Page 1



TABLE OF CONTENTS Foundation Board of Directors Mike Clifton • Suzanne Coin • Carolyn Connell Vicki Forbes • Evan Funk • Alan Jaax Janice Jones • Lance Lechtenberg • Ryan Murry Jessica Ohman • Dalton Patterson Forrest Rhodes • Jeremy Sundgren • Rod Young

Ex Officio Dr. Kim Krull, President Eileen Dreiling, Trustee Liaison

Foundation Staff Stacy Cofer Vice President of Advancement 316.323.6729 | Mary Moon Executive Director of Community Advancement 316.218.6338 | Averie Nelson Scholarship Coordinator 316.323.6737 | Hayley Hobbs Advancement & Communications Coordinator 316.323.6734 | Debbie Sharp Director of Finance 316.323.6733 |

Student Worker Sarah Lindner

Feature Writers Hayley Hobbs • Alice Mannette Butler Community College Foundation Magazine is published twice a year and maintains the copyright of the materials contained within these pages. All rights reserved. Please send comments and updates to Butler Community College Foundation, 901 S. Haverhill Road, El Dorado, KS 67042, by email to, by phone at 316.323.6731, or by fax to 316.323.6750.


Table of Contents


Message from Stacy Cofer


Circle of the Gold Society Luncheon


Alumni Highlight: Dr. David Carter


President’s Donor Dinner


Jeannette Walls


Excellence in Diversity Awards Breakfast


Foundation Board of Directors


Four Generations of Butler Success


The Opportunity Project


Alumni Highlight: maidpro Cleaning Service


Reaching New Heights Scholarship Dinner


In Memory of Mary K Connell and Tom Erwin

Cover: Students on the El Dorado campus Photo Credit: Ethyn Cole-Falk, Marketing student worker 2 | BUTLER COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOUNDATION

Notice of Nondiscrimination (Equal Opportunity Employment) It is the policy of this organization to provide equal opportunities without regard to race, color, religion,national origin, gender, sexual preference, age, or disability.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin spoke those words that ring ever true today. In the Foundation, our daily work is focused on investing in our students so they may succeed. That is why we are so thankful for the support of our donors who are the true investors in the future of Butler. When the necessity of education or the presence of an institution is questioned, we risk taking away an important influence in our region—but most importantly, the thousands of futures that are transformed by the accessibility, affordability, and quality of a Butler education are at risk. Single parents whose only option is to take classes part-time to start a new career. Brand new high school graduates on their own for the first time trying to find themselves. First-generation college students who are navigating the sometimes complex and intricate waters of a completely unknown world.

Would we leave these significant futures behind? Our mission is to provide opportunities that make a difference in the lives of students. Their gratitude and success is ours as well. Without them and without you, we cease to fulfill the mission we are driven to excel for every day. To encourage timidity or decline is to move backwards and no longer remain a beacon of innovation for community colleges.

We would love to hear how Butler had a positive impact on you or someone you know! Please share your story on social media using the hashtag #BecauseOfButler.

Your belief and support in the work of Butler and the Foundation give purpose to so many bright students, young and old, who are pursuing their dream, their goal, their new aspirations. Thank you for everything you give that contributes to the success of Butler and its legacy. The smiling—even relieved—faces of graduates who have earned a degree are able to have many opportunities open to them because of you.

With gratitude,

Stacy Cofer Vice President of Advancement


 Elsie and Gerald Haines

The Circle of the Gold Society Luncheon, held June 22, recognized four new individuals and couples who have committed planned gifts to the college. 2018 Hubbard Award of Excellence winner Kaylee Farmer spoke to guests and thanked them for their generosity toward students. Event sponsors were The Commerce Trust Company, Hargrove Law Office/Jim and Sally Hargrove, and Lance and Lisa Lechtenberg.

 Robert Widener

 Kaylee Farmer, student speaker

"There is a special feeling you get from Butler," Farmer said during her speech. "It feels like home. The support from folks like you make that feeling and experience available to students."

 Mal and Janice Shaffer

This year's inductees were • Joseph Bayles, Wichita, Kan. • Gerald and Elsie Haines, El Dorado, Kan. • Mal and Janice Shaffer, El Dorado, Kan. • Robert Widener, Raytown, Mo.

 Joseph Bayles



Dr. David Carter International Speaker and Butler Alumnus Spreads Message of Never Giving Up For David Carter, Ph.D., there’s no place like home. Home to him is Butler Community College. “I have so many fond memories of my time here,” Carter told the crowd at a staff conference during orientation week in September.

