Chancellor Tom George honored for 10 years as UMSL’s top leader

Tom George honored at Founders Dinner for 10 years as UMSL's chancellor

UMSL Chancellor Tom George receives a certificate from Sara Foster, member of the UMSL Chancellor’s Council, for 10 years as chancellor as (from left) Ken Kranzberg, UMSL Provost Glen Cope and Martin Leifeld, vice chancellor for university advancement at UMSL, applaud at Founders Dinner. (Photo by August Jennewein)

This year’s Founders Dinner was a night of celebrating milestones. The occasion served as the Jubilee birthday party for the University of Missouri–St. Louis. And the university’s top leader, Tom George, was surprised and nearly brought to tears by a tribute to his 10 years as chancellor.

Ken Kranzberg, a community leader, George’s good friend and a former member of the Chancellor’s Council, remembered a decade earlier when 100 applicants to be UMSL’s seventh chancellor were narrowed down to one person: Tom George.

“We got a real winner,” Kranzberg said during the tribute. “A brilliant scientist, jazz musician, community leader and collaborator, his honors and accomplishments are more than impressive at the university, in the St. Louis region and far beyond.”

He listed several of George’s achievements as chancellor:

• Led the record-breaking Gateway for Greatness Campaign that ended last year and raised more than $154 million for scholarships, research, precollegiate programs and state-of-the-art facilities
• Oversaw UMSL’s collaboration with Express Scripts, resulting in a Fortune 500 company moving its headquarters to campus, a first in the nation
• Brought the university to the larger community by opening UMSL at Grand Center, home to St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU
• Secured funding and approvals to break ground on two new buildings – the Recreation and Wellness Center and the Science Learning Center addition to Benton and Stadler halls
• Authored or co-authored hundreds of scientific papers, books and chapters in the areas of nanoscience and nanomedicine
• Sits on 20 civic and professional boards, including CORTEX, the St. Louis Regional Chamber, United Way of Greater St. Louis, Greater St. Louis Area Council of the Boy Scouts and Grand Center St. Louis

“How does he do it? Look at his emails,” Kranzberg said. “He receives hundreds of them a day. Ask anyone who has received an email from him at 3 a.m.. The man is working all the time!

“Topping this list is the fact that Tom George is great to be around,” he said.

Martin Leifeld, vice chancellor for university advancement at UMSL, announced that the Chancellor’s Council had established the Thomas F. George Jubilee Scholarship. The scholarship is part of the Missouri Need-based Endowed Scholarship Matching Program.

“This special scholarship will enable students to fulfill their dreams and contribute to the betterment of the St. Louis community and the world,” Leifeld said.

Leifeld, Jim Krueger, vice chancellor for managerial and technological services, and Provost Glen Cope closed out the tribute by presenting George with a medallion on behalf of the UMSL faculty and staff.


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