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Press Release



December 13, 2013


Area newspaper benefiting from Cowley College


TravelerHelping provide the community with work-ready individuals, nine current and former Cowley College students could be seen working at the Arkansas City Traveler newspaper in the fall of 2013.

Traveler employees Marilyn Coury, Suvanah Perdue, Jennie Steelman, Grant Urban, Brittany Collins, Kay Batdorf, Pam Harper, Susie Kinkaid, and Ali Lambert each attended Cowley College.

Suvanah Perdue graduated from Cowley College in 2012 and serves as the assistant advertising director for the Traveler. Her mother-in-law, Julie Perdue, is a secretary in the college’s Registrar’s Office and has worked at the school since 1996.

Traveler"Cowley was a great experience”, Suvanah Perdue said. “All the staff are very helpful and made me feel like family. There were many courses to choose from and each teacher made extra time for one-on-one, if needed. I felt that they wanted to see me succeed, just as much as I wanted to. Not to mention, such a thrifty foundation for my sustaining education”.

Traveler circulation manager Marilyn Coury chose to attend Cowley College beginning in 1969 after graduating from Arkansas City High School.

"It was my first choice, because I could save money by living at home, while attending a college with smaller classes," Coury said. "The teachers, such as Sue Jean Covacevich, August Trollman, and Fostine Moncrief, were qualified, personable and inspiring. After graduating from Cowley, I found that all my classes transferred to Wichita State, which made it easier to continue my music degree."

Coury's three children also chose to attend Cowley as its two-year program fit their career goals.

"My youngest daughter (Sarah) decided to enjoy the low-cost housing as a sophomore and found that the campus was always clean and safe," Coury said. "She enjoyed the many activities the college provided and became more involved with the student government, which helped her to become more confident and prepared her for her move to a larger four-year college."

Sarah was a candidate for Queen Alalah In 2005 and went on to graduate from both Cowley and Emporia State University. She recently completed her Master's degree in music therapy from KU this fall and works as a certified music therapist in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area.

Her other daughter, Kimberly (Coury) Swopes was a student in Cowley's cosmetology program. While, Coury's son, Elias, went through the school's aviation program in the late 1990's and has been employed at G.E. for more than 10 years.

Coury also had her granddaughter, Brittany Swopes, graduate from Cowley in May 2013.

"Now when I visit other area colleges I find myself thinking how lucky we are to have such as great college in our town, Arkansas City," Coury said. "I believe Cowley College ranks at the top of the list of two-year colleges with: low student/teacher ratio, dedicated teachers, friendly staff, affordable classes, on-campus housing and beautiful modern facilities."

Coury’s connection to Cowley does not end there. She had artwork of hers on display at the college for many years and met her husband, Tom, while the two were students at the school. The glass/tile mosaic that was displayed at the college was titled “"The Sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers.. but for the whole worlds joy".

Coury’s daughter, Sarah, also met her future husband at Cowley as she and former Tiger tennis player, Julian Rios, attended the school together and were married last year.

Coury’s husband, Tom, was also on a tennis scholarship at Cowley when Marilyn and he met.
Coury’s daughter, Kimberly, has owned her own salon, "Stranz 'N Tanz", in Newkirk, Okla, for the past six years.

“Cowley gave her a great start,” Coury said. “It is pretty awesome that our family has attended and graduated from Cowley College for three generations now.”

Along with Coury and Perdue, the following Traveler employees attended Cowley College: Classified manager Pam Harper, business manager Susie Kinkaid, ACTION! Editor Grant Urban, head compositor Kay Batdorf, circulation clerk Brittany Collins, assistant compositor Jennie Steelman, and mailroom clerk Ali Lambert.

On July 1, 2009, David Allen Seaton, publisher of the Traveler, succeeded his father Dave as president of Winfield Publishing Co.

"So many of our employees have either graduated from Cowley, or taken continuing education classes from Cowley, that we owe a debt of gratitude to the college,” David Allen Seaton said. “We have used Cowley to help us with customer service training and with our website development. Our newsroom, especially, has benefited from talented Cowley interns. The college is such an important institution, both economically and culturally, to the Arkansas City area, it is hard to imagine life here without it."