Alumni & Friends

Recognition Awards


Outstanding Tiger Alumni Award

1996


Selby Funk

Class of 1936

 

Selby Funk Selby Funk remembers with fondness how Arkansas City Junior College was like one big happy family.“Our class was small, and it was a close class coming in from high school,” Funk said. “Through the years we became closer. Knowing your fellow man was important in those days. Many of those people started in kindergarten and went through junior college together. We were all interested in each other and interested in achievement.”

Funk, born in Caney but grew up in Arkansas City, is a graduate from the ACJC class of 1936.

 

Funk, who lives in suburban Atlanta, Ga., remembers the genuine interest students had for their fellow man. He is proud of the fact that he was associated with such a group of caring students and instructors. “That was one of the great things as far as junior college was concerned,” Funk said. “The staff emphasized achievement. They did not emphasize ‘do it or else.’ ” They were interested in the individual. In the student. I have a fond appreciation that our faculty was pretty devoted to seeing that we achieved. “I was there about five years ago and I got the same feeling. It’s one of the showcases of the college.”

 

Funk remembers the good group of players who came in to play football in the 1934 and 1935 seasons. “We won two games in ’35 for the first time in about 29 games,” Funk said. He was close. ACJC began the decade of the 1930s with a 6-2-1 record, and finished the decade going 6-2-1 and 7-1. But it was the six seasons in between that weren’t too successful. Funk’s freshman season ended 1-5-1; his sophomore season 2-5. Even though the Tigers weren’t big winners on the field in those years, they were honest, hard-working students who made a name for themselves. After graduating from Kansas State University in 1938, Funk held a newspaper job at The Arkansas City Traveler for about two years.

 

Then came his association with Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. in 1941. “I got drafted in the war but stayed with Liberty Mutual after the war,” Funk said. It was the start of a 41-year career with the company, taking him from Boston, Mass.; to Memphis and Knoxville, Tenn.; then to Dunwoody, Ga., where he now makes his home. While at Liberty Mutual, Funk held a variety of positions, including divisional medical service manager covering eight Southeastern states.

 

Funk spent most of his time with the company developing workmen’s compensation plans. In fact, he was appointed by then-Gov. Jimmy Carter to serve on the governor’s special task force on worker’s compensation. “I was kind of a pioneer in workman’s compensation,” Funk said. “We pushed rehabilitation quite a bit.” Funk said paraplegics or quadriplegics were bed-fast until they died following World War II. He said Liberty Mutual worked with the medical profession to improve the quality of life for those victims. “We’re quite proud of rehabilitation and what we did back then,” he said. “I practically staffed a whole hospital of nurses when I retired. Most companies have gotten into rehabilitation now.”

 

Besides being active as a rehabilitation consultant to worker’s compensation boards in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia and Mississippi, Funk has always been active in his church and in civic affairs. He is married to the former Jean Rowland of Charleston, Miss. The couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on April 20.

 

Funk was another pioneer of sorts at ACJC. “We never did have a yearbook, so Dick Hunt and I decided to push for one,” Funk said. “We started the Tigerama.”

Funk’s favorite classes were speech, orchestra and debate and, of course, football as an activity.

 

Today he is an avid golfer and is a member of the Georgia Senior Golf Association. He plays in tournaments in Georgia and won a tournament in the fall of 1995.