Family of Cowley graduate donates more than $20,000 to the school
Having been actively involved in Arkansas City Junior College’s Music and Theatre Departments, Captola Shelhamer Yust had fond memories of her time at the school. Wanting to help other young people have an opportunity to experience college, she started the Captola Yust Scholarship.
Many Cowley College students have been impacted by this scholarship. Sadly, Yust, who was a retired teacher, passed away on Nov. 29, 2007 in El Paso, Texas. However, her legacy will live on as her family recently donated $20,465.30 to the college.
“She wanted to enable other people to have the same experience she did,” said Yust’s son, Greg. “She always wanted to do something to give back to the school.”
The donation will be used to establish the Captola Shelhamer Yust Memorial Arts Scholarship. The annual earnings will be used to provide scholarships to full-time students majoring in art, music or theatre.
“It’s wonderful that this scholarship will be forever in Captola’s honor and will benefit so many Cowley students,” Shannon Massey, Cowley College director of alumni and endowment said. “The Community of Arkansas City and ACJC were very special to Captola. We appreciate that she and her family have given this kind gift in return for those special memories from years ago.”
Yust was the female musical lead in a number of Gilbert and Sullivan plays at the college, and her experience at ACJC helped boost her confidence.
“She really felt the college helped prepare her for life,” said Greg. “She had so many good experiences at the school.”
Yust went on to marry, Edward Yust, and the couple had three children, Greg, George, and Fay. With Edward serving as a chemical engineer for Shell Oil, the couple resided in Wood River, Ill for the majority of their marriage, and for a short time, New York City.
No matter where she went, Yust always spoke lovingly about her roots and upbringing in Arkansas City.
“Even though she was from a small town she was not intimidated when she lived in New York City,” Greg said. “Wherever she went she was very self assured because of the experience she had at the college.”
Once her children were older, Yust went back to school and received a bachelor’s degree in education from Southern Illinois University. She went on to serve as an elementary teacher, teaching primarily third grade, for close to 20 years.
Yust graduated from Arkansas City High School in 1936 before attending ACJC.