“My mind got stretched here. The courses I took changed my life. When I was being chased by lions, it felt good to go to Butler. Butler represents that calming presence.” Carter, now an international speaker who has appeared on C-Span and TEDx, gave two presentations—one for faculty and one for students—on how to empower their lives. More than a decade ago, Carter took classes at Butler. Both his parents were illiterate, he was raised in poverty and foster homes, and eventually, at 17, joined the U.S. Air Force. It was at McConnell Air Force Base that he found Butler. He later obtained a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree in military history from Norwich University, and a Ph.D. in higher education from Benedictine University. He became a teacher and speaker; his goal was to empower others.

 Shellie Gutierrez, Butler's education department chair, taught Carter as a student. Each were thrilled to have a reunion!

“With every goal, there will be an obstacle. You represent that calming presence. Try to be that for your students,” Carter told faculty and acknowledged four of his mentors who watched his presentation. They sat riveted—two had tears in their eyes. “More than 10 years ago, he was very quiet and reflective. He would study people,” said Shellie Gutierrez, Carter’s education professor. “He commanded presence like no other student. He’s just amazing, and I’m so glad I got to be a part of his life.” Carter explained to the faculty that what each and every teacher is doing is impactful. They are not just teaching a subject; they are changing a life.

“It’s all about being the best teacher you can be,” Carter told the crowd. “You’re helping to change people who will have an impact on society.” To the students, he said to never give up and always be flexible. He told them to reach beyond their expectations, hold on to their humility, and leave a legacy.

“Get an education so you can inspire and move others. Remember the goal of graduating from Butler,” Carter said emphatically. “But also remember, you’re just getting warmed up!”

 Carter takes a selfie with the group of students he spoke to.


President's Donor DINNER

 Matt Jacobs, Trustee Society inductee

 Natasha Nelson, student speaker

 Ralph Unger, Melissa Schwartz


 Mike and Lucy Clifton, Trustee Society inductees

 Noteables

 Anna Johnson and Phil Johnson

 Carolyn Connell represented the Connell Family and

received the Foundation Award for Distinguished Service to Butler Community College.

 Candace and Colin Parry

 Sue Givens, Heather Rinkenbaugh, Tiffani Price


 Jeremy Sundgren received the Distinguished Service Award for Directors of the Foundation Board.

 Jim Kirkbride, Ryan Liess, Phillip Solorio

 Jim Reeves, Heritage Society inductee

 Smorgaschords


 Junetta and Victor Everett

 Security 1st Title, Trustee Society inductee

 Kelly and Shannon Snedden

 Members of the volleyball team helped Great Western Dining serve for the evening.

 New inductees to the Diamond Society, the first lifetime giving level. Members have given at least $10,000 to the Foundation.

 LaDonna Snook and Stacey Steffes

 Linda and Harold Harmon



Bestselling Author Jeannette Walls Inspires more than 400 attendees at Butler

Bestselling author of the New York Times #1 book The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls spoke to more than 400 Oct. 22 at Butler Community College.

During a question and answer session following her presentation, Walls invited–especially the students in attendance–all audience members to be as honest as possible.

Drawing from her compelling memoir, which has been adapted into a major motion picture, Walls shared anecdotes from her childhood and from throughout her life, demonstrating that we all have more in common than we think and that our flaws can be our greatest assets.

“We’re all so much more than the labels other people stick on us and the ones we stick on each other,” Walls said. “We all have our scars. Some are visible and some are invisible. Your scars are your story.”

“I was completely convinced that if people knew the truth about me, I would lose everything,” Walls told the audience. “[But] if you’re able to let down your barriers, authenticity is contagious.”

The author sat for an interview with the student newspaper and television station prior to her 7:00 p.m. speaking engagement and following the event spent two hours autographing books, speaking to fans, and taking pictures. From guests bearing brand new copies of her novels, to dog-eared and well-read versions, each person had a special moment with Walls. Walls’ appearance is made possible by the Harold Smith Cultural Series, a gift to Butler County from the estate of Harold Smith, an El Dorado native. Smith’s wish was “to give local people the opportunity to hear speakers they would not otherwise hear.”


“Events like this are a gift to Butler County from the college,” Vice President of Advancement Stacy Cofer said. “It is one of the many ways we give back and make an impact in the county and would not be possible without generous and visionary donors like Harold Smith.”

Past Harold Smith Speakers: • 2016–Fabien Cousteau, grandson of explorer Jacques Cousteau • 2014–Michael Uslan, originator and executive producer of the Batman movies • 2012–Warren Brown, founder and owner of CakeLove Bakery • 2008–Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company • 2002–Barbara Bush, former first lady and presidential mother Photos from the event can be found on the Butler Foundation's Facebook page.


