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Community Campaign Breakfast

Dr. Steven A. Scott, Pittsburg State University

March 6, 2012

Good morning. There’s no better way to start your day than by sharing a great meal with good friends … and I see many in the audience this morning.

Roger … Dr. Orender … thank you for helping lead this year’s campaign.

The Community Campaign is more than a fundraiser for the university; it’s a celebration of the wonderful relationship that Pittsburg State University enjoys with the city of Pittsburg and the region.

It’s a partnership that dates back more than a century, to the very foundation of this university. Then, just as now, community and university leaders understood the importance of working together to secure the future of our region.

In good times … and in bad … we come together to support one another.

You could see this partnership just last week in the response of our community to a severe late night storm. As those initial reports of damage began to come in to our university offices, we were in constant contact with city officials and first responders, coordinating our response efforts and working together throughout the night to ensure that everyone was safe.

It was also apparent during the Gorillas run to a national football championship. You can ask any of our coaches or players … community support means everything. Did you know that six of our eight home football games were sellouts … and that’s with some pretty miserable weather during the season.

Ask Coach Beck or any of the players what Carnie Smith Stadium felt like during that semi-final game with Delta State. They’re still talking about the atmosphere of that night, and of the way this community embraced them when they returned home with the championship.

It comes down to this …. One of the biggest factors in our success as a university is the outstanding support we receive from our community partners. It’s this support … YOUR support … that allows Pittsburg State to provide much needed scholarships for our students, improve our academic facilities and maintain our status as one of the premiere universities in the region.

The Community Campaign is another example of what can be achieved when we work together. More than 200 businesses have taken part in this campaign during its 26 year history.  Through financial gifts, internships and employment opportunities, you are helping  provide our students with the resources they will need to be successful in life.   ….. On their behalf, I thank you for your generosity.

When people ask me what it’s like to be the President of Pittsburg State University, I tell them I have the best job in the world. I get to work with outstanding students, faculty and staff … on a beautiful campus … in a city I love and in a region that supports its university, like no other. How could you not love a job like that?

I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to meet some of the most passionate Gorilla fans in the world, and I’m proud to be able to recognize two of them this morning.

Roger and Katha Heckert have been part of the Pittsburg community and Pittsburg State University campus since childhood.

Roger attended schools that were here on campus every year until he graduated from Pittsburg State.

He and Katha met at College High School, which is now home to the Kelce College of Business … were married in 1966 and graduated from the university in 1968.

Roger is the past president of Heckert Construction Company, and although they are both retired, Roger and Katha continue to be very involved in our community.

Katha serves on the Leadership Council, chairs the hospital Visitation Team and is a member of the Fellowship Committee at the South Broadway Baptist Church.

Roger is a trustee of the KCA Education Foundation, a former trustee of the Colonial Fox Foundation and a director and board chairman at University Bank.

He is also a trustee of the PSU Foundation, and a former co-chair of this Community Campaign.

Roger … Katha … it is my honor to present you with this year’s Rex Crowley Outstanding Partner in Progress Award.