By Elizabeth Johnson
Every year the Mizzou Alumni Association Student Board presents the Mizzou ’39 award to 39 outstanding seniors who have demonstrated academic achievement, leadership and service to MU, as well as to the Columbia community. Kristen George was just excited to be one of the 100 students selected to receive an interview for the honor of Mizzou ‘39. She never thought she would actually be part of the 2014 Mizzou ’39 class.
“It was a little surreal to receive the email that I had made the final cut of ‘39 students,” George said. “I was very excited!”
George is a hospitality management major from Vandalia, Mo., although she originally thought she wanted to be a journalist as a freshman. After arriving at MU, she decided the competitive spirit of the journalism school was not for her.
“My decision to switch my major to hospitality management really came down to the fact that I didn’t want to be fighting for job opportunities in my field,” George said.
George discovered her passion at MU was in hospitality management and in her wide variety of campus involvement.
Although George was intimidated by competition early in her MU career, she has been anything but intimidated since switching her major as a freshman. George has excelled not only through being selected as a member of Mizzou ‘39, but also in other campus organizations.
One organization that George is highly active in is the Christian Campus House. George moved into CCH her freshman year and now serves as the activities coordinator intern, through which she plans events such as CCH’s annual float trip and Christmas dinner. George has recently enjoyed planning the CCH Alumni Reunion, and has been working to invite back alumni from the organization’s 45-year history on the MU campus.
When George is not planning events for CCH, she can be found doing volunteer work or reaching out to fellow students.
“Kristen is highly social and loves serving others in her spare time,” said Evan Grusenmeyer, a fellow CCH member.
Grusenmeyer has known George since his freshman year at MU and has supported her as a boyfriend for the past two years. Grusenmeyer said that George always sits with students who are sitting alone at CCH’s Wednesday night worship services, and she strives to make everyone feel welcome in the organizations she is involved with.
“Even on a hard day, she still spreads Christ’s love to others through her actions,” said Haley Thompson, George’s friend and a fellow Sigma Alpha member.
In addition to her involvement in CCH, George is a member of Eta Sigma Delta Honor Society, Sigma Alpha professional agriculture sorority and the Future Farmers of America National Organization. She also served on the 2012 CAFNR Week Steering Committee.
“My favorite thing about MU has been trying new things and really discovering what I want to do with my life,” George said.
George will work as an intern at the Missouri Baptist Convention in Jefferson City, Mo., this summer after she graduates. After that, George will be searching for a more permanent position.
Thompson, George’s Sigma Alpha “little,” considers George to be her role model and will be sad to see her leave this May.
“What I find to be so admirable about Kristen is her attitude and perspective on life.” Thompson said. “She is one of the most positive people I have ever met – not to mention, incredibly humble.”
George’s attitude and outlook on life have helped her succeed at MU, and these attributes will continue to make her shine post-graduation.