March 06, 2012 12:00AM
Business leaders from across Crawford County gathered at Pittsburg State University this morning to help celebrate one of the school’s most important partnerships and to hear a big “thank you” from the university.
The annual PSU Community Campaign kickoff breakfast was held in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom at PSU’s Overman Student Center. The breakfast, which welcomed more than 120 area business owners and leaders, was an opportunity for the university to recognize key partners and encourage their continued support.
“You don’t really find another time and place where university administrators, faculty and staff are all gathered to meet with the business community,” said Josh Shay, PSU’s director of annual giving. “It gives us a chance to thank them for what they’ve done for Pitt State.”
In his remarks, PSU President Steve Scott said the strength of the bond between the university and the community is unusual.
“We have a unique relationship with this community,” Scott said. “In good times and in bad times, the community and the university work together.”
The president pointed to the way the university and the city coordinated their response to recent storm damage as an example of that cooperation.
“Great relationships turn into great outcomes,” Scott said.
The breakfast introduced campaign co-chairs Roger Lomshek, owner of Tailwind Cyclists in Pittsburg, and Dr. Jacqueline Orender, a Pittsburg physician.
Speaking to other business people in the room, Lomshek talked about the high-quality students who come to Pittsburg State from across the region and around the world.
“Imagine how much poorer our lives would be without them,” he said.
Also at the breakfast, Roger and Katha Heckert were honored with the Rex W. Crowley Outstanding Partner in Progress Award.
Roger Heckert, past-president of Heckert Construction, as well as his wife, both have long histories with Pittsburg State. Roger attended the Horace Mann Elementary laboratory school on campus as a child and met Katha at College High School, now home to the Kelce College of Business. They both attended Pittsburg State, marrying in 1966, and graduating from the university in 1968.
Although the campaign lasts throughout the year, Shay said the kickoff breakfast is the university’s special time to reach out to the business community.
“If there’s a strong PSU, there’s a strong business community around it,” Shay said. “Together we continue to build a healthy economy.”