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Kansas Wesleyan University

Meet Our Donors

Thank you to the many donors who established Endowed Scholarships to benefit our students. We honor your legacy.

Virgil Arensman and Barbara (Hummel) Arensman Endowed Scholarship

After graduating from Kansas Wesleyan, Barbara Arensman-Snyder ’53 began teaching music and working for Marquette Public Schools. In December of 1954, she married Virgil Arensman. A few years later, Barbara shifted her attention to raising their two children, though she still worked as a substitute teacher, private piano instructor and assistant to Virgil’s business. Virgil owned a small construction company and also ran a farming operation. Shortly after their 40th wedding anniversary, Virgil and Barbara retired to Palmer Lake, Colorado.

Shannon C. Botz Scholarship

During his lifetime, Shannon C. Botz spent his entire career at Kansas Wesleyan University. Botz began working in the computer services department while pursuing his degree in computer science. After graduating, Botz became the lead computer services technician before his untimely death in 2014.

The Botz family is closely connected with Kansas Wesleyan. It is where Shannon’s father, Brad, served as a Vice President of Institution Advancement. His younger brother, Dr. Chad, earned his undergraduate degree from KWU. His brother Daniel, a lawyer, is a business professor at KWU. The Botz family is dedicated to Kansas Wesleyan, and Shannon took great pride in serving the university.

Joyce Bray Scholarship for Nursing

Joyce M. Bray was born in Garden City, Kansas in 1946. She graduated from Great Bend High School in 1964 and earned her degree from Asbury School of Nursing in 1967. Bray was a critical care nurse in the coronary unit at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. She served for the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and was a member of First Christian Church. The Asbury nursing program was later transferred to Kansas Wesleyan, and the Joyce M. Bray scholarship was established to honor nursing students interested in patient care. Bray passed away in March of 2015.

Chet and Pat Brown Scholarship

Chet and Pat Brown were born and raised in Kansas. Both attended, and eventually worked for, Kansas Wesleyan. During his career, Chet was a teacher, principal, business owner, chamber of commerce director and KWU development director. Pat served as an administrator at KWU and was heavily involved with the Girl Scouts.

The Browns were passionate about education. Pat loved debate and English, Chet was a music enthusiast. They loved helping others, especially young adults seeking higher education.

Class of 1958 Endowed Scholarship

The class of 1958 includes 38 graduates. Thirty-one of the members were from Kansas, three from Colorado, one from Pennsylvania, one from Minnesota, one from Hawaii and one from Connecticut. In 2008, the class of ’58 was inducted into the Golden W. As a result, class president Jack Sills suggested establishing a scholarship named after the class. Sills, class treasurer Robert Cooley and class vice president Robert Pinkall worked with the advancement staff to contact each member of the class and make the scholarship a reality.

Harold W. Curry

Harold W. Curry was born and raised near St. Francis, Kansas. He discontinued his education after the eighth grade to help on the family farm. Curry was a loving father, devoted Methodist, and highly involved in the St. Francis community. He was a member of the Equity, Township Election, Lawn Ridge Cemetery, and Pleasant Ridge school boards. Curry also helped repair rural telephone lines in the St. Francis area.

The Harold W. Curry Endowed Scholarship was created because of Curry’s strong interest in helping others by providing resources and opportunities that were not available to him.  His daughter, Eleanor, graduated from Kansas Wesleyan.

Glen Eye Scholarship Fund

Glen Gordon Eye was born in Miltonvale, Kansas in 1904. He graduated from Kansas Wesleyan in 1925. In 1957, Kansas Wesleyan awarded Eye a Doctor of Humane Letters for his work in the field of philosophy. He was selected for the KWU alumni achievement award in 1974. Eye retired as a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Stephen C. Fink Memorial Scholarship

Stephen C. Fink was born and raised in Downs, Kansas. He attended Kanas Wesleyan and the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity. Fink was the chaplain at KWU during the 1970s. The Stephen C. Fink Scholarship was established in honor of his sincere love for the university.

Focus on the Future Foundation

Focus on the Future, Inc. was founded by Mary G. Tannahill in Salina in 1979 as a community-based residential program designed to help juveniles in the legal system transition into adulthood. The organization strived to facilitate increased education, financial management and employment skills in order to allow young men and women an opportunity to be successful members of society. The foundation’s facility closed in 2004, and its assets were used to create Focus on the Future Foundation, which provides educational grants to young adults that have demonstrated service to their community.

