Cowley College President Dennis Rittle and his wife, Christy, have made their final contribution to establish an endowed scholarship that will begin being offered this fall for a full-time student majoring in an educational field of study.

Zang Scholarship

Courtesy photo

The scholarship honors Christy Rittle’s parents, Jim and Verna Zang, for their tireless commitment to supporting education. The scholarship will be awarded to a student majoring in the field of education — in particular, teacher education — but can include students majoring in early childhood development.

The recipient must have at least a 2.5 cumulative grade-point average.

Julie Rhoads, Cowley College director of education, said attending a community college offers access to an advanced education at a relatively affordable budget, but even the cost of a community college can pose a financial challenge for some.

“Additional support such as scholarships can pave the way to successful completion of the two-year degree, as well as prerequisite coursework needed for admissions to a four-year teacher college,” Rhoads said.

“Education is a field where scholarship recipients are exposed to a multitude of opportunities to pay it forward and make a critical difference in the lives of future students.”

Jim and Verna Zang both earned degrees in education, and she is a retired educator, as are his mother, Viva Zang, and sister, Joy Leatherman.

This scholarship honors the Zangs’ investment into their daughter, a third-generation educator, and equally their investment into their son-in-law, who is a first-generation educator.

Christy Rittle is a teacher at Arkansas City Middle School, while her sister, Sara Grove, teaches preschool in El Dorado. Their cousin, Kathi Leatherman, is a teacher in the Wichita Public School District.

“We saw the joy Jim and Verna had by being involved in education,” Rittle said.

“The service of Jim and Verna inspired us to endow a scholarship so that future educators may share in the same joys we experience while serving in this profession. We were recipients of scholarships during our educational journey. This scholarship is an opportunity for us to bless others.”

This information was provided by Cowley College Director of Institutional Communications and Public Relations Rama Peroo.