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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943



meesaward2015.murphy

Murphy Receives J. P. Mees Outstanding Professional Staff Award

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 6, 2015) – Jeff Murphy, assistant director of University Relations for media relations at the University of Central Missouri, was named the 2015 recipient of the J. P. Mees Outstanding Professional Staff Award during the annual Professional Staff breakfast April 6 in the Elliott Student Union.

J.P. Mees Award Jeff Murphy

Jeff Murphy, second from right, assistant director of University Relations for media relations at UCM, received the J. P. Mees Outstanding Professional Staff Member Award at the UCM Professional Staff breakfast April 6. Joining Murphy were, left to right, Bill Runyon, president of the UCM Professional Staff Council; Joy Stevenson, 2014 award recipient and 2015 award presenter; and Joan Mees, Warrensburg, wife of the late J. P. Mees.

Joy Stevenson, director emeritus of the UCM International Center and 2014 recipient of the award, made the presentation to Murphy. The award, the highest honor bestowed upon a member of the university’s professional staff, honors the legacy of the late John Paul Mees, who died in 2000 while serving as vice president of planning and policy/executive assistant to the president at UCM. Mees, who was known as a dedicated and motivated employee, joined the university in 1988 as executive assistant to the president and professor of education. He also served as provost and vice president for academic affairs.

In accepting the award, Murphy recalled working with J. P. Mees during his tenure at UCM, then known as Central Missouri State University.

“He made people feel special. If you were in a meeting or public gathering with him, he’d zero in on you and you’d feel like the only one in the room,” Murphy said. “J.P. Mees also was a man of great integrity. He believed in the Golden Rule. He treated everyone the way he wanted them to treat him, and he treated all people with respect. I think these are worthy goals for anyone.  I am extremely grateful to receive an award in Dr. Mees’s name, and I hope that by my own actions, I can honor his memory in a way that is deserving of this award.”

Murphy, a Johnson County native and 1976 graduate of University High School, Warrensburg, received his bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing and master’s degree in communications from UCM. He began his professional career in 1981 as a reporter and photo editor for the Warrensburg Daily Star-Journal. He joined the UCM Office of Public Relations as news bureau assistant in 1989 and was promoted to news bureau manager in 1990, coordinating media relations and developing the university’s first written crisis communication plan. He was named assistant director of the Office of Communications and Creative Services in 2002 and, after serving as interim director for a 5-month period, was named to his current position in July 2003.

Murphy coordinates contact with local, regional and national media on behalf of UCM, serving as university spokesperson and working closely with university administration and staff to provide a seamless flow of information about university policy, initiatives and key events. He also co-supervises a student public relations firm, Innovative Public Relations, providing guidance and expertise to a group of public relations students who function as a public relations firm under the supervision of the Office of University Relations and Department of Communication.

He is a member of the university’s Threat Assessment Team, Crisis and Emergency Management Team the UCM Campus Safety Commission. He also has served on the UCM Professional Staff Council.

In addition to his professional duties, Murphy serves on the University High School Reunion Committee, and he has served as publicity coordinator for the city of Warrensburg’s Tailgate with the City event during UCM Homecoming. He also provided publicity support for the Warrensburg Partners in Prevention, the Johnson County chapter of the American Heart Association and the Johnson County Heart Walk. Earlier in his career he served on the board of directors for Johnson County CLIMB, Warrensburg Youth Services and was publicity coordinator for the Johnson County United Way.

Murphy’s daughter, Jessica Boeding, and her husband, L. J., reside in Blue Springs with his three grandchildren, Colin, Chloe and Olivia. He is the son of Deanna Boosinger, Knob Noster, and the late Dale Murphy, and longtime resident of Warrensburg and Sedalia.