Honor roll

MU inducts three high-achievers into its Hall of Fame.

Published on Show Me Mizzou Dec. 17, 2021

Homecoming Hall of Fame portraits

From left, Jean Becker, James White and Don Walsworth

Before Jean Becker was chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush. Before Don Walsworth was CEO of Walsworth printing and publishing company. Before James D. White was president and CEO of Jamba Juice. Before the three were inducted into the Mizzou 2021 Hall of Fame, they were Tigers from humble beginnings.

Becker, BA, BJ ’78, grew up on the family farm in Martinsburg, Missouri. The first-generation college student studied journalism and political science at Mizzou and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter before serving as deputy press secretary to first lady Barbara Bush. In 1994, she became chief of staff to President George H.W. Bush, a position she held until his death in 2018. Her book The Man I Knew: The Amazing Story of George H.W. Bush’s Post-Presidency was published in June 2021 and became an instant New York Times bestseller.

Walsworth, BS Ed ’57, came to Mizzou from Marceline, Missouri, to study and shoot hoops for the freshman basketball team. When both of his parents passed away during his sophomore year, he knew he’d return to his hometown to lead the family business, which, at the time, printed cookbooks. Under his leadership, Walsworth became one of the largest printing companies in the country. Today, it employs more than 1,500 people worldwide and is among the top four yearbook printers nationwide.

White, BS BA ’83, also a first-generation college student, hailed from St. Louis. He credits a capstone marketing class in the Trulaske College of Business for teaching him to think through real-life business situations. During his 30 years as a CEO and operating executive, White developed a track record of spearheading growth at some of the world’s leading brands, including Gillette, Nestlé-Purina PetCare and Coca-Cola. Most notably, he transformed Jamba Juice from a smoothie shop to a global lifestyle brand.

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