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Press Release



January 4, 2012

Esteemed alumnus contributes $20,000 to tax credit program


contributionTaking advantage of the opportunity to receive a net 54% Kansas income tax credit while helping Cowley College with repairs and projects that are not currently in the budget, Mildred Johnston recently contributed $20,000 to Cowley’s deferred maintenance tax credit program.

Ben Schears, Cowley College’s vice president for institutional advancement, said Johnston’s tax credit contribution will be used to assist with the cost of a new roof on historic Ireland Hall.

“Millie has been very generous to the college over the years and has been a major supporter of endowment efforts and athletics,” Schears said. “You can tell she has a heart for the college - she has supported the tax credit program for the past few years, and just a couple of years ago established an endowed scholarship to help students to afford a college education.”

Johnston moved to Arkansas City from Clearwater in 1944. She went on to graduate from Ark City High School in 1945 and Ark City Junior College (now Cowley College) in 1947. Johnston went on to do substitute teaching for USD 470 for more than 10 years thanks to the education she received at ACJC.

She and her husband, Hubert, who passed away in 2007, received the Cowley County Community College Tiger Booster Club Award in 2000, while Mildred was named the recipient of the Outstanding Tiger Alumnus Award for 2010. Thanks to a generous donation to the college’s Endowment Association, the Hubert and Mildred Johnston Endowed Fund was started in February 2009.

The couple 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.  Now, Johnston can be seen at each of the Tigers’ home basketball games.

All three of the couples’ children, Nan Schaper, Kay Thomas, and Gevan Johnston, who sadly passed away in 2006, received degrees from Cowley College and were active at the school. Hubert also took classes at the college in 1959.

Gevan’s daughter, and Johnston’s granddaughter, Shirley Leftwich, also attended Cowley and graduated from the school in 2007.

Johnston is glad to be able to give back to her alma mater.

“I am real proud of the school and am happy to help with the maintenance on Ireland Hall,” Johnston said. “Everyone is real pleased to see the growth of the college.”

Johnston has remained active in the Arkansas City Community and in July 2009 was named the recipient of the Community Cornerstone Award, which recognizes the time and effort of volunteers dedicated to serving people and enhancing the quality of life in Cowley County.

She began volunteering at Medicalodge East where her mother, Marie Freese, was a resident. Since then she has volunteered at numerous organizations.

Johnston has been a volunteer for the American Cancer Society for 30 years. During that time, she has been a certified Reach to Recovery volunteer and touched the lives of many newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. She also assisted with the Relay for Life event for 10 years.

She has been a member of the American Legion Auxiliary for 67 years; the Ark City Tennis Association for 36 years, serving several years as treasurer; the SCKRMC Auxiliary for 24 years, serving as gift shop manager; and as a volunteer at Medicalodge East for 24 years.

She has previously been a volunteer for the American Red Cross, making lap robes and assisting with the blood drives. She also served as a volunteer answering phones for Safe Homes for five years and at the Ark City Senior Center for six years. She also volunteers at the Kansas Veterans Home in Winfield and has been a member of the First United Methodist Church in Arkansas City since 1944, where she is a member of the seekers class and UMW, and serves on the services and mission groups. She also volunteers her time at the Saint Paul Methodist Church in Arkansas City with their Share Meal that is served once a week and is also a member of the Cowley College Golden Tigers.

Pictured, from left, Shannon Massey, executive director of alumni and development, Mildred Johnston, Cowley College president Dr. Patrick J. McAtee, and Ben Schears.