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Press Release



January 5, 2012

Ties to Cowley College lead to Eugene and Mary Ellen McCorgary Memorial Scholarship


Having one of the largest number of family members to attend Cowley College, the McCorgary family has established the Eugene and Mary Ellen McCorgary Memorial Scholarship to be given annually to a student enrolled at Cowley College, who subsequently plans to obtain a degree in an agricultural field at Kansas State University, Fort Hays State University, Oklahoma State University, or Northwest Oklahoma State University.

There have been 29 immediate and extended family members of the McCorgary’s to attend Cowley College with an additional family member (Caitlynn McVey) planning to attend the school in the fall.

“How exciting that 29 family members have attended Cowley College,” Shannon Massey, executive director of alumni and development at Cowley College said. “The McCorgary family has supported Cowley for many years and now they give even more by establishing this scholarship in memory of Eugene and Mary Ellen. Their endowed scholarship will provide much needed financial support for students for years and years to come.”

All six of Eugene and Mary Ellen’s children graduated from Cowley College as did two son-in-laws.

“Cowley College provided our family with an opportunity to get a good education at a place that was close to home and at a reasonable cost,” Steve McCorgary, administrator said. “This is a way for us to keep Mom and Dad’s names alive for years to come and also a way to give back to the community.”

Along with Steve (Class of 1968), other children of Eugene and Mary Ellen are, Barbara (McCorgary) Priest (Class of 1969), Martin McCorgary (Class of 1970), Larry McCorgary (Class of 1973), Mary Ann (McCorgary) Hale (Class of 1974), and Jeannette (McCorgary) McVey (Class of 1983). Barbara’s husband, Lester, graduated from Cowley in 1969, and Mary Ann’s husband, Larry, graduated from the school in 1972.

To this date there have been 11 grandchildren and seven of their spouses to graduate from Cowley; Stephanie (McCorgary) Osterthun (Class of 1989), who was named Queen Alalah LVII and worked at the school from 1993 to 2000, Mark James (Class of 1990), Lewis Kuchar (Class of 1991), Julie (Priest) Bossi (Class of 1992), Brian Priest (Class of 1994), Katherine Priest-Kuchar (Class of 1996), Jennifer (Hale) Schaller (Class of 1996), Shana (Biddle) McCorgary (Class of 1996), Nathan Cook (Class of 1997), Kelly McCorgary (Class of 1998), Amy (Hale) Cook (Class of 1998), Dionne (McCorgary) James (Class of 1999), Debbie (McCorgary) Badley (Class of 1999), Jeremy Badley (Class of 1999), Kristan (Miller) Priest (Class of 2000), Wade McCorgary (Class of 2001), Bradley Priest (Class of 2002), and Amanda (Albert) McCorgary (Class of 2005).

Others that attended Cowley are Cheryl (Nugen) Townsley, Aaron McCorgary, and John McVey. While, Krystle McCorgary, granddaughter of Eugene and Mary Ellen, is employed at the college as an admissions representative. Stephanie (McCorgary) Osterthun’s husband, Stu, handled the public relations duties at the college from 1992-2005.

Eugene’s brother, Marvin McCorgary (Class of 1960) and his wife Anita (Belew) McCorgary (Class of 1959), have also established scholarships with Cowley College’s Endowment Fund. The couple was named Cowley College’s Outstanding Tiger Alumni for 2008.

“It’s great to see multiple scholarships being established within one family,” Massey said. “It shows their love for the college and what we do.”

The McCorgary’s are a farm family and through this scholarship hope to make an impact on students majoring in agriculture. Eugene and Mary Ellen’s family has a lot of ties to agriculture as sons Steve, Martin and Larry; son-in-law Lester; grandsons Brian Priest, Bradley Priest, and Wade McCorgary; and extended family members John Bossi and Matt Nies are all involved in farming. Grandson Aaron McCorgary is a research assistant at the Monsanto Corn Breeding Site in Garden City. While, extended family member Lewis Kuchar is the manager of P&K Equipment, a John Deere dealership in Blackwell, OK.

“We are glad to establish this scholarship for a student from Cowley or Sumner County that wants to go on and obtain a degree in agriculture,” Steve McCorgary said.

For more information on the scholarship, contact Shannon Massey at 620-441-5319.