Community groups recognize UMSL chancellor for community service, racial justice

Chancellor honored with award

Celebrating with Chancellor Tom George (at center right) were (from left) David Otto, chair of the Christian Hospital Foundation board of directors, Rick Stevens, Christian Hospital and Christian Hospital Foundation president, and Kelvin Westbrook, chair of the BJC HealthCare board of directors. (Photo courtesy of the Christian Hospital Foundation)

Discussing recent awards from the Christian Hospital Foundation and North County Churches United for Racial Harmony and Justice (NCCU), University of Missouri–St. Louis Chancellor Tom George sinks deeper into his office chair with a nervous, shy smile.

“It was awfully nice [to be recognized], but I view individual accolades through an institutional lens,” George said. “I receive a lot of credit for the collective contributions of our faculty, staff, students and alumni.”

George received the Paul F. Detrick Legacy Leaders Award during a ceremony Oct. 26 from the Christian Hospital Foundation. The award honors an individual whose impact and commitment has left a legacy in the north St. Louis County community.

“I have been at UMSL for over 14 years now. And I think in terms of the university being an anchor in north county and the entire region,” George said. “The more we can do to strengthen that connection as an anchor – enhancing the economy and social fabric of the community – the more satisfaction I experience.”

Rick Stevens, president of Christian Hospital, praised George for his numerous years as a member of the hospital’s board and advocate for education.

“His contributions to Christian Hospital have been many,” Stevens said in a video tribute. “His leadership on the board has helped us develop strategic plans and helped shape where health care was going at Christian Hospital.”

During a ceremony Oct. 6, George received an Outstanding Leadership Award from NCCU.

“NCCU is an outstanding organization,” George said. “It strives to create and support an environment where diverse people can flourish based on guiding principles such as dignity, justice and racial harmony.

“Those are foundations here at UMSL. As one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse campuses in Missouri, we are committed to maintaining a climate where all students, faculty, staff and visitors can explore their interests, refine their talents and flourish.”

UMSL is a three-time recipient of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from “INSIGHTS into Diversity” magazine – the oldest publication specializing in this area.

George said the recent awards reinforces the importance of UMSL to the region’s well-being and affirms that the campus is headed in the right direction.

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