2022 Hall of  Fame Class

College to honor HOF class of Russell, Mosier, Tangeman, and Ary

2022 Hall welcomes four

Thu Oct 27, 2022

Four individuals joined the Colby Community College Hall of Fame in 2022. The institution's first three presidents, Dr. Richard Mosier, Dr. James Tangeman, and Dr. Mikel Ary, along with retired rodeo coach Allen Russell, will be honored with a Nov. 5 reception at approximately 6 p.m. after the men's basketball game in the Colby Event Center.

Dr. Mikel Ary

Dr. Mikel AryIn 1988, Ary was hired as CCC's third chief executive officer. At the time of his retirement in 2005, he was one of the longest-tenured college presidents in Kansas.

"I greatly enjoyed my time as president of CCC," he said. "The college had a good group of administrators and a competent faculty and staff who assisted in the success of the institution."

Under his leadership, the college experienced unprecedented enrollment growth that required new facilities across campus. In addition to expanding the south side of the Cultural Arts Center for the band and vocal programs, the Pierre Henry Health Sciences Building opened in 1992, and the 20,000-square-foot Bedker Memorial Complex began housing business and behavioral science courses in 1998. His dedication to academic excellence is recognized at commencement each year with the presentation of the Ary Award to an outstanding student.

Ary feels the college had an advantage over many schools because of the backing from so many entities.

"The college benefited from the progressive attitude of the whole community that gave its support to the functioning and success of the college," he said. "It seemed to me at the time that the community was convinced about the significance of the college to the town and northwest Kansas. In contrast to other institutions where communities took schools somewhat for granted, this positive mindset in Colby contributed further to the idea that CCC was a special place in Kansas for students to attend. "

After spending his formative years in Edwards County, Ary earned a bachelor's degree from Fort Hays State University and then obtained his master's and doctorate from the University of Oklahoma. All three degrees are in history. He had stops at two institutions in Oklahoma before arriving in Colby, first as a professor of history at East Central State University and then as vice president of student affairs at Northwestern State University.

Today, Ary stays active in the Rotary Club and is a Paul Harris fellow. He is an avid reader and has enjoyed a lifetime of travel with his wife, Delores. They are parents to two sons, Vic Ary of Owasso, Okla., and Vaughn Ary, and granddaughters, Allison and Sophia live in Alexandria, Va.

Dr. Richard Mosier

Dr. Richard MosierMosier was the founding president of the college, serving from 1966 to 1972. He was the youngest college president in Kansas at the time. CCC honors his contributions at commencement each year with the presentation of the Mosier Award, which recognizes a student's academic performance and representation of the institution.

In 2013, he returned to Colby to promote his new book, Against All Odds, a history of CCC's founding that chronicles the institution's early triumphs and struggles. He dedicated the book to the people of Colby and Thomas County, "who, in the tradition of the dream catcher of Indian lore, caught a dream and made it real."

Born on his family's Sheridan County wheat and cattle ranch, Mosier attended a one-room country school near Hoxie and graduated from Sheridan Community High School. He developed leadership skills early, serving as president of the student body and his sophomore and senior classes, as well as president of the school's Future Farmers of America chapter, Sheridan County 4-H Council, and the local Kansas Association for Youth Organization. In his commitments, he also found time for debate, track, football, and the poultry and grain judging teams.

Following his time at CCC, Mosier was president of Claremore Junior College—now Rogers State University—for 24 years. In 1996, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame and, upon retiring, was designated president emeritus at Rogers State.

Mosier holds a bachelor's degree in agriculture and a master's degree in vocational education from Kansas State University. He received his doctorate from the University of Wyoming. He and his wife Mary still reside in Claremore, where they have both been active in Rotary and are Paul Harris Fellows.

Allen Russell

Allen RussellA rodeo coach and agribusiness instructor, Allen Russell began at Colby Community College in 1990 and served until his retirement in 2019.

His road to CCC went through Allen County Community College for nine years as a coach and instructor. He served a short stint at McPherson College before starting his Colby post. In addition to the instructional and coaching responsibilities, he was an academic advisor for agriculture and ag economics majors and served as a division chair for many years.

During his first 15 years in higher education, Russell competed in as many as 60 professional rodeos each year and was a member of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Twice he was a two-time Prairie Circuit qualifier in steer wrestling.

"I started rodeo as a senior in high school and did amateur rodeos until 1985," he said. "I went pro in 1986."

For six years, he was also the director of the Central Plains Region of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA), a region considered one of the largest and most competitive that includes colleges and universities in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

In 2009, he was recognized with the Tangeman Award for Teaching Excellence, an award selected by previous recipients and current CCC students.

The Eureka High School graduate received an associate degree from Fort Scott Community College and a bachelor's degree in agriculture education from Kansas State University, where he was a member of the rodeo team. He went on to earn a master's degree in education from KSU.

Today, Russell is still trying to play golf, he says, and he returned to CCC as a part-time ag business instructor.

"This is my forty-third year of teaching. The people I've worked with, the students and the administrators, have made it fun to come to work. It doesn't feel like a job. I want to thank all of them for that."

When he has time, he visits his son Rocque and his daughter-in-law Krista in Abilene.

Dr. James Tangeman

Dr. Jim TangemanHired as CCC's dean of instruction in 1969, James Tangeman was named president in 1972 and led the college until 1988.

A graduate of Newton High School, he grew up on a dairy farm before attending Kansas State University. He played basketball and majored in physical education while a member of the Sigma Alpha fraternity. After graduating, he served in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant. He completed his tour in South Korea and returned to Fort Riley. During that period, he met his future wife, Sandra, who at the time was a senior at Kansas State.

The newly-married couple moved to Scott City. Tangeman was a math teacher and basketball coach who led the Beavers to a state championship. After three years, they moved to Wichita, where he was a coach, athletic director, and assistant principal. They spent six summers in Laramie, Wyo., as he finished his doctorate before moving to Colby.

Under his leadership at CCC, the institution saw significant changes to accommodate the growing enrollment. Agriculture programs expanded with the addition of the farm located east of town, and the livestock judging teams became a fixture on the national stage. The college pioneered outreach education in northwest Kansas by offering courses to smaller communities through interactive television and face-to-face classes. The Northwest Kansas Cultural Arts Center opened in 1976 as a site that welcomed audiences from the region to enjoy a variety of performances.

Tangeman's influence on employees and students is remembered annually with the Tangeman Award for Teaching Excellence, presented to a faculty member who demonstrates dedication and passion for student learning.

He left CCC in 1988 to be the president at Garden City Community College, where he stayed 14 years before retiring. The institution recognized his service with the naming of the Tangeman Sports Complex. As retirement began, Tangeman had a one-year stint as interim president at Seward County Community College. He continued to be involved in many activities and organizations at the local and state levels.

The couple resides in Wichita now and enjoys the arts, reading, and exercising. Throughout retirement, they have had opportunities to see the world.

"We traveled extensively, going on two around-the-world trips, visiting all seven continents, with Antarctica being the most unusual," he said. "Some of our other favorite spots were Africa, Dubai, and Petra."

They have also stayed active in their church, serving meals to the homeless and volunteering on the endowment committee.

"Our life has been blessed all these years," he added. "I very much appreciate this recognition."