Alumni Award Recipients: 2023

Columbia College alumni excel not only as supporters of their alma mater, but also as professionals in their careers and as citizens of their communities. Each year, a select few of these inspiring representatives are recognized for their accomplishments.


Distinguished Alumni Award

For outstanding regional and national recognition in one’s chosen career field and dedication to Columbia College or their community

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 (CPS). During her tenure, 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 current 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 the University of Missouri in addition to local and national education organizations. Schulz has dedicated a life of service to Columbia and has held board positions with many organizations. She and her husband, Bill, are members of the Cornerstone Club and President’s Society.

Honorary Alumni Award

For outstanding leadership and service to Columbia College

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 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 served on Administrative Council, a campaign steering committee, the Cougar Athletics Hall of Fame committee and as a board member of the Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship. You’ll recognize his tenor in the voice message welcoming all who call the college. He is an active employee donor and member of the President’s Society with his wife, Jane. Arguably one of the most popular professors on main campus, Smith is known to play pool with students on the second floor of Atkins-Holman Student Commons, and his portrait now hangs in the second-floor student lounge of New Hall that was named in his honor. We are honored to call Smith a CC Cougar for life.

Professional Achievement Award

For attaining outstanding success in one’s career within the past 10 years

Bill Seibert ’09

Bill Seibert ’09 embodies the benefits of higher education to further professional pursuits. His began working for the Missouri State Highway Patrol in 1977, which led to 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 was appointed to the Board of Probation and Parole. Ultimately, Seibert missed law enforcement, and when he was offered the role of deputy chief in O’Fallon, Missouri, it came with one important 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 location in St. Louis to complete his degree. He transferred credits from previous sessions and took classes two at a time to earn a bachelor’s degree in General Studies with an emphasis in Business. Degree in hand, Seibert focused his newfound understanding of the business world into a job at the Missouri Gaming Commission, first serving as deputy director for nearly five years followed by four years as executive director. The Missouri Gaming Commission oversees a billion-dollar industry that regulates the state’s 13 casinos and any entity related to gambling in Missouri. Now an ordained Catholic deacon, Seibert lives in Jefferson City. He and his wife, Rachelle, are annual members of the Cornerstone Club and joined the President’s Society in 2022. He maintains an active relationship with the college through personal engagement and as a member of the CC Friends of the ’70s Advisory Committee.

Community Service Award

For demonstrating outstanding leadership and service to the citizens of one’s community

Michael Garver ’03 ’13

Michael Garver ’03 ’13 has volunteered with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life for more than 10 years. Garver was bullied in school as a child, which affected his self-confidence and caused him to wait until his mid-30s to seriously pursue a degree in higher education. Since receiving a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, 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 for Missouri along with trying to get the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act passed. Garver has worked in financial aid and academic advising at Columbia College for more than 20 years. He completed a Master of Business Administration in 2013. Giving back to his alma mater, Michael was inducted into the President’s Society with his husband, Jon, in 2018.

Photo Gallery: View pictures from the Alumni Awards Banquet.