Chris Janssen To Deliver Gaddis Lecture October 11

Chris JanssenEach fall, Central Methodist University welcomes to its Fayette campus a successful and admired alumnus to deliver the annual Merrill E. Gaddis Lecture, sponsored by CMU’s Kappa Chapter of Pi Gamma Mu – an international honor society for social sciences.

The honor society was established in 1935 by Dr. Merrill Gaddis (1891-1958), who was professor of history and later chair of the History and Political Science Department. He served at CMU – then Central Methodist College -- for nearly 30 years.

Alumnus Chris Janssen, from Beaufort, Mo., graduated with honors in political science from Central in 2009. On Thursday, Oct. 11, he will deliver, “Advocacy Everywhere: Lessons Learned From Influencing Public Policy” at 7 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Inman Student and Community Center.  The lecture is free and open to the public. 

“I’m excited to return to Central Methodist to deliver my lecture and provide value to the University which offered so much to me,” Janssen said. 

Janssen was recruited by both the University’s honors program and Eagles varsity football program, and was awarded the 2009 Judge Andrew J. Higgins Award for Excellence in Pre-Law Studies. 

On the football field, Janssen was the starting tight end for the Eagles, and was a two-time Academic All-American and three-time Academic All-Conference player.

He was active in the social science honor society, Pi Gamma Mu, and the social fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon. As a senior, he served as an officer in Pi Gamma Mu, as chapter president on Tau Kappa Epsilon, and in the Student Government Association (SGA) cabinet.

After graduating from Central, Janssen began work as a field representative for the United States Fourth Congressional District. He acted as a liaison to local, state, and federal officials, as well as others in the 4th District.

He then joined the Missouri REALTORS® staff in 2014 as the regional Advocacy Coordinator for Central Missouri to promote advocacy for property rights. He primarily works with local REALTOR® boards and associations and individual brokers to engage members and increase utilization of the National Association of REALTOR’s REALTOR® Party resources. 

He also works with local REALTORS Political Action Committee (RPAC) and Advocacy committees to develop strategic plans, which include components such as candidate recruitment and endorsements, elected official engagement, collaboration with other stakeholders and organizations, and volunteerism. 

In 2016, Janssen headed grassroots efforts in the coalition that amended the Missouri Constitution to prohibit any future state or local sales tax on services. 

While working for Missouri REALTORS®, he earned an MPA from The Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri with an emphasis in public policy and non-profit management. 

Janssen currently lives in Columbia with his wife, Lauran – a 2012 graduate of CMU – and their two shih tzus.

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