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Mizzou Alumni Association Honors Rep. Mike Thomson, MU Chancellor Brady Deaton with Geyer Public Service Awards

September 30th, 2013

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

The views and opinions expressed in this “for expert comment” release are based on research and/or opinions of the researcher(s) and/or faculty member(s) and do not reflect the University’s official stance.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA) has announced that Missouri State Representative Mike Thomson and MU Chancellor Brady J. Deaton are the recipients of the 2013 Geyer Public Service Awards. Thomson is receiving the award in recognition of his continued efforts on supporting higher education public policy, and Deaton is being recognized for his career of distinguished service to the university and as a leader in higher education public policy.

The MAA’s Legislative Network Committee (MLN) annually presents the awards to one state-elected official and one citizen or group of citizens who exemplify the dedication and spirit of Henry S. Geyer. As 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. MLN revealed its selection for the 2013 Geyer Award recipients at the MAA Governing Board meeting on Sept. 26, 2013.

“This year’s recipients have demonstrated what it truly means to personally commit to tirelessly protecting, and advancing higher education in this state.” said Lesa McCartney, chair of the MAA’s Legislative Network Committee.

Thomson, a Republican, represents District 1 in the Missouri House of Representatives, which includes Atchison, Holt, Nodaway and Worth Counties.  He and his wife, Nancy, reside in Maryville and have two married daughters and four grandchildren. Thomson was elected to serve in the Missouri House in 2006 and currently serves as chairman of the Higher Education Committee and Joint Committee on Education.  He also is a member of the Education Appropriations Committee, Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, Interim Committee on Disaster Recovery, and Budget Committee.  Thomson holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwest Missouri State University (NWMSU).  He is a former teacher, counselor and coach, as well as an instructor and recruiter for NWMSU.  Thomson has been recognized for numerous legislative achievements, including the 2011 University of Missouri Presidential Citation Award.

Chancellor Brady Deaton has served as chief executive officer of the University of Missouri since 2004, having previously served as provost, deputy chancellor and chief of staff.  He and his wife, Anne, are parents of four grown children, three of whom are MU alumni, and grandparents of seven grandchildren.  A native of Kentucky, Deaton holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree and doctorate in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin.  Prior to joining the faculty at Mizzou, he taught at the University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech University, and served as staff director of the Special Task Force on Food for Peace for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

President Obama appointed Deaton chair of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) in 2011 and reappointed him in 2012 for a four-year term.  He has served as chair of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) Council on International Initiatives and as a member of the board of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.  Under Deaton’s leadership, the University of Missouri has experienced significant increases in enrollment, minority student enrollment, research grants and expenditures, patents and licenses, fundraising, and hiring of prestigious faculty.  Since 2004, Mizzou has reduced its carbon footprint, opened 21 new buildings and transitioned to the Southeastern Conference.  Deaton has announced that he will retire from his position as chancellor Nov. 15, 2013 to lead the new Brady and Anne Deaton Institute for University Leadership in International Development.