Missouri Valley College Hall of Fame


Mel Willard

Mel Willard is a 1971 graduate of Missouri Valley College. A four year lettermen for the Viking football squad, Mel was second team all-conference in 1968 and held the MVC record for the longest punt in 1970. Mel was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, and a senior class officer. He graduated with a B.S. in physical education with a minor in biology.

In 2006, Mel retired after 24 years with the Missouri State Fair. Mel served as director of the Missouri State Fair from 2000-2006. His many years of dedication and service earned him several honors including: Hall of Fame Award from the Missouri Association of Fairs and Festivals; Honorary State FFA Degree; Missouri State Fair Beef Show Honor Award; and the Certified Fair Executive designation from the International Association of Fairs.

Mel said that Dr. Ed Elliott was the person who influenced him the most while attending Valley.

Mel and his wife, Debbie, live in Gravois Mills, Mo. They have four children—Matthew, Heather, Jessie, and Katie; and three grandchildren.