Excellence in Diversity

Awards Breakfast Butler Community College honored Envision and Patty Koehler, president and CEO, JR Custom Metal Products, at the college’s Excellence in Diversity Awards breakfast on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Abode Venue. Envision, which was honored with the Community Diversity Award, gives individuals who are blind or visually impaired, the resources, services, and support they need to be independent and self-sufficient in a sighted world. Envision is committed to addressing the lack of accommodation in job settings for people with vision loss. By taking the lead to prepare people with vision loss to perform in high-tech professional jobs, Envision is working to create a pipeline of available professionals who are equipped with the resources and tools to join the workforce while also working with employers to create inclusive workplaces.

 Dr. Kim Krull, Michael Monteferrante—Envision,

Patty Koehler—JR Custom Metal Products, Mary Moon

diversity challenges and opportunities in workplaces and in Koehler, who received the Diversity Leadership Award, was chosen for her extensive community involvement along with her the community; and to raise awareness of Advance Kansas. work at JR Custom Metal Products, a family-owned business “Divisiveness is costly to our futures and to our kids,” Johnson started by her father. Koehler credits the success of the company to the diverse talents of its dedicated employees. Her said, “What makes us better is that which we do not have. It’s our differences that make us better, and we need to learn to service to the business and manufacturing profession includes organize around our common values.” the Wichita Independent Business Association, Wichita Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and MAMTC. Koehler’s charitable service in the community includes two stints on the “Advance Kansas taught me I did boards of Newman University and Catholic Charities. The event also celebrated 10 years of Advance Kansas. Brian Black, of Spirit AeroSystems, and Juan Johnson, president of Diversity Leadership in Action, both spoke at the event. Spirit AeroSystems was also recognized for supporting Advance Kansas for 10 years. Now in its seventh year, Butler Community College’s Excellence in Diversity Awards Breakfast is held annually to recognize excellence in diversity and inclusion; increase awareness of the value of supporting efforts to address


not know everything about diversity and inclusion. It taught me stronger leadership management principals and to understand the gifts, talents, and creativity each person brings to the table,” said Koehler.

The event was sponsored by long-time supporter Spirit AeroSystems as the presenting sponsor and Hutton as the gold sponsor.

Board of Directors

The Foundation Board of Directors meets quarterly and governs the operations and investments of the Foundation. Board members serve three-year terms and represent the communities surrounding Butler Community College.

 Front Row Left to Right: Dr. Jessica Ohman, Jeremy Sundgren, Evan Funk, Rod Young, Ryan Murry, Janice Jones, Eileen Dreiling Back Row Left to Right: Vicki Forbes, Alan Jaax, Dr. Kim Krull, Mike Clifton Not pictured: Carolyn Connell, Suzanne Coin, Lance Lechtenberg, Dalton Patterson, Forrest Rhodes

Alan Jaax—Retired, American AgCredit President Finance & Investment Committee Forrest Rhodes—Partner, Foulston Siefkin LLP President-Elect Finance & Investment Committee Mike Clifton—Owner, Clifton CPA Treasurer Finance & Investment Committee Suzanne Coin '90—Community Volunteer Carolyn Connell—Community Volunteer

Vicki Forbes—Community Volunteer Finance & Investment Committee

Dalton Patterson—Owner, Daltco, Inc. Finance & Investment Committee

Evan Funk '00—Commercial Banker, Fidelity Bank Finance & Investment Committee

Jeremy Sundgren ’02—Partner, Sundgren Realty Finance & Investment Committee

Janice Jones—Retired Nursing Faculty, Butler Community College

Rod Young—President, Professional Engineering Consultants, P.A.

Lance Lechtenberg—Owner, Edward Jones Investments–Lance Lechtenberg Finance & Investment Committee

EX OFFICIO Dr. Kim Krull–President, Butler Community College

Ryan Murry—President, ICI Dr. Jessica Ohman—Associate Vice President of Student Services, Butler Community College

Eileen Dreiling—Board of Trustees Liaison


 Left to Right: Danny Hamilton, Ryan Hamilton, Dale Hamilton, Dala Hamilton

Four Generations STRONG

Editor's Note: Shortly following the completion of this article, Dale Hamilton passed away. Memorial contributions may be made to the Butler Foundation for an agriculture scholarship in memory of Dale.

