Chancellor Brady Deaton will be receiving the Henry S. Geyer Award for his work with higher education and public policy.
He was selected for the award this month, along with State Rep. Mike Thompson.
Deaton was nominated by the Nursing Alumni Organization and Thompson by the Ag Alumni Organization.
Deaton said it was a great honor to be next to the names of the previous winners.
"I am absolutely honored and surprised,” he said. “I had no idea I was even being considered for such an award until it came out that I had been selected."
The Henry S. Geyer Award dates back to 1992 and was first awarded to State Sen. James Mathewson and Bert Bates, a lawyer for Lathrop and Gage, LLC, for their work with higher education and public policy. State Rep. Henry S. Geyer, to whom the award is tribute, authored the Geyer Act of 1839, which established the University of Missouri as the flagship university of the state of Missouri.
The award has always been given to one state legislator and one citizen or group of citizens who have had an impact on higher education and MU. The recipients do not necessarily have to be MU faculty, staff or alumni.
Dianne Drainer, MU legislative liaison and advocacy director of the Mizzou Alumni Association, said Deaton is very deserving of this award. His work with higher education and public policy has been outstanding the past nine years, she said.
Deaton has served as chairman of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and, in 2011, President Barack Obama appointed him chairman of the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development.
Under Deaton’s leadership as chancellor, MU has seen large increases in enrollment, minority student enrollment, research grants and expenditures, fundraising, and hiring of prestigious faculty. During Deaton’s tenure, MU also reduced reduced its carbon footprint, opened 21 new buildings and transferred into the Southeastern Conference.
Last year, the award went to State Sen. David Pearce and then-juniors Steven Dickherber, Ben Levin and Zach Toombs for their work on the More for Less campaign, which protested proposed budget cuts to higher education.
Levin said he believes the award shows that people pay attention to the hard work people, like he and Deaton, do for their communities.
“It was a tremendous honor, like a validation for what had really taken up most of my sophomore year,” he said.
This year’s ceremony for the Geyer Award will be held in Jefferson City on Jan. 13, 2014. The award is given out after the beginning of the legislative session.
The general assembly, MU alumni and leaders, and friends of the university are all invited to the reception.