A Christian College alumna who serves on the Board of Trustees. A longtime professor of Political Science who led as interim president. An adult graduate who oversaw not one but two state agencies. And an advisor who makes an indelible impact at his alma mater.
The Columbia College Alumni Association honored four worthy individuals with 2023 Alumni Awards on Thursday, May 18, during a banquet in Dulany Hall on main campus.
The CCAA Alumni Awards recognize members of the Columbia College community who display the ideals of the college and serve as ambassadors for the institution. Their examples set the standard for generations of students, faculty and staff to come.
This year marks 60 years since the inception of the Alumni Awards in 1963, when world-class performer Jane Froman Smith ’26 accepted the first Distinguished Alumni Award.
For more information on the awards or to nominate a future candidate, visit my.ccis.edu/awards.
Below are the four awards presented this year and information about each recipient:
Distinguished Alumni Award
Jolene Marra Schulz ’61
Jolene Marra Schulz ’61 enjoyed a 40-year career in education, beginning as a teacher, then becoming director of the Missouri Facilitator Center and finally serving as director of community relations and school/community programs for Columbia Public Schools. During her tenure with CPS, she created the Partners in Education program, which boasts more than 300 partners, including Columbia College. She also implemented volunteer, service-learning and mentor programs. A member of the college’s Board of Trustees, Schulz is committed to the longevity of higher education. She earned an associate degree from Christian College in 1961, followed by a bachelor’s and Master of Education from the University of Missouri. She has taught kindergartners and college students alike, including some at Columbia College, where she was an adjunct professor from 1998 to 2001. She received the CCAA Community Service Award in 1996 and numerous awards from MU in addition to local and national education organizations.
Honorary Alumni Award
Dr. Terry Smith
A beloved professor of Political Science, Dr. Terry Smith has been a welcome face on main campus since 1996, when he joined Columbia College as executive vice president and dean for Academic Affairs. After serving as interim president of Columbia College in 2013-14, Smith returned to full-time teaching in 2015 and continues to direct the Honors Program. He has been an active representative for college programs and trusted leader for staff and faculty. He has served on Administrative Council, the Cougar Athletics Hall of Fame committee and as a board member of the Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship. His tenor in the voice message welcomes all who call the college. Arguably one of the most popular professors on main campus, Smith is known to play pool with students in Atkins-Holman Student Commons, and his portrait hangs at New Hall in a student lounge named in his honor.
Professional Achievement Award
Bill Seibert ’09
Bill Seibert ’09 began working for the Missouri State Highway Patrol in 1977, starting a 30-year career in law enforcement. Seibert retired as the assistant superintendent of the Highway Patrol, where he was responsible for daily operations of the 2,300-person agency. He then was appointed to the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole. Ultimately, Seibert missed law enforcement, and when he was offered the role of deputy police chief in O’Fallon, Missouri, it came with one stipulation – he had two years to finish a college degree. Seibert first studied at CC main campus in the early 1970s and turned to online classes through the college’s St. Louis location to complete his degree. Seibert focused his newfound understanding of the business world into a job at the Missouri Gaming Commission, first serving as deputy director for five years followed by four years as executive director. Today he is an ordained Catholic deacon.
Community Service Award
Michael Garver ’03 ’13
Michael Garver ’03 ’13 has volunteered with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life for more than 10 years. Since receiving a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration as an adult student, Garver has found his home at Columbia College. In the Relay for Life team he found a common bond with those who lost a loved one to cancer. Garver is motivated by the memory of his father, whom he lost to lung cancer. In addition to Relay for Life, he has supported Big Brothers Big Sisters, Mid-Missouri PrideFest and Trail for a Cure for the LGBTQ+ community. He also was active in PROMO, through which he would lobby for better anti-bullying laws in Missouri. Garver has worked in financial aid and academic advising at Columbia College for more than 20 years. He completed a Master of Business Administration at the college in 2013.