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June 06th, 2020

colvin center ribbon cuttingSeward County Community College Dean of Allied Health Dr. Suzanne Campbell, center, is joined by Chamber Ambassadors and other college leaders as she cuts the ribbon on the new Colvin Family Allied Health Center. L&T photo/Robert PierceROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times


This year, Seward County Community College is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Thursday, a new building was officially brought into the school’s campus.

“I want to welcome each and every one of you to today’s ribbon cutting of the Colvin Family Center for Allied Health,” SCCC President Dr. Ken Trzaska said Thursday in his remarks prior to the ribbon cutting for the center. “This has been a long, long time coming, and we are nothing but grateful for everyone’s support and everyone’s confidence in the vision and the direction of our institution. I certainly want to thank our trustees, foundation board members and everybody on the SCCC team for their dedication and the work they do each and every day to change lives.”

Trzaska next thanked another group of people who made Thursday’s event possible.

“Certainly our deepest gratitude goes to our lead donors, those who’ve stepped up and who truly showed how they see this institution as being an important part of our community and of each other,” he said. “This year, we began defining our legacy of celebrating our stories and embracing the good each of you lend to our college and community through time, wisdom and of course, financial support.”

Trzaska said it is the efforts of those and many more which made the new building possible for SCCC.

“Our stories bind us, make us whole and certainly remind us what we do and how we do it can make a positive difference in the lives of around us,” he said. “This project is one of those examples. Where we stand today is a new chapter in the story and the history of Seward County Community College. The Colvin Family Center for Allied Health is the result of so many people finding a common vision and sharing a fiery desire to literally build a facility that can serve the form, function and mission of our college for decades to come. Thank you again for your generosity and for being quite frankly part of our story.”

Trzaska said others who are part of the college’s history are also a part of that story.

“We also thank those who couldn’t be here today, including past leaders, past members of our campus team,” he said. “They are important to our central story and to this legacy celebrated today. I personally believe as leaders, we must build on one another’s successes and carry forward the opportunities to advance the whole community. Today, we celebrate again one of those opportunities.”

Trzaska extended a ‘thank you’ to former SCCC President Dr. Duane Dunn, as well as all of the past presidents of the school for, in their own ways, carrying out a mission to serve students and to educate the community with courage and strength to truly make a difference. 

“We are now a 50-year-old college, one of the gems in the state that continues to grow and matter to our community and to our region,” he said. “One might say we’re just getting started. Thomas Berry said ‘Nothing is itself without everything else,’ suggesting how we connect through our stories has a tremendous level of meaning and significance because we share a vision and a value system that makes lives better. It really is that simple. I wish you all a good year of good health, of good friendship and endless opportunity to do good each day and to continue each of your own individual inspiring stories.”

Kent Colvin, whose family has played a larger part in the history and foundation of SCCC and for whom the new building is named, spoke next, and he said Thursday’s ribbon cutting could not have come at a better time.

“In life, it comes down to timing,” he said. “Timing’s important with everything. It was important when we were trying to decide when this should take place, how it should take place, etc., but the timing I want to talk about was about 14 months ago when we stood out here on a cold day with the mist hitting us in the face, 20 degrees, the wind blowing.”

Like Trzaska, Colvin praised the efforts of those who made the new building possible.

“We all know the Allied Health Center was overdue in needing to have something happen there,” he said. “Our family’s just very honored to be able to play a part in seeing this facility come to reality.”

Colvin said it took the help of many to make the center a reality.

“It’s not just one person who makes something happen,” he said. “It takes a whole community to make something like this happen, and I want to thank each and every one of you.”

Colvin said the new building continues his family’s legacy with SCCC.

“As a family, we were very happy to give back not only to Seward County, to the community college, but to our community as well and the surrounding communities,” he said. “It doesn’t just end here within our boundaries. We reach out further. It’s been a pleasure to be able to do that. Today is a very special time for me because we have three generations of our family here. Up above, I know my parents are looking down. They’re looking down. They’re very proud because Seward County Community College and the Allied Health Center in particular meant a tremendous amount to them and our family.”

Colvin concluded his remarks by talking about a painting from his family’s collection now hanging near the front entrance of the building entitled, “The Prize.”

“‘The Prize’ is an eagle with a fish in its claw,” he said. “The eagle has its prize, and now, with the Allied Health Center, Seward County has their prize.”

SCCC Dean of Allied Health Suzanne Campbell was the last to speak, and part of her remarks talked about part of what students can expect in the building.

“We have five programs we work out of this,” she said. “Allied Health includes our nursing program, our surgical technology, our respiratory therapy, our medical laboratory technology and our phlebotomy program, and not only do we graduate competent health care professionals, but if you’ve received any care anywhere in Southwest Kansas, it’s been our graduates who have provided that competent care for you.”

Campbell then spoke about the influence former SCCC students have had on the institution’s Allied Health Department since graduating.

“More than half of our faculty are alumni of this institution, so not only do we graduate competent health care providers who take care of you as a patient,” she said. “At some point in their careers, they give back to training that next generation of health care providers.”

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