May 27, 2022
College of the Ozarks graduates receive Chris Waller Memorial Scholarship
POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — This year marked the 12th 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: Mucyo Bangerezako, engineering graduate, and Hannah Aherin, 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 Waller’s memory.
“We are proud to present these two young graduates 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 graduates possess.”
"We picked Mucyo because he is going on to seek a degree in civil engineering, which is what Chris did after he graduated from C of O. He received a minor in mathematics, which was Chris' major,” Waller said. “We picked Hannah because she worked in the Physical Education Department and was on the golf team, and golfing was a big part of Chris' life.”
“It is truly an honor to receive the Chris Waller Memorial Scholarship,” Aherin said. “I am very grateful to be chosen and appreciate the support from the Wallers. This scholarship will significantly help me as I begin graduate school.”
“Receiving the Chris Waller Memorial Scholarship was an amazing gift to me,” Bangerezako said. “It will help pay for my classes in graduate school, allowing me to further my education, instead of worrying about whether or not I have enough money. I am very grateful to have received the scholarship. I thank God and Chris Waller’s parents for showing me such generosity.”
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. He 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 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.