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Press Release



January 8, 2016


Scholarship developed in honor of James and Verna Zang

Education has always been important in the lives of James and Verna Zang as well as that of their daughter, Christy, and son-in-law, Dr. Dennis C. Rittle. Hoping to impact the lives of future college students, the Rittle and Zang families have created a scholarship at Cowley College.

The scholarship, which honors the legacy of Jim and Verna Zang for their tireless commitment to support education, will begin in the fall of 2016. The scholarship will be awarded to a student majoring in the field of education, in particular teacher education, but can include students majoring in early childhood development. The recipient must have at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average.

Dr. Rittle serves as president of Cowley College and understands the impact a scholarship can have on a student.

“My wife and I had to pay our own way through school and know the difference a scholarship can make,” Dr. Rittle said. “We have been the benefactors of other people’s kindness and are now at a point in our lives where we can help benefit others.”

Jim and Verna both earned degrees in education, while Verna and Jim’s mother, Viva Zang, and sister, Joy Leatherman, are retired educators. Christy is an instructor at the Arkansas City Middle School, while her sister, Sara Grove, teaches preschool in El Dorado. Their cousin, Kathi Leatherman, is a teacher in the Wichita Public School District.

“We saw the joy Jim and Verna had by being involved in education,” Dr. Rittle said.

This scholarship honors the Zang’s investment into their daughter Christy, a third generation educator, and, equally, their investment into their son-in-law, Dr. Dennis C. Rittle, who is a first generation educator.