Southwestern College Alumni and Ambassadors to be Recognized

The 2016 Ambassador Award, the Young Alumni Award, and the Alumni Recognition Award will be presented Friday, Oct. 7, at 6 p.m., at the Southwestern College Homecoming dinner in the Roy L. Smith dining hall.  The honorees are Daniel Nutter, Brett Annis, and Vernon and Cindy (Batt) Goertz.  Patty (Houtz) Callison ’71 will be master of ceremonies. 

The SC Ambassador Award will be presented to Daniel Nutter, former Southwestern College librarian.  This award recognizes non-graduates of the college who have captured the Builder spirit and have served as ambassadors of goodwill for the college and the community.  

Daniel Nutter’s tenure at Southwestern College spanned 18 years (1968 to 1986) and four institutional presidencies.  He was raised in the small rural community of Alcester, S.D., the youngest of three siblings. His father served as postmaster and his mother was a homemaker who also served as the first librarian of their town. 

Nutter graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University with an undergraduate degree in speech and history, then accepted his first librarian position in Buna, Texas, before moving to Clarendon, Texas, where he met and married his wife, Elizabeth.  Nutter continued to advance in his professional career while completing his master of library science degree from North Texas State College. His early career included moves to Hamshire, Texas, and Marshall, Texas.  In August 1968 he became library director at Southwestern College. His assistants included Ruby Gary, Ralph Decker and Kathy (Hickman) Wilgers and with cooperative effort, they worked to build an exemplary collection of books and periodicals in bound and microfilm format.  

Nutter brought the first Xerox copier to the Southwestern College campus. He also introduced the college and community to interlibrary loans, utilizing such outlets as Cooperating Winfield Colleges, and the South Central Kansas Library System, groups helped to facilitate during their early years. In the late 1970s, Nutter introduced the college to the nationwide database Ohio College Library Center (OCLC).

Brett Annis ’06 will receive the Young Alumni Award.  This honor is presented to a recent graduate who has made an outstanding commitment to the college through support, including attendance at college functions and recruitment of new students. 

Annis ’06/’10 grew up in the oil and gas industry in Ulysses, and continued in this field after graduation from Southwestern.  He worked at Williams/WPX Energy in Tulsa, Okla., for eight years then joined Continental Resources in Oklahoma City, where he had been for the last two years.  This September, Annis accepted a position as manager of Mid-Continental Region Business Development for Laclede Energy Resources in Oklahoma City.

At Southwestern, Annis excelled at basketball and track and field.  In basketball he was an NAIA All-America Scholar Athlete 2003-2005, an All-KCAC Scholar Athlete 2002-2005, is a member of the 1,000-point club, ranks in the top five in assists and three-pointers made, and was a three-time member of the All-Defensive team in the KCAC.  In track and field, he was a national qualifier in the 4x100, 4x400, and 4x800, and part of four KCAC outdoor team championships.  His undergraduate degree is in business and computer information systems and a minor in math and he also earned his MBA at Southwestern. 

Annis now lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, Katie, and two daughters, Avery Jean (3) and Jayci Sue (1).

Vernon ’66 and Cindy (Batt) Goertz ’66/’92, will receive the Outstanding Alumni Award in honor of their significant contributions to the college and community.  

The Goertzes received their diplomas from Southwestern more than four decades ago but they have been just as connected to Southwestern College as alumni as they were during their years as students. Both graduated from SC in 1966 with degrees in education and taught in the public schools for 37 years, most of that time in Winfield. Vernon and Cindy have made dozens of Southwestern College students feel at home in Winfield by serving as foster parents for football players (15 years), women’s basketball players (since 1997), and for international students (16 years).  These international students represent China, Malaysia, Singapore, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Brazil. They open their home for host family/student picnics each year, as well as pumpkin carving fall cookouts for both the women’s basketball team and international students. 

Their involvement doesn’t include only time, though: Vernon coached the Moundbuilder football team’s offensive line for 22 years and Cindy was an adjunct education instructor for 24 years. They have provided scholarships for upper-class students, provided volunteer labor during remodeling of athletic offices, and fostered connections between SC students and the Winfield community by helping create and organize the Purple Pride evening in downtown Winfield. 

“Helping students feel they have a home away from home is important to both the parents and the students,” Cindy says. “We also want them to feel connected to our community and for the community to get to know the students as the fine young people we know.”

The Homecoming dinner will be held in the Southwestern College dining hall, which is located on the upper level of the Roy L. Smith Student Center.  Seating is limited and tickets are $25.  To make reservations, contact Susan Lowe, director of alumni programs at Southwestern, at (620) 229-6334.


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