March 06, 2015 4:30PM
Pittsburg State officials joined community leaders on March 6 to kick off the 30th annual Partners in Progress Community Campaign, an annual fundraising effort that has raised millions of dollars for scholarships, academic programs and other university ventures.
The co-chairs of this year’s Community Campaign are Joe Dellasega and Sara Beezley Keller.
During the kickoff luncheon, which took place at Watco Companies in Pittsburg, PSU President Steve Scott presented the City of Pittsburg with the 2015 Rex Crowley Outstanding Partner in Progress Award. This award recognizes a member of the community who has “rendered outstanding service” to PSU and the Pittsburg community.
“New facilities, capital Improvements, gamedays at Carnie Smith Stadium -- the quality and quantity of these and so many other projects are only possible because of the professionalism and cooperation of the City of Pittsburg,” Scott said. “For all of this and so much more, it is my honor to present the City of Pittsburg with this year’s Rex W. Crowley Outstanding Partner in Progress Award.”
The keynote speaker at the event was Rick Cotton, city administrator for Clemson, S.C., a position he’s held since 1996. Cotton, who has held similar positions in Winfield and Belleville, described Pittsburg State as a “hidden gem” in Kansas.
“I’m not just talking about southeast Kansas,” he said. “I mean the entire state of Kansas.”
Cotton praised the university campus, saying it ranks with some of the top college campuses in the nation.
“You guys are doing it right here,” he said. “Your facilities are right there with everyone else. You shouldn’t think of yourself as a Division II school. Think of yourself as an NCAA school that is doing some truly tremendous things.”
Cotton also described the partnership between Pittsburg State and the community as “special.”
“You have a great connection here between campus and community,” he said. “It’s very impressive.”