The Garden City Community College Endowment Association elected members and officers in an annual meeting Thursday evening and honored GCCC Science Instructor Terry Lee with the Robert A. Whippo Outstanding Board Member Award.
The association, which raises funds for academic and technical scholarships as well as projects for academics, unanimously elected Jessica Dirks president, Dana Woodbury vice president, Kelley Jenkins secretary and Peg Nally treasurer. All serve as volunteers. Dirks is quality and compliance officer at St. Catherine Hospital and Woodbury owns Culligan of Southwest Kansas. Jenkins is an instructor at Bernadine Sitts Intermediate Center and Nally is a member of the Accelacare Physical Therapy staff.
In addition, Lee, Nancy Leiker and Beth Tedrow were elected as executive committee members at large. Leiker is past president of the association and Tedrow is the retired dean of student services at the college.
Board members elected to new two-year terms include Missy Allen, homemaker; Renee Cornett-Wallace, Garden City Wholesale Supply office manager; Dirks; Carolyn Kinney, homemaker and retired business owner; Nally; Kim Shaddix, Premier Enterprises president; Tedrow; Jami Warner, homemaker; and Woodbury.
The meeting and dinner took place at the Clarion Inn and Tedrow presented the service award to Lee, who has devoted his time to the association’s board since 2002 and taught at GCCC since 1985.
“I joined when I was asked to serve on the board,” he explained, noting that he draws satisfaction from “seeing the students reap the benefits, whether it be a monetary award or teaching tools purchased through a mini-grant.”
The award winner knows the value of the association’s support through personal experience.
“I was a student here on academic and athletic scholarships in 1979-1981,” he said, and Tedrow explained that the Leoti native had arrived as a member of the Broncbuster wrestling team.
Lee became a full-time temporary instructor at GCCC in the fall of 1985 and continued through the spring term of 1986, filling a vacancy created by the illness of another instructor. He was selected as a permanent member of the faculty in 1987 and has since developed and led the GCCC cadaver lab, served as Faculty Senate president and spent several years as division director for science and math, also serving on the faculty negotiating team.
Lee teaches in labs and classrooms at the recently renovated Warren Fouse Science and Math Building, the same facility where he took many classes during his student years, when the late Warren Fouse served as an instructor and division director. He earned the GCCC Outstanding Faculty Award in 1989 and 2000.
After earning his associate in science degree at GCCC, he completed a bachelor’s degree in 1983 at Bethany College, Lindsborg. He advanced to Kansas State University and earned a master of science in education in 1986.
He maintains interests in everything from the natural environment to team-building skills developed at the GCCC ROPES challenge course. He grew up on a Southwest Kansas farming and ranching operation and graduated from Wichita County high School in 1979.
In addition to lending his insight and expertise as a board member, he provides financial contributions to the association and makes calls during the annual fall scholarship phonathon. He has served as an at-large member of the board’s executive committee since November of 2010, and offers assistance and support each spring during the organization’s well-known scholarship auction.
“I am just doing what I feel a board member should do,” he said. “I think that GCCC is a very worthwhile place or I would not have spent 26 years of my working life here.”
“It was a good decision to attend college here as well as to work here,” the honoree noted. “It is great to have students who have gone on to professional schools or careers tell me that they appreciated my classes, and that the knowledge they gained made them better at their own chosen professions.”
“Education is very useful to help develop the personal skills, knowledge and tools that are necessary to be successful in society,” Lee said. “It provides an opportunity for people to experience and grow in a relatively safe place. It provides a ‘leg up,’ so to speak, and opens doors that might not necessarily be open without it.”
Leiker was also recognized during the meeting for her service as president by Association Executive Director Jeremy J. Gigot, who was hired in September. He commended Leiker for her two years in the board leadership role. Members of the GCCC Drama Department provided entertainment.
In addition to the board member recognition, the association bestows one or more outstanding service awards each year to benefactors and supporters. Those were given during a scholarship celebration in September to Scott Auction, Garden City; Robinson Alignment, Inc., Garden City; and the family of the late James E. and Sally Wharton, which includes George and Debbie Wharton, Al and Sarah Wharton Diman and David and Judy Hamman Wharton.
The association, which recently surpassed the $80,000 goal in the 33rd annual GCCC Scholarship Phonathon, was able to provide $482,116 in assistance last year to more than 1,000 students, as well as $63,675 in grant funds to GCCC programs.