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Press Release



May 6, 2011

What? He�s Retiring After 37 Years on Duty? That�s Just Criminal!


Elvin HatfieldWorking the same job year after year can be a challenge. Yet Elvin Hatfield has accepted this challenge with such commitment, that it has made him the current, longest working employee at Cowley College. Soon his tenure will come to an end. After 37 years of service, Hatfield will retire this spring.

Elvin worked in the law enforcement field before beginning his teaching career at Cowley College.  “My career in law enforcement was at a local level,” said Hatfield. “The majority of the work was spent in investigations.” Hatfield chose the criminal justice field because his uncle was the Chief of Police in Woodward, OK. The other part Hatfield liked about the criminal justice career was “it wasn’t indoor assembly line work. It was something that a person could initiate on their own and be able to follow up and be self-directive once a case was assigned.”

Hatfield has both experience and education on his long list of accomplishments. He earned an associate of arts degree and an associate of applied science degree from Cowley College, a bachelor of arts degree from Southwestern College, and a master of science degree from Pittsburg State University. He has continued graduate studies in Kansas Law Enforcement Academy courses, Kansas Bureau of Investigation courses, and Federal Bureau of Investigation courses.

Lee Gregg, Jr., Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Cowley College, remembers Elvin Hatfield well from his Police Officer years. He reflects upon the time he was a young man in high school. He was drag racing another car on Summit between Fifth Ave and Washington Ave stop lights.  Elvin was an Ark City Police Officer at that time and he pulled Lee over at the next corner.  He pulled up alongside and said "Gregg, I think you could have beat that guy but knock that sh@# off!"  Mr. Gregg was much relieved and grateful to receive that blunt warning without getting a ticket.  Elvin Hatfield has left many strong, positive impressions on a lot of people.

While Hatfield was working in the law enforcement arena, he was a guest speaker for the criminal justice classes at Cowley College. When the previous Cowley College instructor moved to Washington, D. C., Elvin accepted his position. Hatfield has enjoyed his teaching career because of being able to develop courses and know that students leave Cowley College with more than just textbook knowledge. The best memory of his career is when he had a class of excellent students; they were all top notch students. They were all employed in law enforcement within one year of graduating. Hatfield has put time into making sure the criminal justice program at Cowley College is working to the benefit of the legal system.

Elvin Hatfield in general has been beneficial to Cowley College. His dedication to the criminal justice field and to his students has not gone unnoticed. While at Cowley, he has received the following awards, Kansas Top Worker of the Year, 1999; “Top 50” National Community College Teacher; NISOD Master Teacher, 1993; NISOD Master Presenter, 1991; and a USA Today Award.
Bev Grunder, Department Chair and Director of Business & Industry Training, would like to wish Elvin all the best as he begins his retirement.  She can’t imagine him slowing down one bit, but at least he will have lots of time to paint. Bev has enjoyed working with Elvin and is not sure how their department will be able to survive without his sense of humor, but they will do their best. Cowley colleague Scott MacLaughlin, Director of Theatre, shared the following memorable moments about Elvin, “I always enjoyed seeing Elvin every summer in the Brown Center with his baseball hat on and covered with paint.  I liked finding out what "color" Elvin would be next.” MacLaughlin also particularly enjoyed sitting next to Elvin during in-services and profiting from his sense of humor. Everyone at Cowley College would like to wish Elvin well on his upcoming retirement, and that is no joke!