PSU chooses U.S. Awards for annual partnership award 

Started in Pittsburg by Charles Dellasega and his brothers Pete and Bernard in 1953, US Awards has grown from a small shop that produced the best hand-sewn chenille patches, to one of the few (and the largest) chenille emblem producers in the nation. 

The company still is owned and managed by Charles’ son Joe, and Joe’s sons Nick and Daniel, and now employs 35 and plays a significant role in the town’s economy 

The company and family also have contributed to the success of Pittsburg State University, said PSU Executive Director of Development Becky McDaniel. 

“It made US Awards an easy choice,” she said, “for this year’s Rex Crowley Outstanding Partners in Progress Award.” 

The award will be presented to US Awards by PSU President Steve Scott in tandem with the kickoff of the 37th Annual “Partners in Progress” Community Campaign. The event is planned for 8 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, 1711 S. Homer, on the Pittsburg State campus. Remarks will be made by Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce President Blake Benson. This year’s campaign co-chairs are Steve and Kathy Scott (the “other” Steve and Cathy Scott) of Gorilla Country. 

“A significant role” 

Many of the Dellasega family members went to school at PSU and still are active on campus today, including longtime company leader Joe Dellasega.  

His connection to PSU began as a child, riding his bike from the family home on nearby Homer Street across campus and hanging out in the Weede Gymnasium with friends whose parents taught or were on the coaching staff. 

Today, he is involved at every level, from attending events to Foundation leadership.  

“My wife Janice and I dated throughout our college years and were active in the St. Pius X Catholic Student Center on campus,” he said. “The university has always played a significant role in Pittsburg and in our personal lives." 

He graduated in 1983 with a degree in accounting and economics. 

“As I began my career, I found opportunities to give back,” he said. “I spent a lot of time in the Kelce College of Business, and whenever I had an opportunity to speak to a business class, serve on an advisory board, or make calls for a Phonathon, I would say yes. The most recent opportunity to serve on the university’s board of trustees has certainly been a tremendous honor.” 

In 2020 when the pandemic hit, US Awards was instrumental in collaborating with Richard Miller and Dick Coleman, owners of Pittsburg-based Miller’s Professional Imaging, to create and distribute masks across campus. 

Dellasega’s sons, Nick (BBA ‘07) and Daniel, led the initiative. It required the company to pivot operations, acquire new sewing machines, hire part-time labor, and retrain the staff. 

“It was a tremendous show of support,” McDaniel said of their efforts, “and an example of how a business in our community went above and beyond for PSU during a challenging time.” 

US Awards has provided many university students with internships and jobs through the years. As the company has grown, it changed its workforce to be more flexible and adaptable, and students have played a big role in that transformation, Dellasega said. 

“US Awards is continuously finding opportunities to partner with PSU in an effort to advance our mission and meet the needs of this community,” McDaniel said. 

Company leaders say they are honored that US Awards was chosen for the award. 

“We are blessed by the university’s solid foundation made possible by the commitment and sacrifice of my dad’s generation,” Dellasega said. “It’s our hope to continue to keep building on that foundation and make it even stronger for those coming after us. That tradition and connectivity between the community and university is one of the reasons Pittsburg is thriving right now.” 

About the award 

The award is named in honor of Rex Crowley, whose career as both a local banker and as a fundraising volunteer for Pittsburg State University is well known in the community.  

Crowley was the kind of person who knew the importance of working together to make our community a better place, McDaniel said. In 1929, he joined the National Bank of Pittsburg (now Arvest Bank), rising from assistant cashier to chairman and CEO.  

He was very civic minded – active in Rotary, the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, the USD 250 school board, and boards at Mt. Carmel Medical Center (now Ascension Via Christi Hospital) and the Mental Health Association.  

After nearly 50 years of service at the bank, he retired in 1978 and took a non-salary position at Pittsburg State as director of development. At that time, the concept of private support of our university had barely begun.  

Crowley expected large returns and worked to make them happen. He also understood that Pittsburg State played a vital role in the well-being of the local area, region, and state, and that private support was becoming increasingly more important in order to continue a standard of excellence in education.