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Press Release



April 19, 2016


Ben Schears receives Community Cornerstone Award


SchearsBen Schears, Cowley College vice president for institutional advancement, has been named CornerBank’s Community Cornerstone Award recipient in Arkansas City for April. In recognition of his service, CornerBank will contribute $100 to the non-profit organization of his choice. Schears has chosen the Cowley College Foundation for the Student Emergency Fund to receive this donation. A reception honoring Schears will be held at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, April 21 in the CornerBank Community Room, 125 N. Summit, Arkansas City. The public is invited to attend.

Schears is an active leader, volunteer and cornerstone for the Arkansas City community having served on a list of organizations and spent many years at Cowley College. During his time at the college, he has accumulated thirteen years of progressive higher education leadership experience, which include student affairs, recruitment, academic advising, enrollment management, instruction and fundraising. For the past five years, Schears has served as Cowley College’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Most recently, having achieved a lifelong dream, he accepted the presidency of Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland, Kansas, and will begin his time there on July 1, 2016.

Schears has been involved with a number of committees and organizations in the community. Some of the committees that he has served on include the Council on Resource Development; Kansas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers; American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers; Cowley College Foundation; Administrative Council; Marketing Committee/Advisory Council; Wellness Committee; Academic Quality Improvement Program; Student Affairs Committee; and Enrollment Services Committee. In his spare time, he also serves or has served with the following civic organizations:  Rural Water District #1; 21st Century Advisory Council; currently services at the President of the Rotary Club of Arkansas City; Arkansas City Chamber of Commerce; Ark City Area Arts Council; CornerBank Community Advisory Board; Adams Elementary School Site Council; and Leadership Cowley County.

It is obvious through his years at Cowley College and list of organizations that Schears truly wants to make a positive impact on the community. He said, “To be very honest, as I run through this list of accomplishments, none of them matter to me as much as the relationships I’ve built over the years. Some of my greatest joys are when I watch our students walk across the stage each year at graduation – some of which would not have had the opportunity without the support the college, our employees, and this community provide to them.”

Schears and his wife Rachel, who he met while they were both Cowley students, have five children: Natalie, Noah, Nathaniel, Sydney, and Audrey.

Schears was selected for the award by the Community Cornerstone Award selection committee, which includes Bob Foster, Arleta Rice, Judy Reedy and Curt Freeland. All are previous recipients of this award. Volunteers are the cornerstones of healthy communities. They’re on your corner – the people next door. They’re in your corner – helping make our communities stronger. The Community Cornerstone Award recognizes the time and effort of volunteers dedicated to serving people and enhancing the quality of life in Cowley County.

If you know of a Cowley County resident who has shown servant leadership in community service, contact Joyce McArtor at 442-6500 or for nomination guidelines.