Bill Seibert ’09 has made a career out of rising to meet challenges head-on.
His skills and influential leadership led to him serving as the assistant superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, where he was responsible for daily operations of the 2,300-person agency.
“Not very many people get to that level,” says Brad Jones, who worked with Seibert at the State Highway Patrol headquarters in the 1990s. “It’s due to his personality, his intellect, how he treats people, the example that he gives. I could go on and on about his professionalism.”
After retiring from the Highway Patrol in 2006 and chairing the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole, retired Lt. Col. Seibert returned to his roots in law enforcement by becoming a deputy police chief in O’Fallon, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis with a population over 90,000.
His position in O’Fallon came with one condition: He had to complete a college degree within two years. That’s when he returned to where his higher-education journey had begun more than 30 years earlier.
“What Columbia College means to me probably more than anything is family and second chances,” Seibert says.
“What Columbia College means to me probably more than anything is family and second chances.”Bill Seibert ’09
Seibert, born in England, first enrolled at Columbia College in 1972 right out of Rolla High School in rural Missouri. He started but never finished his degree. He began working as a state trooper in 1977, launching what became an extensive career in law enforcement.
Despite his career advancements, Seibert recalls feeling “like something was missing in my life.”
Upon starting with the O’Fallon Police Department, where he later would serve as the interim chief, Seibert enrolled in online classes through Columbia College’s St. Louis location. Balancing work, family and school, he earned his bachelor’s degree in General Studies with an emphasis in Business.
“The willingness to take me back and help me and just kind of walk with me the whole time, that means more to me than most people will ever know,” Seibert says of the college. “I started here and I wanted to end here, and I was able to accomplish that.”
Embodying the benefits of higher education in furthering professional pursuits, Seibert leveraged his business knowledge into a job at the Missouri Gaming Commission, which oversees a billion-dollar industry that regulates casinos and gambling entities. He worked as deputy director for nearly five years before serving as executive director for four years.
Since retiring from the Gaming Commission in 2019, the Jefferson City resident has become an ordained Catholic deacon, a role in which he continues today.
“Saving lives on the highway. Saving lives in the heart and soul. Two very different ways, but that just sounds right about Bill,” says Ellen Miller-Mapp ’75, who met Seibert when they both were among the first African American students to integrate CC’s main campus. “He just has that generous spirit.”
Seibert is a member of President’s Society and the CC Friends of the ’70s Advisory Committee, a group formed with the goal of expanding opportunities for minority students.
In honor of his contributions to law enforcement and countless lives touched during his career, Seibert is the 2023 recipient of the Columbia College Alumni Association Professional Achievement Award.
“This was so surprising to me,” Seibert says of the award. “I really like to kind of stay under the radar.”
Seibert’s former fellow state troopers say they remain impacted by him decades after working together.
Kevin Geiger, who worked with Seibert when the latter was captain of Troop C in the St. Louis area, recalls Seibert breaking down walls between different law-enforcement agencies and encouraging counties and municipalities to work together.
“He’s a leader. There are no two ways about it,” Geiger says. “He leads by example. He’s a person I would follow anywhere and I would do anything for him. He’s very original in the things that he does. He’s very creative in his thinking. He’s a guy that when it really gets bad, he’s who I want to have with me. He really logically thinks things through and doesn’t let his emotions override his actions.”
Roger Stottlemyre served with Seibert on the Troop C command staff and learned that Seibert possesses no ulterior motives in the way he genuinely cares for the people around him.
“We’ve shared a lot of good times and shared a lot of bad times,” Stottlemyre says, “and Bill has the same character all the time.”
Ron Johnson had been a trooper for about five years before Seibert became his boss, bringing a style of leadership that resonates with Johnson to this day.
“Bill shared who he was not just as a leader, but as a person,” Johnson says. “Every time you’re around him and talking to him, he’s always thanking you. A lot of things that I have achieved in life as a state trooper and even as a husband and a father, he has played a role.”
Kyle Kelley was named a deputy police chief in O’Fallon along with Seibert in 2007. While the position required a college degree, Kelley says he thinks the city would have waived that requirement for Seibert based on his already “long and successful career.”
“I found Bill’s commitment to completing the requirements commendable and served as an excellent example for all of our employees,” Kelley says of Seibert earning his degree.
Seibert is now applying his faith to restoring relationships through his ministry, says Robert Lowery, who was the city manager of O’Fallon when Seibert worked there. They also served together with the Greater St. Louis Major Case Squad and on the board of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
“Bill is a can-do kind of person,” Lowery says. “He always brings a positive attitude. He doesn’t just tell us about it, the man lives it.”