Mizzou Alumni Association recognizes Blunt, McCollum with Geyer Award

U.S. senator, former Columbia mayor acknowledged for their dedication to higher education.

This is a picture of the Geyer Award recipients.

From left: Curator Robin Wenneker, Mary Anne McCollum, Senator Roy Blunt, Mizzou Alumni Association President Sabrina McDonnell, University of Missouri President Mun Choi.

Aug. 18, 2021
Contact: Austin Fitzgerald, 573-882-6217, fitzgeraldac@missouri.edu

U.S. Senator Roy D. Blunt and former Columbia mayor Mary Anne McCollum (BA '72, BS Ed '76) have received the Henry S. Geyer Award from the Mizzou Alumni Association.

The MAA annually presents the awards to one elected official and one citizen who exemplify the dedication and spirit of Henry S. Geyer. As 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.

“Senator Blunt and Mary Anne McCollum are powerful advocates for higher education and the principles that Henry Geyer represented,” said Robin Wenneker, a member of the University of Missouri Board of Curators who was president of the Mizzou Alumni Association in 2020 when the recipients were named. “These recipients have used their platforms to advocate for the advancement of higher education throughout their careers, and they are most deserving of this award.”

Senator Blunt was elected to the U.S Senate in 2010. He has a history of service to higher education, having served as the president of Southwest Baptist University – his alma mater – in Bolivar, Missouri.

Blunt has been instrumental in forwarding MU's priorities and enhancing critical investments in the state, including $24.8 million in federal funding for a new plant bioscience laboratory for the MU Division of Plant Sciences. His most recent effort includes securing federal funding for the university’s top priority, the NextGen Precision Health building.

Senator Blunt has long been a champion for mental health, accessibility of services and medical research. His extensive knowledge of both the state and federal landscape has led to research support through the National Institutes of Health and the Veterans Administration as well as Missouri becoming the home of two United States Department of Agriculture research agencies.

Mary Anne McCollum served as mayor of Columbia from 1989 to 1995, and to date she is the city's only female mayor. In 2004, she joined Mizzou’s Division of University Affairs in the Chancellor’s Office, where she established the first constituent relations program, which included extensive outreach and engagement to alumni, legislators and business leaders.

After retiring from the university in 2015, she was selected as executive director of the Mizzou Flagship Council, where she continues to serve to this day. One of her nominators noted that McCollum has been at the epicenter of every legislative debate affecting Mizzou policy and funding since 1985, and has devoted her entire adult life to working for the joint benefit of Mizzou and Columbia. McCollum is a life member of the Mizzou Alumni Association and a former member of the Griffiths Leadership Society.

“These two recipients are seasoned leaders, and they have used their leadership skills to ensure that future generations benefit from the opportunities that higher education affords,” said Todd McCubbin, associate vice chancellor for alumni relations and executive director of the Mizzou Alumni Association. “Our Mizzou community is fortunate to have them both as advocates for higher education.”

For a list of all past Geyer Award recipients, visit the Mizzou Alumni Association.

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