Warren Koeller, a 1960 graduate of the college and the 2004 recipient of the Outstanding Tiger Alumni Award, has established the Warren Koeller Business Scholarship. The scholarship is for a full-time student majoring in business. The recipient also must be a graduate of Arkansas City High School and maintain a minimum 3.0 grade-point average. The scholarship is renewable for a second year, providing that the criteria are maintained. With funds from a Federal Title III Matching Grant, the scholarship totals $60,000.
Koeller, who owns one company and is president of another, went on to major in accounting at Wichita University, graduating in 1963. He passed the Certified Public Accountant exam in September 1965, and was well on his way to understanding the financial side of business. That knowledge helped fuel Koeller’s entrepreneurial spirit as he built companies from the ground up, and turned one on the brink of bankruptcy into a huge success. Koeller is a self-taught computer network administrator and programmer who was a CPA for Arthur Anderson until 1970, when he left to become executive vice president of 3M Business Products, covering Kansas and Missouri. During that time, he got the notion to install a multi-user workstation system within the business. It became one of the first computer networks. Koeller developed the system, offered it to realtors in the Kansas City area, and business took off. He and a programmer formed Realty Information Systems Company, now known as RISCO. Koeller sold the company in March 2000.
In the early 1990s, Koeller started a manufacturing division within his company that built lock boxes realtors use when they list a house. His company manufactured the mechanical and electronic device. After a slow start, the idea eventually caught on, and Koeller’s company turned large profits. The lock box uses an infrared transmitter. When a realtor uses the electronic key, information from the box, including the identity of the realtor, the company, and the time and date the house was shown, is transferred. A few years ago, Koeller added another company to his portfolio. He rescued Kantronics of Lawrence from financial disaster and has high hopes for the manufacturer of wireless data controllers.