Winfield, Kan., April 8, 2019 — Several area residents will be inducted into halls of fame at Southwestern College during Founders Day Weekend April 11-14. Inductees include Cory Helmer (Business Hall of Fame), James Leland (Fine Arts Hall of Fame), and Gary King (Educators Hall of Fame), Winfield; Janet Doud (Educators Hall of Fame), Wichita and works for USD 363 Wellington; and Virginia (Stubbs) Spray (Fine Arts Hall of Fame), Burden.
Cory Helmer ’99 has chosen to make his career in the same city where he was born and raised, Winfield, and has focused on improving up his hometown as well as his industry. He is currently Winfield/Udall market president of the Union State Bank. Coryis a 2004 graduate of the Kansas Bankers Association Commercial Lending School and a 2012 graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has worked in the banking industry for more than 20 years. He also is active in the community, currently serving as the vice-chair for the Winfield Area Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Board of Director for the William Newton Healthcare Foundation. Helmer is active at Grace United Methodist Church in Winfield where he is the finance chair.
Gary King ’63 had a lasting impact on Southwestern College’s presence in the computer age. As professor of computer science and director of information services, he not only taught generations of students, he also was instrumental in the college’s academic and administrative computing choices. He earned his doctoral degree in business information systems from The Union Institute in 1991, experiencing first-hand the benefits of online education, then championing those benefits as SC established its Professional Studies program. He began his career as an accountant before finding his calling in information technology. After early employment in California he returned to Kansas as an analyst/programmer for General Electric in Winfield, later becoming the first director of information services at SC. He was the first PS director of curriculum and instruction and retired as professor emeritus in 2016.
James Leland has been a valued affiliate faculty member, guest artist, and supporter of Southwestern College. During the renovation of Richardson Performing Arts Center he was instrumental in the restoration of the Reuter pipe organ. Leland is professor emeritus at Hollins University in Virginia, where for 34 years he taught organ and harpsichord and conducted the choir. A graduate of Oberlin College, he received his doctorate from Northwestern University. The keyboard music of J. S. Bach is his particular interest. Under Robert Shaw's direction, Leland performed with the Detroit and Atlanta symphony orchestras and toured with the Robert Shaw Chorale. Along with recitals and choral concerts each year, Leland appeared as soloist several times with the Roanoke Symphony and its chamber ensembles. He moved to Winfield in 2002 and is organist at Grace United Methodist Churc
Janet Marie Doud (Ph.D., ’16) has shown her passion for education and supporting the success of all students as this passion has evolved over 24 years as an alternative high school science teacher, middle school science teacher, high school counselor, district ESOL specialist working with preschool to the post-graduate students in Kansas and abroad, high school assistant principal, to now a middle school principal. In recent years Doud has taught graduate level education ESOL and technology courses through Southwestern College, Emporia State University, and Kansas State University with students from Mexico. She continues to present at various conferences on the topics of technology and collective efficacy. Her passion for education is only second to the passion she has for her family and faith.
Virginia (Stubbs) Spray ’33 demonstrated the joy in life she displayed in Campus Players productions until her death at age 101. She had been a teacher and homemaker until her marriage broke up and she moved to the West Coast as a single empty-nester. In retirement she joined the Peace Corps, and on her 70th birthday was on her way to Liberia, where she taught in small villages and served as librarian in Monrovia. Back in Washington Virginia became a grande dame of local theater, a career capped by her title performance in Driving Miss Daisy. She appeared in commercials (including spots for Chef Boyardee and Fred Meyer) and the Disney movie “Homeward Bound.” With hair dyed pink for a role as a fairy godmother this local activist became even more visible around town, a visibility she enjoyed.
Founders Day Weekend festivities will begin at 4 p.m., on Thursday, April 11, with the annual Honors Convocation in Richardson Performing Arts Center.
On Friday, April 12, plaques will be unveiled for the Leaders in Service Hall of Fame for the Social Sciences. Dinner will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Deets Library with the induction ceremony to follow. Meal cost is $20.
On Saturday, April 13, a breakfast will be held for the Business Hall of Fame in Deets Library at 8 a.m., with the induction ceremony to begin at 9 a.m. in Richardson Performing Arts Center. Meal cost is $15.
A brunch for the Fine Arts Hall of Fame inductees will begin at 10 a.m. in Deets Library, followed immediately by the induction ceremony at 11 a.m. The ceremony will take place in Richardson Performing Arts Center. Meal cost is $15.
All of the induction ceremonies are open to the public at no cost, but there is a cost for associated meals and seating is limited for those meals. To make meal reservations or for other information, contact Charles McKinzie at (620) 222-1135.
Southwestern College is a private liberal arts college, founded in 1885 by Methodists in south central Kansas. Today its Winfield campus is the residential hub that guides students to lives of meaning and service, with well-rounded academic and extra-curricular offerings attracting traditional-aged students from throughout the nation and world. Southwestern College Professional Studies provides options for online students in any location and has been named a top provider for persons serving in the military. The college continues to be affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.