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Mizzou Alumni Association Honors Schaefer, Hawkins with Geyer Public Service Awards

January 25th, 2011

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217,

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA) awarded the 2010 Geyer Public Service Awards to Missouri State Senator Kurt Schaefer and Shelbina businessman Sam Hawkins for their efforts on supporting higher education public policy.

The MAA’s Legislative Network Committee annually presents the awards to one state-elected official and one citizen who exemplify the dedication and spirit of Henry S. Geyer. A former 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.

“The 2010 Geyer Award recipients have made a tremendous impact on higher education in Missouri,” Wally Pfeffer, chair of the MAA’s Legislative Network Committee, said. “Both of these recipients exemplify commitment to higher education and their efforts are very meaningful to the future of higher education in our state.”

Schaefer was elected to the Missouri Senate in 2008, representing the citizens of the 19th senatorial district. Schaefer has been a proponent of higher education in the state legislature and currently serves as chair of the Missouri Senate Appropriations Committee. Before being elected, Schaefer served as General Counsel and Deputy Director at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, where he was responsible for all legal aspects of the State’s Environmental Regulatory and Enforcement Agency. Schaefer is currently a partner in the law firm Lathrop and Gage, LLP.

Hawkins has been a small-business owner in Missouri for more than 30 years. Hawkins is known for his unwavering commitment to MU’s land-grant mission, serving on the MU Extension statewide council and educating state leaders on the needs of higher education. Hawkins has a deserved reputation for his ability to communicate with legislators, county commissioners and other interested parties about the value and importance of University of Missouri programs, including those of MU Extension. He has been a staunch advocate for MU and the entire University of Missouri system.  He has been an active member of the UM Alumni Alliance since 1998.