Jun 23, 2021

College of the Ozarks graduates receive the Chris Waller Memorial Scholarship

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — This year marked the 11th year the Chris Waller Memorial Scholarship has been presented to a College of the Ozarks graduate in memory of Chris Waller. This year, two deserving recipients were awarded the scholarship: Maggie Oliver, engineering graduate, and Ashley Stanphill, allied health science graduate.

This scholarship is given to College of the Ozarks graduates who possess outstanding character and want to further their education. The money for the scholarship comes from interest on the memorial endowment established in Chris’ memory.

"We are proud to present these two young ladies with this year's scholarship honoring our son Chris,” said Al Waller, father of the late Chris Waller. “We try to find someone going on to graduate school who has a lot in common with Chris. The number one thing we look for is outstanding character, which both of these two possess."

"We picked Maggie because she is going on to seek a degree in engineering, which is what Chris did after he graduated from C of O. She received a minor in mathematics, which was Chris' major,” Waller said. “We picked Ashley because she recently received the Chris Waller Outstanding Student Athlete Award, which is presented annually to the senior male and female athletes with the highest GPA. Ashley was a golfer, and golfing was a big part of Chris' life."

“This scholarship is an opportunity to help me become a first generation grad student in my family,” Oliver said. “I have been blessed along my path and appreciate the Waller’s support. The story behind this scholarship makes my journey through engineering even more important to me.”

“Receiving the Chris Waller Memorial Scholarship has been such a blessing,” Stanphill said. “Not only will it help financially in my graduate program for physical therapy but it brought me the blessing of being able to meet and get to know the Wallers on a personal level. I was honored to learn I was hand-picked for this scholarship. This award means so much to the Wallers, and it’s an honor to know that they believe I’m deserving of it.”

More about the Chris Waller Memorial Scholarship

Al and Marty Waller established the Chris Waller Memorial Scholarship in memory of their son, Chris Waller. Chris graduated from Branson High School and attended College of the Ozarks from 1997-2001 as a mathematics major. Chris was a member of the C of O basketball team for four years, was named all-conference his senior year, and an NAIA Academic All-American his junior and senior years. He was also inducted into the College of the Ozarks Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. After his graduation, Chris went on to study at the University of Arkansas, majoring in civil engineering.

Al Waller began his career at College of the Ozarks in 1977 as a men’s basketball coach and physical education instructor. He has served in multiple roles throughout his tenure. His 25-year stint as the College’s head coach found him accumulating 458 wins, 12 conference championships, and six national tournament appearances. He was also named conference Coach of the Year on 12 occasions. In addition, he has been inducted into the College of the Ozarks Sports Hall of Fame, NAIA Hall of Fame, and Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. Al Waller retired from C of O in 2015.

Marty Waller served as administrator of the Child Development Center at the College for 21 years, where she also coached the Bobcat Cheerleaders and assisted with the Catholic Christian Newman Association. Prior to working for the College, she operated a daycare out of her home. Marty Waller retired from C of O in 2014.