The University of Missouri Alliance of Alumni Associations and Extension honored six individuals for outstanding service to the university at its 2009 Outstanding Alumni Service Awards Dinner at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City April 21. Awardees included U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, Rep. Bryan Pratt, Dr. Reaner Shannon, Rep. Rick Stream, Darlene Ramsay and Sam Hawkins.
Outstanding Alumni Service to the University of Missouri System: U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill
Sen. McCaskill has served the state of Missouri since graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, first in the Missouri Court of Appeals, then as an assistant prosecutor in Kansas City. Following more than a decade of service to the state legislature, Sen. McCaskill went on to become the first female prosecutor in Jackson County. She was sworn in as Missouri Auditor in 1999, a position she held until 2006 when she became the first woman from Missouri elected to the United State Senate.
Sen. McCaskill has been supportive of the University of Missouri System during her tenure in the General Assembly and as state auditor. She was particularly supportive of the University of Missouri-Kansas City while serving as an assistant prosecutor in Kansas City. As a U.S. senator, she has represented the interests of the university and the state of Missouri in Washington D.C.
Outstanding Alumni Service to the University of Missouri-Columbia: Rep. Bryan Pratt
First elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2002, Rep. Pratt serves as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and speaker pro tem. As a member of the House, he has focused on tax relief, eminent domain, immigration and economic development.
Rep. Pratt received the prestigious Henry S. Geyer Award from the Missouri Legislative Network of the Mizzou Alumni Association, which recognizes public officials and citizens who have made a positive contribution to higher education in Missouri. He also is a member of the Missouri and Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Associations and the University of Missouri Alumni Association. Rep. Pratt received both his bachelor's and law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia
Outstanding Alumni Service to the University of Missouri-Kansas City: Dr. Reaner Shannon
Dr. Shannon has been involved with the University of Missouri-Kansas City for more than three decades, first as a student and then as an educator and advocate for minority students interested in the UMKC School of Medicine. Her service and generosity also have helped strengthen the connections between the UMKC School of Medicine and gifted minority students.
Dr. Shannon retired from the university in 2008, but continues to promote the importance of education for the next generation of students by participating in various community service activities, such as youth reading programs.
Outstanding Alumni Service to the University of Missouri-St. Louis: Rep. Rick Stream
During his time in Jefferson City, Rep. Stream has demonstrated his continued support of the university, particularly for the University of Missouri-St. Louis. First elected to the Missouri House in 2006, he currently serves as vice chair on the House Budget Committee and has been elected Outstanding Legislator by his peers.
Prior to serving in the Missouri House of Representatives, Stream worked as a budget/project manager for the Department of Defense, Army Aviation and Logistics Commands, and as a United States Naval Officer. He also served on the Kirkwood School Board of more than a decade and as president of the board for two years. He received his master's degree from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Outstanding Alumni Service to Missouri University of Science and Technology: Darlene Ramsay
Ramsay earned a bachelor's degree in metallurgical engineering from Missouri S&T. Prior to her position as director of advancement services at the campus, she served as a research specialist at Missouri S&T's center for materials research. She also has held positions as a business instructor, quality assurance manager and a metallurgical engineer.
Ramsay is past president of the Miner Alumni Association and has served on the campus' board of trustees. She is currently a member of the University of Missouri System's Alumni Alliance and the Order of the Golden Shillelagh. She also serves as co-chair of the scholarship committee of the Women's Auxiliary to the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers and the recruitment and panhellenic advisor for Chi Omega sorority.
Outstanding Alumni Service to Missouri Extension: Sam Hawkins
Hawkins has chaired the University of Missouri Extension State Council since 2004 where he oversees the 11-member state council, which provides support and advocacy at all levels of government for Extension programs at the University of Missouri and Lincoln University. Prior to his position as council chair, Hawkins chaired the Shelby County Extension Council and the Northeast Regional Extension Council. He also served as co-chair of the MU Extensions County Council Leadership Development Committee and as a member of the MU Extension Business Development Advisory Board.
Hawkins is the owner of Hawkins and Milner LLC, a golf cart and lawn mower sales company. He is an active member of the University of Missouri Alumni Alliance for more than a decade.