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Press Release



April 20, 2005

Cowley student awarded prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship


Susan Hogue, a 2005 recipient of the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship, and Dr. Pat McAtee, president of Cowley College.

Susan Hogue, who enrolled at Cowley College six years ago because she was “tired of sitting at home bored,” is one of only 25 community college students nationwide to be awarded the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship in 2005.

Hogue, 43, a sophomore secondary education major at Cowley who lives in Winfield, is a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, which means she can be awarded up to $30,000 per year to continue her education. Hogue said she plans to transfer to either Southwestern College or Emporia State University and major in business education.

“I am in complete shock,” said Hogue, who received the honor Tuesday night during Cowley’s annual Celebration of Excellence, the honors and awards banquet. “I’m so proud of this school. I’ve learned an awful lot.”

Dr. Pat McAtee, Cowley president, announced Hogue’s award. The packed Earle N. Wright Community Room then gave Hogue, who was accompanied by her three young sons, a standing ovation.

“We are so very proud of you,” McAtee said. “This is a first for our college.”

Each year, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Program awards approximately 25 scholarships to students attending community colleges or two-year institutions who plan to transfer to four-year institutions. Each award covers a portion of educational expenses, including tuition, living expenses, required fees, and books for the final two to three years of the baccalaureate degree. The amount and duration of awards vary by student based on the cost of attendance and the length of the program, as well as other scholarships or grants received. The maximum available per student is $30,000 per year. This is the largest scholarship offered in the U.S. to community college transfer students.

Students interested in the scholarship must be nominated by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation faculty representative at their college. Lisa Grose, scholarship coordinator at Cowley, nominated Hogue for the award.

“This is wonderful,” Grose said. “Susan’s essay she wrote was very good, so I knew she would get some attention. I’m so proud of her.”

The scholars come from community colleges in 18 states. They were selected from among 791 nominees nominated by 519 community and two-year colleges across the country. Because institutions on average reviewed more than three candidates internally before submitting their nominees, the number of students considered for the award numbered in the thousands. There is no larger scholarship, or one involving such intense competition, available to community college students.

Hogue, who grew up in Colorado, has five children. Her husband Mark is a charter pilot at Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita. Tuesday was the couple’s 10th wedding anniversary.

“He’s gone all the time, so it’s been a challenge raising the kids and staying home all the time,” Susan Hogue said. “Because of that, I’ve taken a lot of my classes online.”

Hogue began her quest for an associate’s degree in spring 1999. Her first class was Principles of Macroeconomics. It was the only “B” she has on her transcript.

“I took the class for the fun of it,” Hogue said. “I had taken all the tests and attended every class, but I skipped the final and still got a B. I had no idea that was the beginning and would lead to this.”

Hogue’s three sons—Derek 8, Hunter 7, and Jess 4—were well-behaved during the two-hour, 15-minute banquet Tuesday night. Hogue also has two daughters. Bre Annah Wickline, 21, is in the Navy. Madeline Hogue, 13, is a student at Winfield Middle School. Wickline and her husband are taking online classes from Cowley while stationed in Italy.

Hogue had heard about the scholarship when she went to Southwestern College for a visit. She decided to apply.

“I didn’t expect this at all,” she said. “I realized that if it’s meant for me, it will happen.

“I have to tell you, I kind of thought it (the application) looked good, then I began to get worried that I would get it and that I’d have to finish this degree.”

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation created the program to make sure financial obstacles do not prevent high-achieving community college students from advancing their education and pursuing their dreams, said Matthew J. Quinn, the Foundation’s executive director.

“These 25 students are among the finest students in the country, at any institution,” Quinn said.

This transfer scholarship program is the equivalent to these undergraduates of what programs such as the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships are to graduate students. The size and prestige of the awards emphasize the tremendous talent at our nation’s community colleges, said Dr. William R. Brody, president of Johns Hopkins University.

Hogue and the other 24 men and women selected bring to 161 the number of students who have received the undergraduate scholarships since the Foundation first offered them in 2002.

Pete Mackey, director of public affairs at the Foundation, said the award could open the door for additional scholarships should Hogue go beyond a bachelor’s degree.

“Winning this award also makes her, should she continue to do well and decide to pursue it when the time comes, an automatic semifinalist for our graduate scholarship, which is worth up to $50,000 per year and is one of the largest awards of its kind in the country,” Mackey said.

The Foundation is a private, independent foundation established by Jack Kent Cooke to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education.

This summer, Hogue will join all Foundation scholars in Washington, D.C., for three days of shared cultural, educational and entertainment experiences.

“It is electric to put them all in a room together,” Mackey said. “We look forward to meeting Susan.”