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College of the Ozarks graduate receives the Chris Waller Memorial Scholarship

This year marked the 14th year the Chris Waller Memorial Scholarship has been presented to College of the Ozarks graduates in memory of Chris Waller. This year, one deserving recipient was awarded the scholarship: Tyler Buchanan, a 2024 graduate with a bachelor of science in horticulture and agribusiness.

 



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 excited to present this year’s scholarship to Tyler. He is an outstanding young man and we know he has a great future ahead of him,” said Al Waller, father of the late Chris Waller. “We hope this scholarship will be able to help him reach his goals. We have a list of criteria that reflect our son’s career at C of O, and we try to find a person who is going on to graduate school that best fits those criteria. We picked Tyler because he is of outstanding character, he was a student athlete, and he’s going to the University of Arkansas.”

 

Buchanan is from Hindsville, Arkansas. He was an athlete on the C of O baseball team and worked in the athletic training room for his campus workstation. He plans to continue his career at the University of Arkansas in soil fertility.

 

“I am very blessed to receive this scholarship, and I hope to honor Chris Waller and his family as I continue my education at the University of Arkansas,” said Buchanan.

 

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.

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