2005 Distinguished Alumni Recipients
William Parrish, a national leader in homeland security, and Jerry Osborn, the CEO of a statewide behavioral healthcare center, are being honored as recipients of the 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award during homecoming.
Col. William Parrish
Securing the Homeland
William H. Parrish '71 has devoted decades of professional service to the safety and security of Americans. As a former colonel in the Marine Corps, he served as the commanding officer for Security Forces, a unit comprising nearly 4,000 Marines charged with providing anti-terrorism security to U.S. government installations around the world and Navy ships in port and at sea.
Established Office of Anti-Terrorism
As the director of the Office of Anti-Terrorism, which he established, Parrish set the standard for security operations in U.S. Customs after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Additionally, as a special assistant to the secretary of homeland security, he coordinated and implemented a comprehensive national security plan, Operation Liberty Shield, which implemented a variety of protective measures across federal, state, local and private sectors.
One-of-a-Kind Degree Program
Now teaching at Virginia Commonwealth University, Parrish is laying the groundwork for a new bachelor's degree in homeland security and emergency preparedness. It's the first time that a degree, dealing exclusively with terrorism and homeland security, has been offered in the U.S.
Osborn's Life about Helping Others
Jerry Osborn's life has been filled with awards. Even more it reflects limitless service. In 1987, he became the president and CEO of Community Counseling Consultants, Inc., an organization providing healthcare and substance abuse services for Missourians.
From humble beginnings, with only 12 employees and operating out of the back of an old remodeled funeral home, the organization has grown tremendously. It is known today as Pathways Community Behavioral Healthcare, Inc., employing more than 800 people statewide and serving about 1.1 million Missouri residents in 32 counties.
Building Strong Communities
"I truly believe in the saying, community service is the rent you pay for the space you occupy on earth," the 1966 UCM graduate said. "There are those who don't pay any rent and there are those who pay a lot."
He takes pride in making the organization geographically accessible to clients, most of whom live within a 30-minute drive from each Pathways facility. He strives to keep the organization involved in the communities it serves, noting this typically translates to the most successful services and relationships.
Proud of UCM Degree
As a UCM alumnus, Osborn shows his pride in the university wherever he goes. Speaking to hundreds of high school students on a regular basis, Osborn said he constantly encourages them to look into UCM to further their education. Amid the awards covering his office wall is a hand-carved UCM mule.
"My love for UCM is something that I show with pride," he said. "I fly the banner high."