Helen and Harry Foster Scholarship

Helen and Harry Foster were born and raised in Barton Country, Kansas. They were farmers that valued education, but were not afforded the opportunity to attend college. The Fosters devoted their lives to providing the opportunity for their children to achieve higher education. Their daughter, Marilyn Foster Kirk ’68, established the scholarship to honor her parents and to give thanks for the opportunities they provided her.

Franzen Family Scholarship Fund

Kansas Wesleyan is a special place to the Franzen family. Lavern, Al, Ellene, Lois and Dr. Karen Franzen are part of the first generation from their family to attend college. All five attended Adams City High School in Commerce City, Colorado. Four of the five siblings attended Kansas Wesleyan. Al Franzen’s ’65 wife, Kathleen Harvey Franzen ’67 also attended Kansas Wesleyan.

All five of the siblings have gone on to enjoy successful lives and professional careers. Two have succeeded in business, two in education and one in nursing.  This scholarship was established by the Franzens in honor of their mother, Ruby, to provide other first-generation college students the opportunity that was provided to them.

Dr. Glen L. Gish Music Scholarship

Dr. Glen Gish spent the majority of his life in education. He received his B.A. from Emporia State, post graduate degree from American University, and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Gish was born near Glen Elder, Kansas. His father, a KWU graduate, was a Methodist priest whose career led the family to numerous Kansas and Illinois cities during Glen’s childhood. After finishing his schooling, Gish began his career teaching at Bentley College in Boston before being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at age 42.

Raymond and Dorothy Goering Endowed Scholarship Fund

Raymond Goering was born and raised in Elyria, Kansas. He graduated from McPherson College and moved to Greeley, Colorado to attend Colorado Teachers College (now University of Northern Colorado). While working on his post graduate degree, Raymond met Dorothy, a fellow education student from Denver. Dorothy followed Raymond back to Kansas, and earned her degree at Kansas Wesleyan.

Raymond was an exceptional mathematics instructor, teaching in USD 305. In 1986, he was inducted to the Kansas Teacher Hall of Fame. After his retirement from the Salina Schools System, Raymond served as an adjunct professor at Kansas Wesleyan. Dorothy enjoyed a brief career teaching before becoming a food service purchasing manager for USD 305. The Goerings were passionate about education and believed that it was important to provide others with the resources to obtain a meaningful education.

S.A. and Pauline Hann Endowed Nursing Scholarship

S.A. Hann was born and raised in North Dakota before moving to Kansas City to attend college. While in Kansas City, S.A. met Pauline, a hairstyling student from Kismet, Kansas. They soon married and started a family together.

Pauline stayed at home with their children while S.A. ran multiple successful businesses. The Hanns’ prize business was their healthcare company. They highly valued the importance of nursing care. The Hanns were also passionate about their Methodist faith, and loved supporting Methodist affiliated colleges and universities with exceptional nursing programs.

Avenell Elliot Harms Memorial Scholarship

Avenell Elliot Harms was able to overcome extreme adversity in her life. Her first husband passed away just seven years into their marriage. She continued to raise their three children while serving the United Methodist Church Kansas West Conference.

Harms was born in February of 1927. She was the valedictorian at St. John High School, graduated from Southwestern College and earned her post graduate degree from Scarritt College for Christian Workers. Most of her career was spent on the UMC Kansas West Conference staff. Harms was also an adjunct professor of Christian education at Kansas Wesleyan from 1986-1992.

Mary Helen Hayman Endowed Scholarship

Although she spent much of her life in North Carolina, Mary Helen Hayman ‘42 always considered Kansas to be home. Her Husband, Donald Hayman ‘40 was born and raised in Formosa, Kansas. Mary Helen was born in Neodesha, Kansas and went to high school in Salina. The Haymans attended Kansas Wesleyan University and the University of Kansas. They later moved to North Carolina, where Donald earned his Ph.D. in political science from UNC Chapel Hill. He taught public administration at the UNC School of Government for 37 years. Mary Helen taught at a nearby junior high school before focusing on motherhood and community work.

