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University of Missouri

Thomson Wins Geyer Award

Mizzou Alumni Association recognizes commitment to higher education.

Rep. Mike Thomson Geyer Award

Rep. Mike Thomson received a 2013 Geyer Award from the Mizzou Alumni Association Jan. 13 at the G2 Gallery in Jefferson City, Mo., in recognition for his support of higher education in state legislation. Photo by Rob Hill.

If Rep. Henry S. Geyer hadn’t written the Geyer Act of 1839, the University of Missouri wouldn’t be celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2014. Every year, the Mizzou Alumni Association presents the Geyer Award to a public official and a citizen who have demonstrated commitment to higher education and Mizzou. The 2013 Geyer Award recipients are Rep. Mike Thomson and MU Chancellor Emeritus Brady J. Deaton.

Thomson embodies the spirit of Geyer, says Pat Belcher Thomas, BS ’97, the awards chair for the Ag Alumni Association, which nominated him. Thomson spent nearly 38 years in public education, first teaching high school and then returning to his alma mater, Northwest Missouri State. “I got up every morning for 55 years and went to school,” Thomson said. “It’s natural for me to bring that commitment to the legislature.”

As chair of the Higher Education Committee, Thomson has supported legislative bills that established the Missouri Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Initiative; improved Access Missouri and Bright Flight scholarships; and created an at-large position for the Board of Curators. He also supported a bill that improves transfer agreements among public two- and four-year higher education institutions, requiring the Department of Higher Education to create a transfer library of lower-level courses that are accepted at all public institutions in the state.

Thomas says this will have a positive impact on higher education in Missouri. “As a parent, you know how crucial it can be to be able to transfer credits,” she says. Students who take classes that don’t transfer often end up extending their college career and going further into debt. “[Thomson] sees education in the big picture.”