JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Gov. Jay Nixon is asking for nominations to the Academy of Squires, an exclusive group that honors 100 living Missourians, and whose members include musician Sheryl Crow and St. Louis Cardinals player Lou Brock.
The Academy of Squires was created in 1960 by then-Gov. James T. Blair to honor Missouri natives or residents who have achieved greatness. The group is capped at 100 members, and new members are elected by the existing squires to fill slots opened when someone dies or resigns.
Squires must pay $50 per year, and two-thirds of the members are for those with statewide prominence and one-third are for those with regional or local notoriety. The ranks of former squires include President Harry Truman, artist Thomas Hart Benton and Negro League baseball player Buck O'Neil.
Nixon's office said Friday that it is seeking from the public new squire nominations of 100 words or less to fill five vacancies in the academy. The deadline is Oct. 9, and nominating forms are on the governor's Web site at governor.mo.gov.
The public search for new inductees is different from the selection of squires under Gov. Matt Blunt's administration, which handled the search internally and among existing members.
E-mails from Blunt's administration that were obtained by The Associated Press show that a debate about who Blunt -- chosen as a squire in 2005 -- should nominate and what names should be forwarded to other squires to suggest.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)