The Mary Helen Hayman Endowed Scholarship was established because of the love and appreciation Mary Helen has for her alma mater.

Jones Boys Scholarship

The Jones Boys scholarship was established by Jerry Jones and Dr. Kathleen Ann Barrett-Jones. Jerry was born and raised in Vermillion, Kansas. He graduated from Baker University and earned his post graduate degree from Emporia State. Kathleen  was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, her M.S. at Emporia State, and Ed.D at Kansas State.

Jerry and Kathleen spent much of their professional career at KWU. Jerry won 224 games as the head men’s basketball coach, the most wins of any coach in the school’s history. Kathleen served KWU as a professor, education department chair, assistant provost and academic dean.

Vivian Kochanowski Endowed Scholarship Fund

Vivian F. Kochanowski was born in Blue Mound, Kansas. Her father was a Navy chaplain, so the family lived in numerous Kansas and Illinois cities during Kochanowski’s childhood. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Kansas and her post graduate degree in adult education from Kansas State University.

Kochanowski served as a nurse in the United States Navy before moving to Salina. She worked as a director and professor at the Asbury Hospital School of Nursing, eventually facilitating the transfer of the program to Kansas Wesleyan University.

Virgie Johnston Loyd Scholarship

Virgie Johnston Loyd ‘33 was born in 1911 and grew up on a farm near Oakley, Kansas. She graduated from Oakley High School before earning her degree in Latin from Kansas Wesleyan. Loyd taught Latin and History at Trego Community High School in Wakeeney, Kansas before marrying Herlan O. Loyd, who also attended Kansas Wesleyan. Virgie’s brother, Audrie, graduated from KWU, as well as her daughter, Marlene Loyd Lee ’61.

Mary Hargitt Maxwell Endowed Scholarship

Mary Hargitt Maxwell was born and raised in Gove County, Kansas. She spent her early years helping her father maintain the family ranch located on the Hackberry Creek before enrolling at Fort Hays State to earn her teaching certification. Maxwell then spent nine years teaching grade school in Gove Country before focusing her attention to motherhood. She had seven children, and emphasized to them the importance of education and integrity. Three of her children enjoyed careers in elementary education, one became a high school counselor, one a farmer, one a nurse and one a physician.

Patricia Michaelis Scholarship Fund

A strong passion for history and the state of Kansas has driven Patricia Michaelis throughout her career. After graduating from Kansas Wesleyan, she worked for the Kansas State Historical Society from 1977-2015 serving as a state archivist and division director. She also worked in the manuscript department and in the library and archives department.

Michaelis helped establish Kansas Memory and Territorial Kansas, websites that collect and share historical information about Kansas and its residents. Her passion for Kansas history also motivated her to work closely with numerous grant projects aimed at improving access to research collections.

The Patricia Michaelis Endowed Scholarship was established by Michaelis’ parents, who were more than satisfied with the return on their investment in Patricia’s KWU education.

Elden V. Miller Scholarship

Elden V. Miller lived in Salina nearly his entire life. He was born in 1919, and attended the University of Kansas. After graduating from KU’s medical school, Miller became a captain in the Army Medical Corps during World War II. After serving his country, Miller moved back to Salina, where he practiced anesthesiology until his retirement in 1983.

Like the rest of his family, Miller was a member of the First United Methodist Church and believed in supporting the Salina community and Kansas Wesleyan. The choir room in Pioneer Hall was formerly named the Miller Chapel after his grandfather, V.W. Miller.

Everett and Margaret Morgan Family Scholarship

Everett Morgan ’37 garnered one of the most successful athletic careers in the history of Kansas Wesleyan. Morgan is enshrined in the Athletic Hall of Fame for his contributions to three straight KCAC football championships. During his senior year, Morgan was named first team All-KCAC, first team All-Kansas and honorable mention Little All-American.  The fitness center on campus is named in Morgan’s honor.

After graduating from KWU, Morgan enjoyed a brief career in coaching and teaching before being called to serve in the Navy during World War II. After the war, Morgan returned to Concordia, Kansas, where he launched a successful real estate and insurance agency. He always credited his business degree from KWU as the catalyst that drove his successful career. Morgan’s daughter, Marla (Morgan) Beikman ’64, serves on the Board of Trustees.

