Feb. 23, 2023
Contact: Uriah Orland, 573-882-6212, email@example.com
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer and Pat Thomas, a long-time political staffer, have received the 2023 Henry S. Geyer Award from the Mizzou Alumni Association.
Each year, the MAA presents the Geyer Award to one elected official and one citizen who exemplify the dedication and spirit of Henry S. Geyer, a state representative from St. Louis. Geyer believed education was the key to progress and prosperity in Missouri and authored the Geyer Act of 1839 which established the University of Missouri.
“We are proud to recognize two individuals who value MU’s contributions to the state of Missouri,” said Jeff Vogel, president of the Mizzou Alumni Association board of directors. “Congressman Luetkemeyer and Pat Thomas have been stanch supporters of higher education throughout their careers and have helped move Missouri and Mizzou to new heights in education.”
Luetkemeyer has represented Missouri's 9th and 3rd Congressional District since 2009 and has long supported MU, both on Capitol Hill and as a member of Missouri’s legislature. His most recent funding request allocates $20 million to begin the preliminary work necessary for NextGen MURR, a proposed 20-megawatt research reactor that will produce critical medical radioisotopes used to drive research, education and new drug discoveries.
“Today’s brand of politics doesn’t necessarily reward the hardest workers or the most diligent seekers of good public policy…If it doesn’t raise you money or get your name in headlines, many think it isn’t worth doing. Congressman Luetkemeyer hasn’t fallen prey to this mentality,” wrote Missouri State Senator and President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden in his nomination for Luetkemeyer. “He has been steadfast and resolute in his commitment to good public policy and to working to bring more resources back to this state and its institutions.”
Thomas, a 1997 graduate of the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, has been engaged in Missouri politics for years, serving as chief of staff for two Missouri senators and treasurer of the Republican Party of Missouri. She has mentored countless staff members and interns at the Capitol, including MU students and alumni.
“Pat has been labeled by The Missouri Times as the 35th Senator — a high compliment that she brushes aside. Her pride rests in our government working well,” wrote Robin Wenneker, vice chair of the University of Missouri Board of Curators, in her nomination for Thomas. “Pat is quick to find ways for our university to benefit from the process; she has a deep appreciation for the value of higher education and specifically the land grant mission of the University of Missouri.”
“Like Representative Geyer, our Geyer Award recipients understand that public education is the key to progress and prosperity,” said Mun Choi, University of Missouri president. “Together, we continue his vision as a vital partner in research, learning, engagement and economic development for Missouri. I am proud and thankful to honor two more recipients of this prestigious award.”
For a list of all past Geyer Award recipients, visit the Mizzou Alumni Association.