NEVADA, MO—Cottey College officials are pleased to announce that Cottey has successfully concluded its five-year comprehensive campaign, A Defining Moment: The Campaign for Cottey College, with a bang. College staff, along with thousands of volunteers, raised more than $40.4 million in cash, pledges, and estate gifts. It is the largest sum ever collected in Cottey’s 130-year history, exceeding the $35 million campaign goal set by campaign leaders.
For Muffy Christen and her husband Paul, of Huron, South Dakota, giving back is part of their DNA. It is a trait that they shared with their children Rebecca and Kathryn. Rebecca is a 1975 graduate of Cottey College and both she and her mother have made multiple gifts to Cottey through A Defining Moment Campaign. Recently, Muffy and Rebecca made a joint gift of $100,000 to the Fine Arts Instructional Building.
It has been said that greatest gift is not found in a store but in the heart of a true friend. Certainly this could describe the friendship of Marjean Stewart and Wilma Lawson. Marjean and Wilma became friends when each moved to the Villages II, a military officers’ retirement community in San Antonio. As women sharing the common experience of service to country through their devotion to their military husbands and to each of the posts where they served, these women formed a bond of friendship that has lasted for over a quarter of a century. Each grew to care and respect the other, to learn from each other.
When Donna Helm (nee Tubesing) arrived at Cottey from Wisconsin in 1975, in the typical late summer heat of Nevada, and moved her belongings to a third floor non-air conditioned room in Robertson Hall, she wondered if she might have made a mistake. Thirty-five years later she readily attests that Cottey was a great choice and a wonderful experience where she learned to study; she was in the right place at the right time.
The love for Cottey was breathed into Janet’s ear through four generations of P.E.O.s in her family, and her mother, Patricia, an alumna, Class of ‘47, aided the convincing to attend. Perhaps the biggest deciding factor was that Janet attended a large high school, with a graduating class of 2,000, making her long for a smaller institution for her college education. Cottey filled her yearning.
Most parents are proud of and grateful for the education their children receive at colleges and universities. The Flaharty family of Wichita, Kansas, was so appreciative, they met with officials of the Defining Moment Campaign to express through a gift their appreciation for what Cottey has meant in their daughter Robin’s life. They believe in supporting the transforming power of education and the empowering impact it can have on making the world a better place for everyone.
Lois is the first and only person to establish an athletic scholarship at Cottey. She did so in memory of her mother, and so it is called the Keister Scholarship. Upon the death of her husband, Lois added to the fund. Friends, family and several P.E.O. chapters have also contributed to the fund to grow it to its current significant size.
An indefatigable recruiter and supporter for Cottey, Betty Stutz is recognized as the key to Texas' rank as second only to Missouri in the number of student enrollments from a single state. Betty, a life-long Texan, was interviewed from her home in Kerrville, Texas, northwest of San Antonio.
Defining Moment Testimonials
"We have a gem - a diamond, that not everyone is aware of," said Helen Kirby.
After visiting the Cottey campus as a high school sophomore, Amy knew that "this was it."