In recognition of their contributions to the success of the community of Colby and the college, Dr. Larry and Joyce Washburn have been selected by Colby Community College as the 2015 Honorary Associate Degree recipients.
Larry and Joyce graduated from Colby Community College in 1969 and 1970, respectively. Both graduated from Fort Hays State University in 1972. Larry earned a Bachelor of Science in science. Joyce earned her Bachelor of Science in elementary education. Joyce continued her academic career at Emporia State University, earning a master’s degree in curriculum development with a certificate in reading in 1976. Larry earned a Doctorate in Optometry from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn. in 1977.
Joyce was instrumental in many significant accomplishments at the college. She began working at CCC part-time in 1980 and accepted a full-time position in 1986. Over the next three decades her titles included Director of the Comprehensive Learning Center, Adult Education Director, Developmental Reading Instructor, Division Chair, and Dean of Academic Affairs, a position she held until her retirement in 2013.
During her career Joyce was recognized numerous times for her commitment to student learning. In 1990 she was elected president of the Kansas Adult Education Association and president of the College Endowment Board. She was also chosen to receive the Missouri Valley Adult Education Achievement Award in 1991. In addition, she served on the Dr. Max Pickerill Lecture Series committee, and in 2004 was co-chair of the steering committee that helped the college earn a 10-year reaccreditation with the Higher Learning Commission.
Joyce is a member of the Colby Rotary Club. She is a past member of the Colby Diplomats and the Northwest Kansas Foundation for Hope.
The Washburns have two children who also graduated from CCC. Daughter Taylor is an infectious disease doctor and faculty member at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver. Her husband Ken is a surgery resident at the University of Colorado Hospital. Taylor and Ken are parents to seven-month-old Theodore. Larry and Joyce’s son Drew works at VIP Research, Inc. in Kansas City. While attending CCC, both Taylor and Drew were awarded the Phi Theta Kappa All-Kansas Academic Award. Taylor was also recognized as the Mosier Award winner for the outstanding sophomore at CCC. Drew was active in athletics and earned Academic All-American honors on the track team.
“Both Larry and I have great memories of our time at CCC,” said Joyce. “I had the opportunity to work for the first five presidents of the college. I was a work study while attending school when Dr. Mosier was President, and I worked as an instructor for Dr. Tangeman, Dr. Ary, Dr. Kreider and Dr. Vacik. The College has been a large part of our lives here in Colby.”
The Washburns were selected by a committee of college and community members. The honorary degrees will be conferred during commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 15, at 6 p.m. in the Colby Community Building.