CMU Welcomes Four New Board Members

Four new members were elected to the Central Methodist University Board of Trustees at its August quarterly meeting. The new members bring a variety of backgrounds and strengths to the board. They include The Rev. Theodore “Cody” Collier, Dr. Nolyn Nyatanga, Franklin Wallis, and Randall W. Washburn.

“Our new Trustees, representing the class of 2021, hold great promise for the future of Central Methodist University,” CMU President Roger Drake noted. “We are excited about their knowledge, passions, and love for CMU.”

In addition to the four new Board members, two former Trustees – David Atkins of Columbia and Brock Lutz of St. Louis – were re-elected to the CMU governing body.

Cody CollierRev. T. Cody Collier

Collier grew up in Nashville, Tenn., and graduated from Tennessee State University with a bachelor of science degree in speech communications and theater. He received a Master of Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center (Gammon Seminary) in Atlanta, Ga., where he received the James H. Clark Preaching Award.

Collier became a United Methodist deacon in 1977 and an elder in 1980. In 1999, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from Gammon Seminary.

He has served churches in Georgia, Tennessee, and Missouri, where he currently serves as the assistant to Bishop Robert Farr and is on the Conference Mission Council and Annual Conference Sessions Committee.

Collier has been district superintendent in the former Kansas City North District and the Heartland South District. He also pastored Longview United Methodist Church and One Spirit United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Mo.

A long list of leadership assignments includes the Conference Board of Ordained Ministries, the Board of Laity, the General Commission on Religion Race, and the General Board of Church and Society. Collier has been elected to leadership positions in multiple General Conferences and currently serves on the program committee.

Nolyn NyatangaDr. Nolyn Nyatanga

Nyatanga was born in Zimbabwe and grew up attending the church of the late CMU alumnus, Methodist Bishop Abel Muzorewa ’62. Her family later moved to Jefferson City, Mo., where her father became an accountant for another CMU alumnus. Those influences helped steer her to Central Methodist.

Nyatanga enrolled at Central Methodist University (then College) in the fall of 2001. She immediately made her mark, earning the University’s Demaree Award for the freshman with the highest grade point average.

After graduating in 2005 with honors from Central Methodist University, with a major in biology and minors in chemistry and mathematics, she was accepted into the Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience, where she earned the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree and graduated in the top 10 percent of her medical class.

Nyatanga is a medical oncologist and hematologist physician at Goldschmidt Cancer Center in Jefferson City and lives in Columbia. She has done post-doctoral work at the Cleveland (Ohio) Clinic Foundation and the Hofstra-North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, Monter Cancer Center in New Hyde Park, N. Y.

During her time at CMU, Nayatanga received the Victoria Award, given to the senior who best exemplifies the goals and ideals of the University, and the E.E. Rich Award, given to the student who demonstrates the highest level of excellence in biology.

Franklin WallisFranklin Wallis

While his own body of work in the legal field stands out, Franklin Wallis’ service and activism are equally impressive, going back to his days as a Central Methodist College student, class of 1966.

Wallis graduated from Arcadia Valley High School in Ironton, Mo., then came to Central and established himself as both a scholar and a servant leader. He was class president by his sophomore year and was active in student government, yearbook, student newspaper, Greek life, intramural sports, the academic Honors Program, and other clubs and organizations.

When he graduated, Wallis earned the Selecman Award at Central, the highest student award given annually by the University.

Wallis went on to obtain his law degree from the Duke University of Law. He also studied at The Hague Academy of International Law in the Netherlands, and obtained an LL.M (Master of Laws) degree from The London School of Economics and Political Science.

He has practiced law in St. Louis since 1970 and is currently an attorney with Shands, Elbert, Gianoulakis & Giljum LLP. He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since 1987

Wallis also continues to be active in a variety of civic and service groups; one of his great passions is for the Forest Park Forever organization, of which he was a founding board member and has been a member for more than 18 years. Forest Park is the largest urban green space in the United States.

Randall WashburnRandall W. Washburn

Randall (Randy) Washburn has invested a great deal of time and service to Central Methodist University through the years. The Versailles resident has now stepped onto the University’s Board of Trustees to continue that commitment.

Washburn graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in economics at CMU in 1970, where his was a member of Beta Sigma fraternity. He went on to receive his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Central Missouri. He served in the military in Germany during the Vietnam War.

For much of his career, he was senior examiner-applications for the Missouri Division of Finance, from which he recently retired.

Washburn served on the CMU President’s Council prior to joining the Board. He also participated in a study to examine CMU’s readiness to begin its $20 million Heart of Central Campaign, a fund drive to both build a new allied health building and renovate its science building.

In addition, he was active in other campaigns to enhance Central facilities, including the Wings of Excellence, Outdoor Athletic Facility, The Campaign for Central (including the Inman Student and Community Center), and The Classic Renaissance Campaign—for which he sponsored the Washburn plaza in honor of his parents.

He is also a member of the 1854 Society, which supports the annual scholarship fund, shares his interest in The Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art, and is a regular participant in, and one-time champion of, CMU’s annual Luetjen Golf Tournament.

Three years ago, Washburn and a partner/friend bought a boat storage in Gravois Mills and opened a bait and tackle shop. The following year they also bought the original bait and tackle in Laurie, now called the Ozark Bait and Tackle Shop.

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