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Rick Stream (BSBA 1971)

Rick Stream was cast into the role of an adult long before reaching the age of adulthood.

Rick, who was born in St. Louis and grew up in Kirkwood, was the second oldest of eight children. He was just 14 years old when his father died. With no family money, insurance or income to draw upon, Rick painted houses to help make ends meet. Then, at age 16, he landed a job as a laboratory technician at St. Joseph Hospital, working nearly full-time while attending Meramec Community College, and later, the University of Missouri–St. Louis, where he earned a BSBA in 1971.

During his last semester, Rick took an astronomy course in the brand-new Stadler Hall planetarium, finding it both interesting and exciting. Little did he know at the time that the experience would influence both his professional and personal life.

Rick Stream

"UMSL’s courses were demanding, and the professors were good and helpful,” he said. “The spirit of transformation that is at the heart of the university vision really prepared me for a lifetime of excitement, adventure and success."

"After college, I was accepted into Naval Officer Candidate School, and one of the required courses was celestial navigation, where we learned to use a sextant just like Columbus did 500 years earlier to shoot the stars to determine our position anywhere in the world," Rick said. "I went on to be a navigator on my ship, which led to me meeting my wife of 48 years."

After his honorable discharge in 1975, Rick was the midnight supervisor at Absorbent Cotton Company in Valley Park for a year before joining the United States Defense Department, where he served as a budget and project manager with the Army Aviation and Missile Command.

Rick was elected four times to the Kirkwood School Board, serving as president for two years and vice president for three years. In 2006, he was elected to serve in the Missouri House of Representatives, where he rose to budget committee chair in 2013-14. Other legislative committee assignments included legislative research, capital improvements and leases oversight, court automation and issues development. He has been the Republican Director of Elections for St. Louis County since 2017.

Throughout his careers in national defense, education and politics, he credits his UMSL experience as one of the early drivers of his success.