Missouri Southern State University will recognize two people for their contributions to the school during its third annual Pride & Purpose Day, set for Saturday.

This year's honorees are Derrick Good, recipient of the Spirit of Service Award, and Debbie Thompson, recipient of the Lion-Hearted Award.

The Spirit of Service Award recognizes people who have made a significant contribution to their community through their time, actions, talent and dedication.

Good, its recipient, is a partner at the Thurman Law Firm in Hillsboro, Missouri. He has served as president of the Jefferson County Port Authority since 2016 and a member of the board of directors since 2005 for Sunnyhill Inc., which provides residential support, recreation and educational opportunities for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

He co-chaired the Jefferson County Charter Commission and is president of Jefferson County Republicans. In 2019, he was named secretary of the Missouri Republican Party. He also is chairman of Amy’s Wish and Hoofprints on My Heart and has worked with the United Way, Special Olympics and other philanthropic organizations.

Good is a graduate of Missouri Southern and also holds master's and law degrees from Saint Louis University.

The Lion-Hearted Award recognizes people who have made a significant contribution to Missouri Southern through service, financial support and other efforts.

Thompson, its recipient, is a former MSSU faculty member who worked as a dental hygienist for more than 30 years.

Six years ago, she established the Debbie Thompson Spirit of Dental Hygiene Scholarships at MSSU. Each fall, two dental hygiene students receive the $2,500 scholarship. Over her lifetime, she hopes to help 60 to 70 students in the program. She also serves on MSSU’s dental hygiene advisory board.

Thompson is also known for her involvement with students in the athletics program. She has been a member of the athletics department’s steering committee and the board for the annual SouthernFest fundraiser, which she chaired in 2018. She has purchased new jerseys for the basketball team and team rings for the baseball team and fed the university’s student-athletes.

Thompson has also underwritten the press box at the Lions’ baseball stadium, as well as a suite for viewing the games. She gave the press box as a gift in memory of her late husband, Pat, who announced games for the baseball team.


Derrick Good and Debbie Thompson will be honored during a luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday that will be hosted by the Missouri Southern Alumni Association. The cost to attend is $15; to make a reservation, go to mssu.edu/advancement/alumni and click the “Events” tab, or call 417-659-5466.

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