Butler has become a legacy for the Hamilton family. Three generations have passed through the college's doors, all say they were enriched both academically and socially. Starting in 1932 with Veneta Muriel Hobbs, who grew up in De Graff, the family began its legacy. It was in 1933 when she graduated from El Dorado Junior College (Butler Community College’s original name). Now, a fourth generation student, Muriel’s great grandson Ryan, begins his journey at his “neighborhood” college. Ryan Hamilton, who grew up in Whitewater and graduated from Remington High School last spring, is proud to follow in his great-grandmother’s, grandfather’s, grandmother’s, father’s, and aunt and uncle’s footsteps. “By coming to Butler, I can continue to help my family on the farm,” Ryan said.


Roberts, Donnie Hamilton

For Dale Hamilton, Ryan’s grandfather, who graduated in 1955, Butler was exactly the right fit. After growing up on the family farm in Cassoday and attending both Cassoday and El Dorado High Schools, he headed straight to his closest community college.

“I loved the teachers and I wanted to take vocational agriculture,” Dale said. “My friends and I all drove together. It was a great time.” Dale, along with his buddies from high school, knew the college in El Dorado was where he needed to go. Donna, his wife and Ryan’s grandmother, also graduated from the school in the 1950s. She went on to Emporia State University and became a teacher. The couple’s three children, also raised on the 1884 homestead in Cassoday, decided the two-year college in El Dorado was the perfect fit. All three attended during the 1980s.

Donnie Hamilton took classes in auto mechanics and then went on to found a trucking company based in Valley Center. Living just a few miles from his father, he continues to raise cattle and bale hay. His sister, Dala Hamilton Roberts, who graduated from the college in 1983, followed in her mother’s footsteps, attended Emporia State, worked in industry and eventually became a teacher. “Butler had small class sizes. It wasn’t overwhelming,” Dala said. “It gave everybody in the family a good foundation for what we’re doing career-wise.” Ryan’s father, Danny Hamilton, Dala and Donnie’s brother, also took classes and ran track at Butler.

“It’s unique to have four generations attend the same college,” Danny said. “I’m happy that Ryan’s following in his grandfather’s footsteps. His greatgrandmother started the path. It’s a great legacy.” Now Ryan, the fourth generation student at Butler Community College, is beginning school. “I remember Mrs. Bradford. She made English interesting,” Dale said. “I had great teachers there. I want them (my children and grandchildren) to do what they want to do and be successful.” Dale knows Ryan will be in good hands at Butler. He is proud of his family legacy.

“Mom (Donna) always said education was important,” Dala said. “She encouraged us to go to college.”


The Opportunity Project TOP Early Learning Centers Scholarship Program Helps Others Become Successful In the winter of 2015, not long after she began working at TOP (The Opportunity Project) Early Learning Center South in Wichita as an assistant teacher, Sierra Pieschl learned of a scholarship program that would help pay qualified employees' tuition at Butler Community College. Pieschl was already in a Butler early education course taught at the Center and had been thinking about earning her degree. She decided to apply for the scholarship and was accepted. In Spring 2018, Pieschl graduated from Butler with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Early Childhood Education and is now working at the Center as a preschool teacher. “It definitely made a difference in receiving my education,” said Pieschl, who also received the Pell Grant and academic scholarships. “Without those scholarships I would have earned my degree, but it would have been a lot harder.” Pieschl is just one of several Butler students to benefit from the TOP Scholarship Program, a partnership between Butler, the Bank of America Foundation, and TOP Early Learning Centers that helps TOP’s teachers and parents earn their degrees. The Opportunity Project, a non-profit organization, was created in 2003 and now operates three preschool and child care centers that serve more than 600 children ages one to five from low-income households. TOP’s mission is to deliver a high-quality early learning experience to children living in poverty, providing them tools needed for emotional, academic, and lifelong success. TOP’s Executive Director Cornelia Stevens said the scholarship program was born of necessity. “We have a shortage of qualified early childhood education teachers—it's a local and a national problem,” Stevens said. “Some of our employees are interested in becoming teachers but don't have the resources. So, we decided to grow our own.” To qualify for a scholarship, TOP employees must be early childhood education majors. Parents of TOP students are not restricted to a major and can attend other schools, although most choose Butler. Currently, about 46 TOP employees and parents are receiving scholarships.


 Sierra Pieschl at her Early Learning Center South classroom.

