Since March of this year, our community has faced many challenges that continue to affect our individual homes, schools and work environment. Thank goodness that Barton College has remained vigilant in its commitment to our students, faculty, staff, and moreover our community. The open line of communication between Dr. Doug Searcy and his team have ensured that we are informed with updates from all resources available. First and foremost has been the concern of our students.
As a former graduate this has been the one factor that drew me to Barton many years ago. From the moment I made the decision to attend Barton, communication flowed freely and openly.
I was fortunate to work for a company that encouraged employees to continue their education by not only providing an Employee Education Reimbursement Program but also allowing three hours per week to study or work on upcoming papers or projects. It was a win-win situation that I could not pass up. Although I started my college education at the age of fifty, I was encouraged by the welcoming atmosphere that Barton had created for students of all ages. I soon realized that I was a member of an elite and unique group of individuals that had families at home and full time jobs. We worked hard, grew as individuals, more than anything we made lifelong friends.
After graduation in May 2012, I was eager for the next step. I never once thought about going to another college to receive my master’s. So, to help with the progress of getting this program at Barton, I began to work with Dean Ron Eggers and other members to ensure Barton would have a competitive Master’s Program in the School of Business. Twenty-one others and I enrolled in the program in January 2017. During the next 16 months, we laughed, we cried and supported each other during all different situations that arose in and out of the classroom. The original circle of friends from undergrad now included members of the MBA program. We even named our group the first co-heart in the MBA program at Barton College because of our love for the program, the college and each other. We celebrated with each other and our families at graduation in May 2018. To this day, we remain a very close knit group. This group continues to support other students within the program to ensure they stay on track and gain as much knowledge as they can.
Another benefit that my employer offered was a Matching Gift Program. The company would match dollar for dollar for any approved organization. I decided that because I had been so blessed to have my education paid for that I would contribute to the scholarship fund for the Weekend/Accelerated Professional Program at Barton. As the years went by, the fund grew into an MBA Strategic Leadership Endowed Scholarship which is given annually to deserving individuals within the graduate studies program.
So why do I give of my time and money to Barton? I believe in Barton College, and with our leadership, we will continue to provide an excellent education with highly qualified and capable faculty and staff to serve our students to become future leaders. This is why I currently serve as the Barton College Alumni Association President, a member of the Board of Trustees, a member of the Executive Committee for the School of Business and recruit for the Master’s Program for Strategic Leadership. I believe we are and will always be “Still Barton”.
Kathy D. Turner, M.B.A.
President – Barton Alumni Association