The University of Central Missouri Student Government Association bestowed its highest honor, the James C. Kirkpatrick Excellence in Governance Award, on Steve Arbo, city manager of Lee’s Summit, Mo., Thursday evening in UCM’s James C. Kirkpatrick Library.
Arbo is the 29th recipient of the annual award. He was recognized in an SGA resolution for "his dedication to education while serving his community as a crucial member of the Lead Facilitators Group for the UCM Innovation Campus and as city manager of the city of Lee’s Summit."
In remarks during the presentation ceremony, UCM President Charles Ambrose noted that Arbo’s dedication and leadership was a key factor in the successful development of the Missouri Innovation Campus, a collaborative effort of the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, UCM, the city of Lee’s Summit, Metropolitan Community College and Kansas City area corporate partners.
"Steve Arbo is committed to the growth of his community, and he recognizes the value of developing relationships," Ambrose said. "He has fostered collaboration with educators and business leaders and developed an important relationship with his city council that has resulted in excellent opportunities for students."
Arbo said he was honored to receive the award, which commemorates Kirkpatrick’s legacy of public service.
"High schools students with a sense of direction need to be given an opportunity to grow and be productive without incurring significant debt for higher education," he said, referring to the opportunities offered by the Missouri Innovation Campus. "The city of Lee’s Summit became interested because of the belief that the future depends on new thinkers. You don’t go through life without being in touch with your community. You have to be dedicated to making a difference.