Harold and Evelyn (Eisenhauer) Nelson Endowed Scholarship

Harold E. Nelson 49’ came to Kansas Wesleyan in the fall of 1942 and returned in 1946 after a stint in the military. He met Evelyn L. Eisenhauer ’50 upon his return to KWU. They were married two years later at University United Methodist Church.

The Nelsons have remained active at Kansas Wesleyan through the years. Harold was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1972-1981 and both are members of the Pioneer Society. In 1987, they were Charter Members of KWU Heritage Roll of Honor. Evelyn was also a member of the KWU Women’s Auxiliary. In 1983, Harold was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Kansas Wesleyan.

The Nelson’s have created a strong legacy at Kansas Wesleyan. Over 80 members of the family have attended Wesleyan. The Albert Nelson Student Success Center, located in Memorial Library, is named after Harold’s oldest brother.

Doris Lundin Nonken Scholarship

Doris Lundin Nonken was born and raised in Goodland, Kansas. She graduated from Goodland High School before earning her degree at Kansas Wesleyan University. She taught for Hutchinson Public Schools, Hope School District, Jetmore High School and Trego Community High School. Nonken also taught college courses at Barton County Community College, Sterling College, and Garden City Community College. She took tremendous pride in her college degrees. The Doris Lundin Nonken Scholarship was created to honor her legacy and support music students from western Kansas.

C.L. Olson Endowed Scholarship Fund

Charles L. Olson was born and raised in Newton, Kansas. He spent seven years studying at Kansas State, earning a Ph.D. in veterinary medicine. Olson was an outstanding veterinarian, father and husband. His wife, Beverly, describes him as having an outgoing personality finding joy in helping others. Education was something that Olson valued greatly, and he made sure that his children had every opportunity to receive quality education.

Cyrus R. Pangborn Memorial Scholarship

Cyrus R. Pangborn ’37 was born and raised in the small town of Mankato, Kansas. The education he received from Kansas Wesleyan fueled his thirst for knowledge. After graduating from Wesleyan, Pangborn continued his education at the Yale Divinity School, and earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University. Pangborn then moved to New Jersey and developed the Department of Religion at Rutgers University. In 1962, he was awarded with a Fulbright Research Scholarship. This scholarship allowed him to further research Zoroastrianism, one of the oldest practicing religions. The articles that Pangborn wrote from his research were published in numerous journals and books. He also wrote his own book, Zoroastrianism: A Beleaguered Faith. The book was published by Advent Books in New York and Vikas Publishing House in India.

Nancy Pickering Deckert Elementary Education Scholarship

Nancy Sue Pickering ’63 was born in Hays and grew up in Wakeeney, Kansas. After graduating from Kansas Wesleyan, Pickering began a career in education. She taught at elementary schools in Topeka, Salina and Herington, Kansas early on in her career before leaving the classroom to devote her time to raising her children, Alysun and Ryun. Both children grew up to be highly successful in their careers and are forever grateful for the sacrifices made by their mother.

Pickering’s love for the classroom brought her back into education as soon as her children were old enough to attend school. She taught at Grace E. Stewart and Meadow Lark Ridge Elementary in Salina for several years. In 1988, Pickering’s husband accepted a teaching position in Overland Park (near Kansas City). After moving to Overland Park, Pickering was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, cancer of the blood. She was able to fight off the disease and returned to the classroom before being diagnosed with leukemia in 1995.

Vernon and Julia Stanton Scholarship

Vernon and Julia Stanton are the parents of the longest tenured president in Kansas Wesleyan history, Dr. Marshall Stanton. Although neither Vernon nor Julia attained a formal education beyond high school, they valued education and knowledge. Vernon and Julia had three sons; Harold, David and Marshall. All three went on to earn at least one post-graduate degree.

Both Julia and Vernon were born in Emporia, Kansas. Vernon attended classes thru the eighth grade before beginning his career in agriculture and livestock. Julia lived in Emporia and finished high school before marrying Vernon. The couple spent their career farming and acquiring land.

