Photos by Kaci Smart ’09

For more than 55 years, the Columbia College Alumni Awards are a reminder of the great individuals who have worked to change their lives through education. The spirit of achievement is reflected through the caliber of our students, alumni and friends. The prestige we enjoy today as an institution is a direct result of the accomplishments of those who have graduated from and contributed to Columbia College.

This year’s Alumni Awards recipients were celebrated at a banquet on June 7.

Jean Peters BakerJean Peters Baker ’91 – Distinguished Alumni Award
For attaining outstanding regional recognition in one’s chosen career field

Jean Peters Baker graduated from the Evening Campus in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Art. She is currently the Jackson County Prosecutor and was recently elected as the chair of the Missouri Democratic Party. Jean is receiving this award because she is a fearless and compassionate advocate for victims of crime, especially the young and most vulnerable, and a champion of working with police and community leaders.

Crystal WilliamsCrystal Williams ’85 – Community Service Award
For demonstrating outstanding leadership and service to the citizens of one’s community

The Honorable Crystal Williams graduated from the Day Campus in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Government, and is currently serving her third term as an elected county official for Jackson County, Missouri. She is also principal and founding partner of Policy Matters, LLC, a non-profit organization that improves the lives of families throughout Jackson County. Crystal is receiving this award for her work helping women, children and families through public policy and outreach.

Pascale WhitePascale White ’17 – Jane Froman Courage Award
For displaying a spirit of courage in daily life

Pascale White graduated from Day Campus in 2017 with a Bachelors in General Students, and is currently a stay-at-home mom with her new baby girl, Mia, who was extremely premature. Pascale is receiving this award for turning her struggles into successes, recovering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia to eventually graduate from college and run a special nonprofit, “Pascale’s Pals” for over 20 years with her mother.

George W. HulettGeorge W. Hulett – Honorary Alumni
For outstanding leadership and service to Columbia College

This award is being presented to George Hulett for his significant contributions to Columbia College. Honorary Alumni status is conferred upon those who have exhibited consistent interest in the welfare and reputation of our college, providing support critical to the success of our alma mater. We are extremely grateful for George’s service on the Board of Trustees, his family legacy and his unwavering commitment.

Assistance League of Mid-MissouriAssistance League of Mid-Missouri – Columbia College Service Award
For significant contributions and service to Columbia College

This award is given to an individual or group that promotes and serves Columbia College and has made significant contributions and maintained a relationship with the college. The recipient, the Assistance League of Mid-Missouri, has made significant monetary contributions towards scholarships benefiting female students since 2005.

Nominations for the 2020 Alumni Awards and a list of past alumni award recipients is available at