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Press Release



November 13, 2013

Endowment banquet celebrates the college


Endowment banquetTreated to an evening of dinner and music, a large crowd of Cowley College donors attended the Annual Endowment Association Banquet held Monday in the Earle N. Wright Community Room.

The event had generous support from Farm Bureau Financial Services, CPA Solutions L.L.C., MidAmerican Credit Union, and The Trust Company of Kansas.

Instrumental Music instructor Josh Fleig provided music throughout the banquet, while the CC Singers paid tribute to the Veterans in attendance by performing songs of each branch of the U.S. Armed Services.

“It was great to be able to host the event on Veterans Day and have the chance to pay tribute to those who have served to protect the freedoms we enjoy,” Cowley College vice president of institutional advancement Ben Schears said.

Dr. Nick Rogers, President of the college’s Endowment Association, served as emcee for the evening.

Rogers stated more than $126,000 was given out in scholarships over the past year, while 14 new funds were created thanks to Endowment Association donors. A total of 250 scholarships were also awarded during the past academic year.

“The work we do in the Endowment Association in support of the students would not be possible without the outstanding support we receive from our alumni and donors – they make it all possible,” Schears said.

Great Western Dining provided a wonderful dinner. While, the Vienna Boys’ Choir performed in the Robert Brown Theatre following the banquet.

During the banquet, NDT (Non-Destructive Testing) instructor/Career and Technical Education Department Chair Joe Clasen 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.

Clasen teaches Non-Destructive Testing classes at both Cowley College’s Arkansas City and Mulvane Centers. He attended Cowley College as a student prior to beginning teaching at the school in 2007. He has brought the NDT field into the online setting and helped create the world’s first NDT associate degree program.

Clasen enjoys what he does and was humbled to be named the recipient of the Young Achiever Award.

“I work with a lot of great people and appreciate all of the support,” Clasen said. “It’s been a great ride.”

The Ambassador Award was presented to Cowley College custodian Gary Hale. The award recognizes individuals who have provided sustained volunteer or other service, or through philanthropic work to Cowley College.

Hale recently completed his third year as President of the Ark City Optimist Club. He also serves on the Board of the Big Brother and Big Sisters Northwest Community Center, and is involved with the Arkansas City Area Chamber of Commerce. Along with this, Hale was a previous president of the Ark City Lions Club and started the fishing program at the Ark City Recreation Center.

“I try to stay involved in the community and am honored to receive this award,” Hale said. “My goal is to get the kids at Cowley more involved in organizations and clubs, because these students are our future.”

The Cowley College Concert Choir, under the direction of Connie Donatelli, got the banquet attendees ready for the Vienna Boys’ Choir concert by performing a pair of songs to cap the banquet.

To donate to the Cowley College Endowment Association, contact Elizabeth Thummel at 620-441-5319, or Ben Schears at 620-441-5245.

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