TOP parent and scholarship recipient, Tisha Kirk, earned her associate degree in elementary education at Butler this spring and will pursue a bachelor's degree in education at Emporia State University this fall. “The scholarship helped me buy a computer and pay for Wi-Fi for the classes that were online,” said Kirk, who has 5- and 9-year-old daughters. “I started going to Butler years ago but didn't finish, but I always wanted to be a teacher. When I learned about the scholarship I said, 'I want to do this,'" Butler Foundation Scholarship Coordinator Averie Nelson said the college recognized the need to help students like Kirk and Pieschl. “Students already face uphill battles in many areas, including transportation, having healthy food, and making ends meet,” Nelson said. “The scholarship we give them, which is made possible by the Bank of America Foundation, supports these students.” Pieschl is excited about her experience and recommends both Butler and TOP to others. “Butler makes it easy for students to achieve their academic goals, and TOP is very caring about their employees and wants them to succeed academically,” Pieschl said. “They helped make it possible for me to get me where I wanted to be.”


maidpro Cleaning Service If you told Paige and Dwight Rounds that someday they would be working together and running a flourishing company of their own, these siblings would have been surprised. After high school, the El Dorado natives headed off in different directions. Paige attended Butler Community College and Dwight joined the U.S. Air Force. After graduating from Butler, Paige obtained a bachelor’s degree in business management from Wichita State University. She headed into the workforce, but she always had a nagging feeling that she wanted to work on her own. Dwight became a flying crew chief, but eventually retired and headed back to El Dorado. He realized that he too wanted to major in business and began the entrepreneurship program at Butler. Paige approached her brother with a prospect–to open a business together. They did a lot of research and settled on maidpro–a cleaning franchise. While working on his entrepreneurship certificate, Dwight used his real-world job experience for projects. In accounting, he learned about balance sheets and financial reports. In marketing, he created a marketing plan.

“I got to write papers about our business,” Dwight said. “My teacher reviewed my business plan. It was wonderful. I think it helped steer us in the right direction.” Since no other maidpro franchises are in the area, the siblings were free to choose the best location. They chose to locate their office at Tyler and 21st Street. Dwight drives in from Leon, and Paige commutes from El Dorado. They enjoy the commute but most of all they love the business. “You really have to have the attitude of customer service,” Paige said. “Our grandparents and parents owned their own business.” The Rounds’ are always busy. Their plans turned into a great success. Dwight decided to earn a two-year business degree at Butler and hopes to eventually obtain a bachelor’s degree as well.

“Butler went a long way in helping me feel comfortable with customer service,” Dwight said. “It was wonderful speaking with Jared McGinley after class and bouncing ides off of him. I’m also looking forward to my second accounting class.” All cleaning professionals are bonded and insured. Each employee has an extensive background check, Paige said. The public can have a maid come to their home weekly, biweekly, monthly, or for a one-time clean. Paige and Dwight run random quality assurance checks and always use a trainer for the first cleaning. To find out more call 316.281.7237 or reach them at

 Sibling entrepreneurs, Dwight and Paige Rounds



Scholarship DINNER

 Averie Nelson welcomes guests

 Alan Jaax and Dalton Patterson

 Greg Hiebert and Betty Hiebert

 Dennis Hanson and Kerri Young, Walter & Cuma Woods

 John and Barbara Templin, Cherokee Reagan, Anita Seivley

 The Smorgaschords and Noteables gave a short, impromptu concert

 Teresa Riffel, alumna and vice president of quality at

Scholarship recipient

following the event.


Cirrus Aircraft, was the guest speaker.

 Taylor Godown and Tara Mayes, Grizzly Success

 More than 250 students, donors, and Butler staff attended the event.

 Susie Schulze, Janice Jones

 Rod Young, Charlie Moon

 Pam Cross, Pam Waite

 Riffel, an Augusta native, lives in Duluth, Minn., and traveled to Kansas

Scholarship recipients

to speak to guests.


Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 181 Parsons, KS

901 S. Haverhill Road El Dorado, KS 67042 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

IN MEMORY OF Mary K Connell, generous Butler supporter, passed away in September. A vibrant part of El Dorado’s community, Mary K’s legacy of kindness will forever live on and we are so grateful for her many years of friendship. Retired Chief Information Officer Tom Erwin passed away in August. Tom transformed the IT department during his 30+ years and left his mark on the college and our hearts forever. Both of these generous individuals honored us with memorial gifts that may be given to the O.J. & Mary K Connell Presidential Scholarship for Ag and the Tom Erwin Technology Fund, respectively.


 Tom Erwin

 Mary K Connell

To give securely online, please visit

Profile for Butler Foundation

Fall 2018 Butler Community College Foundation Magazine  

The fall 2018 issue of the Butler Community College Foundation's magazine, published twice annually.

Fall 2018 Butler Community College Foundation Magazine  

The fall 2018 issue of the Butler Community College Foundation's magazine, published twice annually.