Dr. George P. Smith officially receives Nobel Prize as MU celebrates

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STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN- University of Missouri Professor Emeritus George Smith officially accepted his portion of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry Monday.

Dr. Smith received a diploma and medal for his research on phage display in MU's biology labs from the King of Sweden during the ceremony.

Smith shares the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with two other scientists, Sir Gregory Winter and Professor Frances Arnold.

"Alfred Nobel's vision was to reward those who have made the greatest benefit to human kind. In science, literature and peace and thereby have contributed to a better world," said Carl-Henrik Heldin, Chairman, Board of the Nobel Foundation. 

After the ceremony, Smith and the other Nobel Prize winners attended a grand banquet at Stockholm's City Hall. 

Back home in Columbia, MU held a watch party in the student center to celebrate Dr. Smith's achievement. 

The crowd overflowed Mort's in the MU student center, as students, faculty and community members showed up to watch a live stream of the official ceremony taking place in Stockholm.

Pat Okker, Dean of the MU College of Arts and Science was thrilled along with others to witness Dr. Smith receive his award. 

"This is so exciting. I’ve never seen the ceremony before. It’s so loving and what a wonderful day for Mizzou and Dr Smith. It’s way more exciting than I ever imagined," Okker said.

MU student Michelle Williams echoed Okker's sentiment.

"It was just a really exciting day here and we are just so proud of him," Williams said.

Both faculty and students emphasized his importance as a teacher.

"He is also an extraordinary teacher and I'm so glad that we had some of his students with us today," Okker said.

After the party, Williams had a simple message for the Nobel laureate.

"Thank you for always being an awesome human being and mentoring us and congratulations because you absolutely deserve it," she said.