The Vernon and Julia Stanton Scholarship was established by Dr. Stanton and his wife, Janice, in Honor of Marshall’s parents. Vernon and Julia provided an atmosphere of faith, love, forthrightness, ambition and work ethic that shaped their three boys. Vernon and Julia always kept their home filled with books, newspapers, and magazines. The three boys were always encouraged and expected to go to college.

C. Irene Tinkler Endowed Scholarship

Carrie Irene Tinkler ’30 was the youngest of six children born into a farming family near Mentor, Kansas. Irene’s passion for education was evident from the beginning. As a young girl, she walked a mile each way on the railroad tracks to get to a country school and back home. In the fourth grade, she began making a seven-mile daily buggy ride with her two older brothers to attend school in Salina.

When Irene graduated from high school in 1922, her parents were able to afford just two years of college for her at Kansas Wesleyan University. For the next four years, Irene worked in Concordia, Kansas, and saved up money to finish her business and teaching degree at KWU. After graduation, she was immediately hired as a business and office practices teacher in Beloit, Kansas, where she taught for 36 years.

When Irene began losing her hearing at age 32, she took the train all the way to New York City to attend a summer program at Columbia University to learn how to read lips. When she returned to Kansas, the consummate teacher began sharing this new skill with others.

Irene’s students meant everything to her. She never married nor had any children of her own. Her entire life was devoted to her students and their education. Irene left her estate to the W.O. and Julia Ann Tinkler Educational Trust, which she had established in honor of her parents after she retired from teaching. The trust’s sole purpose is to provide annual scholarships for students attending either Kansas Wesleyan University or Bethany College.

Jim and Jane Valcoure Endowed Scholarship Fund

Jim and Jane Valcoure spent most of their lives in central Kansas. Jim was born and raised in Aurora, Kansas, while Jane grew up in Downs, Kansas. After high school, Jane attended Fort Hays State University. She began her career at Saint Mary’s grade school before joining the Kansas Wesleyan team. Jim attended Creighton University for one year, served in the Marines for two years and went on to enjoy a 35-year career at Kriz-Davis Co. The Valcoure’s children, Mike and Michelle, both graduated from Kansas Wesleyan.

Gayle Vaughn-Wiles Scholarship Fund

During his 44-year career in education, Dr. Gayle-Vaughn Wiles ’66 worked in multiple countries. He spent 10 years working within the United States, and 34 years in Germany, Japan and Guam working for the Department of Defense Education Activity. Dr. Vaughn-Wiles served as a teacher, principal, superintendent, curriculum coordinator, equal employment officer and special projects coordinator. In Okinawa, Japan, he was the superintendent of a school district with over 10,000 students.

Dr. Vaughn-Wiles was born and raised in Kansas City. After graduating from Kansas Wesleyan, he earned post graduate degrees from Prairie View University and Johns Hopkins University before earning his PhD from Michigan State University. He is currently retired in Crawford Lake, Maine.

Bessie Francis Elizabeth Winslow

Bessie Winslow was the first in her family to attend high school. She graduated from Abilene High School in 1923 and went on to earn her teaching certification from Fort Hays University. Winslow was a devoted teacher and loving mother. She was active in the Christian Community, holding numerous local and district positions in the Women’s Society of Christian Service, which has since been renamed the United Methodist Women.

Winslow loved telling stories and reciting poetry. Education and religion were the center of her life. One of Winslow’s life-long missions was to help further the education of young men and women. The Bessie Francis Elizabeth Winslow Scholarship was established in 1979 to carry on this mission.

Mabel F. Shelton

Mabel Shelton was a long-time Salina business owner who ran Shelton’s Fashion Shop, located in downtown Salina, for nearly 40 years (1932-1969). She served on the board of the local YWCA and was a member of First United Methodist Church. She also served on the board of other educationally-related organizations and was seen as a leader in fostering unity among the community.

Mabel was inducted into the Salina Business Hall of Fame in late 2022.

Agnus Zagabay and Mildred Hanagan Fund

Agnus Zagabay was born and raised in Texas. Mildred Hanagan was born and raised in New York. Both were loving mothers that dedicated their lives to raising their children. Agnus’ son, August, is married to Mildred’s daughter, Sandra. August and Sandra’s son graduated from Kansas Wesleyan. The scholarship was established by August and Sandra to honor their mothers and provide for other students attending their son’s alma mater.