MILFORD - Sen. John P. "Jack" Kibbie learned late Thursday that students at Iowa Lakes Community College will be honored - starting this year - with an award named after him: the John P. "Jack" Kibbie Outstanding Service Award.
The news was officially announced at the annual meeting of the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees being held at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center at Lake Okoboji.
While Sen. Kibbie just learned of the honor, plans have been in motion for quite some time at Iowa Lakes.
This past spring, college staff wanted to identify a way to keep Senator Kibbie's contribution to the Iowa Community College system in the hearts and minds of future students. The John P. "Jack" Kibbie Outstanding Service award will honor up to three students each year who 'exemplify the spirit of service to the college community.' Each selected student will be presented the John P. "Jack" Kibbie award at summer commencement.
Thursday evening, Sen. Kibbie and his wife, Kay, were asked to step to the podium at which time Valerie Newhouse, president of Iowa Lakes, addressed the crowd and thanked Sen. Kibbie for his role in developing Iowa's community colleges. Kay Kibbie was recognized for her faithful support of Sen. Kibbie during the long days at the statehouse. Then, Sen. Kibbie was informed of the special honor which the trustees of Iowa Lakes established. The plaque for the award was then unveiled by Julie Williams executive dean of students, and Jolene Rogers, executive director of Institutional Advancement. Janice Lund, president of the trustees, represented the trustees at the unveiling.
In 1965, Sen. Kibbie sponsored the bill to create Iowa's community colleges. During his tenure as an elected official in the Iowa House of Representatives and Senate, as a member of the Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees (from 1970 to 1988) and, again as an Iowa Senator since 1988, Kibbie has remained a steadfast supporter of Iowa's community colleges.
"This honor is conferred in the spirit of keeping the light of service to others burning brightly in our students," said Williams.
"Senator Kibbie has long been considered the 'Father of Iowa Community Colleges' because of his initial work with the legislation as well as his passion for the great contributions community college graduates have made to beneficially impact the state's economy," said Janice Lund, president of the Iowa Lakes trustees. The honor is an award given on behalf of the trustees.
Faculty and staff nominate students for this award and the Iowa Lakes trustee members select the recipients.
The first honorees were slated to be named at Friday night's summer graduation ceremonies at the Emmetsburg campus of Iowa Lakes.