March 05, 2013 12:00AM
Business leaders from across Crawford County came together at Pittsburg State University on March 5 to kick off PSU’s annual Community Campaign. President Steve Scott said the event symbolized a relationship that extends back to 1907.
“It was community and university leaders who, in 1907, worked together to help secure state funding for the construction of what would become Russ Hall,” Scott said. “They understood the power of community, and knew the transformational change that an institution like Pittsburg State would have upon the region.”
The president said support for projects such as the Center for the Arts, the future indoor event center and an increasing number of scholarships are all evidence that the spirit of cooperation and partnership continues today.
In his remarks, President Scott paid homage to Pittsburg Community Schools, USD 250, which was recognized as the recipient of the 2013 Rex W. Crowley Outstanding Partner in Progress Award. The award recognizes a member of the Pittsburg community who has been an outstanding partner with the University. It is named for Rex W. Crowley, a well-known figure in the local banking community for many years and a volunteer and friend of the university.
Scott noted the long partnership between the district and the university, citing statistics that showed that in the past seven years, USD 250 has hosted more than 90 percent of PSU’s undergraduate practicum students in the areas of reading, ESOL and special education and approximately 15 percent of PSU’s student teachers.
In addition, members of the USD 250 faculty and staff have conducted workshops for PSU students in classroom management, taught PSU courses as adjuncts and have served on advisory boards for undergraduate and graduate level programs.
In return, PSU faculty members have conducted workshops and professional development opportunities for USD 250 educators. Pittsburg State also offers an Early Career Teacher Academy that helps mentor first- and second-year teachers, a workshop in which USD 250 has participated every year.
“It’s clear that Pittsburg State University has a wonderful working relationship with USD 250,” Scott said.
Superintendent Destry Brown accepted the award for the district.
The Community Campaign began with the merger of the PSU Endowment Association and the PSU Foundation in 1985. Funds raised through the campaign support scholarships, academic programs and other university needs. This year’s Community Campaign co-chairpersons are Kim Clark, co-owner of Little Shop of Flowers; and Paul Christman, president of Community National Bank and Trust.
Christman said the generosity of the community never ceased to amaze him and he said support for the university was a benefit for the community.
“This helps not just Pittsburg State University,” Christman said. “it is helping our own community and our own economy. We truly depend on each other.”