Following a year removed from celebrating in person, Columbia College’s President’s Society Dinner officially returned on September 23 at Dulany Hall. President’s Society members and college leadership and staff arrived on Main Campus in their finest attire, eager to celebrate the society’s 2020 and 2021 induction classes.
The evening opened inside Brown Hall with a reception at the Sid Larson and Greg Hardwick Art Galleries, which are currently showcasing the Bruce Davidson Art Exhibit. Associate Professor of Art and Chair of the Visual Arts and Music Department Dr. Danielle Langdon greeted the attendees and shared additional information about the extraordinary exhibit.
“It was in 2018 that our department accepted one of the most significant donations of art in our history,” said Langdon. “We were gifted with 365 of Davidson’s photographs for our permanent collection. Generous gifts like this demonstrate that Columbia College is an institution with a strong and thriving arts program.”
Attendees then made their way to Dulany Hall, as Scooter, the college’s mascot, donned a tuxedo and greeted them upon arrival. Following an invocation from Board of Trustees Chair Rev. Dr. Brad Stagg, newly appointed President Dr. David Russell officially kicked off the evening’s dinner.
Each year at the President’s Society Dinner, the college invites a scholarship award recipient and offers them the opportunity to share their personal story. Springfield, Missouri, Police Officer and current Columbia College student Michael Vogt attended this year’s dinner. He is the 2021 recipient of the Hulett Family Criminal Justice Graduate Study Scholarship.
Michael is currently pursuing his Master of Science in Criminal Justice degree online through the college’s location in Springfield. His journey through life has been challenging to say the least, enduring physical abuse as a child and living in-and-out of foster care. Vogt continued to fight adversity through high school, living between different friends’ houses while earning his diploma.
His drive to live a successful life never wavered however, as he later attended College of the Ozarks and would eventually meet his future wife, Kinsey. In college, Michael met the Vogt family and quickly became a part of their family. The Vogt’s would ultimately adopt Michael and his fortunes in life continued to trek upward.
Following his marriage to Kinsey, Michael turned his attention towards a professional career and successfully completed training to become a full-time police officer. As he continued to find ways to better himself, Vogt then focused on furthering his education. One of his lieutenants in the Springfield Police Department recommended that he contact Columbia College and he started his master’s degree soon after.
“One of the reasons why we chose Columbia College for Michael was because it was a set cost,” said Kinsey Vogt. “The books were provided in the cost and that way we knew how much to pay each time around. It made the most sense for us.”
As Vogt continues to work towards his master’s degree while also balancing his family and work life, he’s extremely grateful to be a recipient of a scholarship through the college.
“I was very surprised to receive the Hulett Family Criminal Justice Graduate Study Scholarship,” said Vogt. “It came at a time that it was very needed. We were in the heat of the pandemic and it was a stressful time. We have a tight budget and the scholarship was a huge blessing that I didn’t expect to receive. I was on the grind and trying to claw my way out of poverty. I needed the generosity of others to help lift me up.”
With the assistance of generous members from the President’s Society, individuals like Michael receive a helping hand in their quest to fulfilling life goals. President’s Society members have each contributed lifetime gifts of $10,000 or more to the college. Their philanthropy sustains the legacy of the college, its students, the community and society.
A total of 17 families and organizations were inducted into the President’s Society Dinner this year, with another 13 upgrading their membership through higher level of giving for 2021.
For information on how to contribute to or start a scholarship, please contact the Columbia College Office of Development at (573) 875-7563, or visit my.ccis.edu/givenow.
Below is a complete list of new and upgraded members of the President’s Society classes of 2020 and 2021.
New Members in 2020:
SM Wilson and Co.
Jake ’05 and Lindsay Black
Greg and Rachel Logsdon
Gloria Van Hof ‘95
Ivy & Oak Circle
Tessie ’93 and Joe Ballard
Jacqueline ’57 and Charles Bonney
Cynthia ’60 and Alfred Cirome
Jeannie Simmons ‘02
Carolyn and Ben Thomas
Upgraded Members in 2020:
Faye and Bob Burchard
Crystal ’02 and Tim ’01 Elliott
Dorsey Chapel Circle
Shelter Insurance Foundation
Daisy ’66 and Skip Grossnickle
Reinhardt Construction Co.
Greg Johnston ’91 and Patricia Churchill
Kevin ’04 and Amy Sprouse
Simon Oswald Architecture
Gayla ’90 and Richard Miller
Lisa Ford-Brown and Bruce Brown
New Members in 2021:
Veterans United Foundation
Col. Robert Walker ‘87
Virginia Stewart ’76 and Norman Stewart
Ivy & Oak Circle
Lesley and James Arnold
Norma Nyberg ’78 and Ivan Nyberg
Kathy and Matt Clervi ‘96
Janie Kemp ’57 and Robert Kemp
Tera Palozola ’21 and Justin Palozola
Lauren and Corbin Umstattd ‘12
Mike Durham ‘83
Patty Fischer and Donald Fischer
Sally Houdayer ‘57
Upgraded Members in 2021:
Bekki and Roger Miller ‘78
H. Jane Blackman ’64 and John Lossing
Deborah Hook Wheat ‘68
Lindsay and Jake Black ‘05
Tim Ireland, Ph.D., and Edwin Hanson
Dorsey Chapel Circle
Patricia Churchill and Greg Johnston ‘91
Lee and David Russell, Ph.D.
Cynthia Cirome ’60 and Alfred Cirome