July 20, 2023

Sunderland Foundation Presents $800,000 Gift

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(Arkansas City, KS):  The Sunderland Foundation of Overland Park, KS has presented The Cowley College Foundation with an $800,000 gift for the college’s Career & Technical Education Center project.

“We are pleased to be part of this $8 million project to help the students of Cowley College and enhance the workforce of Cowley County and the region,” Randy Vance, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Sunderland Foundation said. “The state, particularly rural Kansas, is struggling to employ trained and certified trade professionals. This project addresses this need.”

College President Dr. Michelle Schoon and Foundation Board Chairman Mike Munson expressed their thanks and gratitude to the Sunderland Foundation.

“There is a ripple effect when these diverse trade skills go unfilled,” Dr. Michelle Schoon College President, said. “From home and commercial construction to the oil fields and from manufacturing to electric companies, the economy is slowed when businesses can’t find qualified employees. This project creates employment – a profession – for hundreds, builds businesses, and grows the economy.” The Center will train and certify graduates in areas of advanced construction trade, those in the fields of electrical and HVAC, welding, and criminal justice. 

“With more than 600 technical openings going unfilled across Cowley County and the region, the need for this center is significant,” said Mike Munson, Foundation Board Chair.  “Our businesses can’t find enough qualified people for these specialty technical areas. The Career and Tech Center will provide expanded space and new instructional technologies to educate and train more people in these areas more effectively and efficiently.”

“Trained and certified professionals in the building trades, HVAC, electrical, and welding are in high demand,” said President Schoon. “These are quality jobs that directly impact the local and regional economy.  We are grateful to the Sunderland Foundation for their investment in the future of our students and the communities we serve.”

“The campaign has crossed the $6.4 million mark,” said Dr. Kori Gregg, Cowley College Foundation President and CEO. “Working hand-in-hand with the College, the Foundation and College are engaging alumni, friends, and foundations and businesses to successfully complete this project.”

“We are grateful to the Sunderland Family and to all of the donors who helped qualify us to approach the Sunderland Foundation,” said Gregg.  “We needed to illustrate a level of local support and progress to receive Sunderland’s participation. Philanthropy is making a powerful impact on our students and college.”

The Career & Technical Education Center will be built on the Arkansas City campus, at the corner of Fifth Street and Washington Avenue, with plans to open its doors to students by Fall 2024. The project is funded by the capital campaign which includes a $4 million grant from the State of Kansas.


Dr. Kori Gregg, Foundation CEO

 (316) 204-5987