October 18, 2011
Endowment banquet celebrates the college and the county
Calling Monday night’s Endowment Association banquet a celebration
of what Cowley County has done to support Cowley College, a capacity
crowd of donors filled the Earle N. Wright Community Room.
Cowley College president Dr. Patrick J. McAtee extended his appreciation to those in attendance for helping make the college what it is today.
“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Dr. McAtee said. “Since I began here in 1987 we have transformed the campus and the county and thanks to you there is no end to what we may accomplish. The best is yet to come.”
Dalene McDonald provided music throughout the banquet, while Dr. Nick Rogers, the new President of the college’s Endowment Association, served as emcee for the evening.
Dr. Rogers spoke of the many wonderful things happening at the college, including the opening of a new dormitory, The Lodge, and the new Travis Hafner Training Center, which is set to open in November.
He then introduced the Endowment Board, which consists of Curt Freeland, Albert Bacastow, Jr., Dick Bonfy, Bill Docking, Steve English, Bob Foster, LaDonna Lanning, Joyce McArtor, Skip Mefford, Mike Munson, Patty Neises, Dr. Nathan Niles, Bruce Schwyhart, John Sturd, and Dr. Patrick J. McAtee.
Great Western Dining provided a wonderful dinner. While, 4Troops provided an entertaining concert following the banquet.
Dr. Rogers presented Freeland with a gift for serving the previous six years as the President of the Endowment Association and then thanked Ben Schears, vice president of institutional advancement, Shannon Massey, executive director of alumni and development, and scholarship coordinator Lisa Grose, for the work they did planning the banquet.
During the banquet, Kris Ripley 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.
Ripley, who serves as the digital content person for Cowley College, majored in graphic design and graduated from Cowley College in 2006. While a student at Cowley, he started as a work study and eventually took over working part time doing graphic design work for the school shortly after graduation.
Ripley has been a full-time employee at the college since July 2010.
He was the recipient of three Medallion Awards at the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) “Omaha Stampede” held Sept. 25-27 in Omaha, NE.
Ripley took home a pair of Silver awards for his work on the 2010-2011 college viewbook and the 2010-2011 men’s basketball media guide. He also won a Bronze award in the print ad category.
Being named the Young Achiever at the college came as a surprise to Ripley.
“I am honored to be noticed in front of all of the donors of the college,” Ripley said. “I enjoy being at Cowley. It’s a fun place to work and I am easily inspired by the people around me.”
The Cowley College Ambassador Award was presented to Peg Williams. The award recognizes individuals who have provided sustained volunteer or other service, or through philanthropic work to Cowley College.
Williams, who graduated from Arkansas City Junior College in 1967, serves as the manager in the Oscar Kimmell Dormitory. She has worked closely with the school’s Foster Parent program and has adopted more than 80 student-athletes over the years.
Williams was shocked to hear her name called as the recipient of the Ambassador Award.
“I am extremely honored, the college is my home,” Williams said.
She has worked in several capacities at the college since beginning her employment at the school in 1980. Williams originally worked in financial aid before going to work in the school’s athletic department.
After going back to school and earning a teaching degree from Southwestern College, Williams taught secretarial science classes and helped develop the computer application class at Cowley College. She would teach for 19 years at the school before going to work for the school’s TRIO program, where she spent four years prior to retiring in 2007.
Even in retirement, Williams worked part time in the school’s business office. She came out of retirement to take over full-time as the dorm manager in the Oscar Kimmell Dormitory in February of this year.
“I don’t know what it was about Cowley, but I just fell in love with the place,” Williams said. “It has been that way since I first walked through the doors to the school in 1965.”
Overall, the evening was an overwhelming success. Dr. Rogers thanked those in attendance for their support.
“The college would not be what it is today and the students would not have these wonderful opportunities without you,” Dr. Rogers said.