In February, the third annual Pride & Purpose Day recognized two individuals for their outstanding contributions to Missouri Southern.

This year’s honorees were Derrick Good, ’97, recipient of the Spirit of Service Award; and Debbie Thompson, recipient of the Lion-Hearted Award.

“We were so pleased to recognize Derrick and Debbie,” said Pound. “These two individuals represent the quality of our MSSU alumni and friends, sharing their time, talent and treasure to benefit our students, faculty, staff and alums.”

They were honored during a luncheon hosted by the Missouri Southern Alumni Association and during the men’s home basketball game vs. Missouri Western.

Derrick Good

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

Good received his associate of science in Information Systems from MSSU in 1996, followed by an associate’s in law enforcement and a bachelor’s in criminal justice the following year.

He has been a partner at the Thurman Law Firm in Hillsboro, Mo., since 2006 and has built a well-respected reputation for community involvement.

Good has served as president of the Jefferson County Port Authority since 2016 and as a member of the board of directors for Sunnyhill Inc. since 2005. In 2019, he was named secretary of the Missouri Republican Party, and is the chair of Amy’s Wish and Hoofprints on My Heart. He has also worked with the United Way, Special Olympics and other philanthropic organizations.

Debbie Thompson

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

A former MSSU faculty member who worked as a dental hygienist for more than 30 years, Thompson’s heart for giving has made an impact on her profession, students and others throughout the area.

She worked with her late husband – Dr. Pat Thompson, a ’76 graduate of MSSU – as lead dental hygienist/office manager. She established a satellite practice, Cassville Dental Care, in 1999 to improve access to dental care for rural areas of Southwest Missouri.

Six years ago, she established the Debbie Thompson Spirit of Dental Hygiene Scholarship at the university. Each fall, two dental hygiene students – a first-year and a second-year – receive the $2,500 scholarship. She is also known for her generosity to the athletics program, including chairing the annual SouthernFest fundraiser in 2018, purchasing new jerseys for the basketball team and underwriting the press box at the Lions’ baseball stadium.