Pittsburg State University and the Pittsburg Area of Commerce team up once again for the 34th Annual Community Campaign, “Partners in Progress”.
On Thursday. Feb. 28, leaders from the city, university, and local business gathered in Block22’s Community Room to mark the start of this year’s event. This year’s campaign began with the presentation of the 14th Annual Rex Crowley Outstanding Partner in Progress Award, named in honor of the late banker and fundraising volunteer. PSU president Steve Scott presented the award to brothers and owners of Jock’s Nitch John and Phil Minton for their continued support throughout the years.
“It was great,” said Becky May, PSU executive director of development. “We actually, in true fashion to be involved with the area’s businesses, had it for the first time in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce’s Coffee, and so that helped us in the cost of the event but also its directly related to the businesses who already attend those events... It was down at Block22, which was another perfect example of the partnership between the city, area businesses, and the university.
The campaign seeks to strengthen the relationship between the university and the greater community by enlisting local businesses in giving to PSU in various ways such as: financial contributions for scholarships or building projects, hiring students and graduates, or giving gifts in-kind.
“The idea is to get area businesses engaged,” May said. “One way they can do that is to give back to the university… We just found that the university wouldn’t be here without the community, and so it’s a way we can recognize them and also to just get businesses involved in a different way with PSU.”
Two community co-chairs are selected to assist with the campaign each year. This year PSU alumni and local business owners Monica Kellogg and Zac Dickey were selected to kickstart the event.
“Kati Karleskint (PSU Director of Annual Giving) called and asked me if I would be interested,” Dickey said. “If she’s going to ask you to do something, you do it.”
Once the starting quarterback for PSU’s 2011 Championship team, Dickey earned his bachelor’s in 2011 and now owns Next Generation Insurance. Kellogg, his co-chair, owns a CPA firm after having earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1991 and 1992, respectively.
“… I have a tremendous love for the institution,” Kellogg said. “I just hold it in such high regard, and also hold Dr. Scott in extremely high regard. So, for him and his staff to have thought of me, to be the figurehead and the face behind a promotion such as this was a tremendous honor.”
For Kellogg, the campaign acts as an opportunity to support the school that supported her, and for businesses to show appreciation for what it provides for the community.
“… My goal is always to get more involved in the university since it is such a dominant force in our community,” Kellogg said. “I believe it has a lot to give back to the community through the students that are there. Personal contributions, whether it be working in the area while they’re going to school, their economic impact, and just the excitement and enthusiasm they provide in being here. I think it’s pretty evident when they’re not here.”