February 12, 2009
Hubert and Mildred Johnston Endowed Fund started at Cowley
Having attended school at what was then Arkansas City Junior College,
and then having watched all three of her children receive degrees from
Cowley College, Mildred Johnston recently gave the school $25,000 to
start up the Hubert and Mildred Johnston Endowed Fund.
Along with the gift to the college's Endowment Association, she also gave the school's athletic department a check for $2,000 to be used for the Tiger Athletic Hall of Fame fund.
Shannon Massey, Cowley College's director of Alumni and Endowment, was thrilled to receive such a generous gift.
"On behalf of the Endowment Association, I would like to say a big thank you to Mildred," Massey said. "In these tough economic times, our students need financial assistance more than ever. It is such a good feeling for us to receive these generous gifts, which in turn we share with our students. It really helps ease the burden of the cost of their education. We truly appreciate her kindness."
Johnston graduated from ACJC in 1949, while her husband, Hubert, who passed away in 2007, took classes at the college in 1959. Hubert and Mildred attended numerous Cowley College baseball and softball games, and even went to Grand Junction, Colo. on two different occasions to cheer on the Tiger baseball team at the JUCO World Series.
"Before my husband died we talked about giving some money to the school," Johnston said. "We hope to help someone who needs money to go to school."
Back when Johnston attended ACJC, the college was housed in the basement of Arkansas City High School. During that time, Johnston was among the individuals that handed out flyers with information talking about getting the college moved out of the basement of the high school. A few years later that would become a reality when the school moved to its current location of 125 South Second St. in Arkansas City.
Johnston went on to do substitute teaching thanks to the education she received at ACJC.
Her three children, Nan Schaper, Kay Thomas, and Gevan Johnston were all very active at Cowley. Nan attended Cowley from 1970-1972 and served as a work-study in the admissions office. She also was the Student Government president and named Basketball Queen in 1972. She played tennis at Cowley and was the runner-up for Queen Alalah in 1971.
Kay attended Cowley from 1972-1974 and served as a work-study in the bookstore. She played tennis at Cowley and also helped serve as an interim coach after the head coach left the team midway through the season. She was named Queen Alalah and the school's Basketball Queen in 1973.
Both Nan and Kay went on to earn bachelor degrees from Oklahoma State University.
Gevan attended Cowley during the 1977-78 academic year and played tennis at the school. After going into the military, he returned to Cowley and earned a degree in Non-Destructive Testing and Air Frame and Powerplant in 1995. Sadly, Gevan passed away in 2006.
Gevan's daughter, and Johnston's granddaughter, Shirley Leftwich, also attended Cowley and graduated from the school in 2007. At Cowley, she was active in the Theatre Department and was a work-study in the business office.
Johnston and her family enjoyed their time at Cowley College and this was a way for her to give back to the school.
"We have tried to get even more of our family to come to school here," Johnston said.
Johnston is also a member of the Cowley College Golden Tigers program.