News & Events



Press Release



December 10, 2009

Endowment Association shows its appreciation with annual banquet


Endowment BanquetAnnouncing that the total assets for Cowley College’s Endowment Association sit at $3.6 million dollars, a large contingent of donors were treated to an evening of dinner and music during the Endowment Association’s annual banquet held Wednesday in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.

Cowley College vocal music director Connie Donatelli and the Cowley College Singers provided music throughout the banquet, as did piano instructor Gloria Tham. Curt Freeland, President of the college’s Endowment Association, served as emcee for the evening.

Freeland announced the Tiger Booster Club surpassed its goal of $59,000 by raising $70,000 during the Blitz Drive. He also provided an update on how the Cowley athletic programs are doing.

Great Western Dining provided a wonderful dinner. However, the Straight No Chaser concert, which was originally scheduled to follow the banquet, was postponed to May 5, 2010 due to inclement weather the group experienced in Iowa.

“Despite not having the concert and the cold weather, we had a wonderful turnout,” said Steve McCann, Coordinator to Endowment and Alumni. “We have been very pleased and proud of the way the community has stepped up in light of the current economic situation.”

During the banquet, Ben Schears, Executive Director of Enrollment and Outreach Services, was announced as this year’s recipient of the Young Achiever Award. The award recognizes individuals age 40 or younger that have had success in their educational achievements, careers and community service, and/or service to Cowley College.

Schears began his association with the college in the fall of 1999 when he became a student here. He was involved in many activities such as Campus Christian Fellowship, Math & Science Club, Phi Theta Kappa, Act One, Volunteers Learning Through Service, IMPACT, and was a student ambassador and tutor. He graduated from Cowley in 2001 with an Associate of Arts degree.

He later transferred to Emporia State University where he graduated Cum Laude in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in History. In 2007, he completed a Master of Arts degree in History from Emporia State.

Schears returned to Cowley in February 2003 after being hired as an admissions representative. He has held several positions, which include admissions coordinator, director of admissions, and director of international student services prior to his current role.

Schears serves on several committees at the college. He is the co-chair of the AQIP 7 Multicultural Diversity team, and is a member of the student affairs, marketing, and enrollment services committees. He also serves as a sponsor for the college’s Students Honoring All Diverse Ethnicities (SHADE) organization.

He is also active in the community as he serves on the Leadership Cowley County Board, PrairieFest committee, is president of the Kansas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Offices for 2009-2010 and is the chair of the evaluations committee for the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers for 2009-2011.

Schears was in the Leadership Cowley County Class of 2009 and was awarded the Beth Tedrow Outstanding New Professional Award from the Kansas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Schears and his wife, Rachel, met as students at Cowley. The couple have five children, Natalie 6, Nate 5, Noah 5, Sydney 3, and Audrey 2.

 Cowley College president Dr. Patrick J. McAtee praised the work done by Schears.

“One of Ben’s gifts is the ability to see a situation that needs improving and working hard to improve it,” McAtee said. “He has been the cornerstone of many new and improved processes at Cowley College.”

The Ambassador Award was presented to Bob and Reatha Juden as well as John and Janice Hitchcock. The award recognizes individuals who have provided sustained volunteer or other service, or through philanthropic work to Cowley College.

The Juden’s son, Tyler, graduated from Ark City High School in 2004. He was active in football and track and was involved in competitive shooting from a very young age. Tyler attended Cowley College for three semesters and then entered the United States Army where he was assigned to Troop C, 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan. Tyler died on Sept. 12 from injuries received during active duty in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Juden’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Army Commendation Medal with bronze oak leaf cluster, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Parachutist Badge and the Combat Infantry Badge.

“We want to recognize and award Sgt. Tyler Juden for the ultimate sacrifice he made for our country, he has made Cowley College proud,” McAtee said.

The Hitchcock’s are tremendous supporters of Cowley College. They can be seen at many sporting events and theatre productions. They even make it to many out of town games to cheer on the Tigers.

They recently made a $1,000 donation to the Cowley College Concert Choir, and also donated items for the garden outside of Kerr Technology Building.

“We appreciate you, John and Janice, for your generosity and for being such great Cowley College Ambassadors,” McAtee said.

Endowment Association Board members Cynthia Hocker and Ken Buss were also recognized at the banquet as they will be retiring from the Board.

To donate to the Cowley College Endowment Association, contact Shannon Massey at 620-441-5319, or Steve McCann at 620-441-5291. Gifts to Cowley College earn you a 60% Kansas tax credit. Gifts must be made to the College by Dec. 31 for tax credits for this year.