin, serving from 1994-1997. He is a member of several organizations in Missouri, including the Joplin Chamber of Commerce, Farm Bureau and Knights of Columbus, and has received many awards, among them Missouri Southern State University Outstanding Alumni, the St. Louis Business Journal Legislative Award, and the Missouri State Alliance of YMCA's Award.

He graduated from McAuley High School in 1965 and received a bachelor of arts from Missouri Southern State University in 1969 in addition to a master of arts from Missouri State University in 1971. He lives in Joplin with his wife, Patty and has two children and four grandchildren.

Warren K. Erdman
Warren Erdman is the executive vice president administration and corporate affairs for Kansas City Southern, a transportation holding company with railroad investments in the U.S., Mexico, and Panama. He is responsible for the company’s legal department, claims, real estate and industrial development, facilities management, and railroad security and environmental functions, in addition to external affairs including regulatory affairs, government relations, and communications. 

Prior to joining KCS in 1997, Erdman was chief of staff to U.S. Senator Christopher S. Bond of Missouri, overseeing the Senator's operations in his Washington office and six local offices in Missouri. He also served in the offices of former Missouri Governor John Ashcroft in 1985 and Governor Bond from 1981 to 1984. Previously, Erdman was appointed to the Missouri Apportionment Commision by Missouri Governor Bob Holden, the Missouri State Government Review Commission by Governor Matt Blunt, and the Missouri Economic Stimulus Council by Governor Jay Nixon. All of these appointments have expired.

Erdman is the former chairman of The University of Missouri Board of Curators and served as a member of the board from 2005 to 2012. He is currently a member of the University of Missouri--Kansas City Trustees and serves as one of the vice-chairmen of the Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri Board of Trustees. He is also involved in numerous organizations both locally and nationally, serving on the executive committee and board of directors of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and as a member of the Association of American Railroads, among others.

Past recipients:

2014: Senator Mike Parson and Walter "Wally" Pfeffer
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