Colby Community College will welcome four new members to the CCC Alumni Hall of Fame. The class of 2015 includes Blake Flanders, Pat Mallory, Pat Keiser, and Dawn Stephens. On Saturday, Nov. 7 a reception will be held in their honor in the basement of the Colby Community Building from 5:30-7:00 p.m. A brief plaque presentation is scheduled between the CCC men’s and women’s basketball games later that evening.
The Colby Community College Alumni Hall of Fame was established in 2012. Each year the Hall of Fame welcomes individuals or couples who have made a substantial contribution to the college through personal time, effort and interest, or have contributed in a significant way to the lives of others after being part of Colby Community College.
A list of past recipients and nomination information can be found at www.colbycc.edu/alumni
The class of 2015:
Dr. Blake Flanders
Blake Flanders grew up on a farm north of Edson, and is a graduate of Goodland High School. From 1982-84, he was a member of the livestock judging team at Colby Community College on the way to completing his associate degree. He transferred to Kansas State University, where he earned both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in animal science, and later a Doctorate of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction.
Today, Dr. Flanders is the president and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents, the governing board of the state’s six universities and the statewide coordinating board for all 32 public higher education institutions in Kansas. The Kansas public higher education system consists of six state universities, a municipal university, nineteen community colleges, and six technical colleges, which serve approximately 250,000 students annually.
Prior to his current appointment, Flanders served as Vice President of Workforce Development at the Board of Regents. Previous to the vice president role, he was the liaison between the Kansas Board of Regents and the Kansas Department of Commerce, Vice President of Instructional Services at Manhattan Area Technical College, and as a member of the faculty and livestock judging coach at Butler Community College.
Pat Mallory is a long-time supporter and alumnus of Colby Community College. He was born and raised in Colby, and graduated from Colby High School in 1968. He earned an associate degree from CCC in 1970, and transferred to Fort Hays State University where he completed a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1972.
After three years employed at North Platte State Bank in North Platte, Neb., Mallory and his wife Deanna returned to Colby in 1975 to take a job with Farmers and Merchants State Bank. He later worked at Hawk and Mallory, a Colby wholesale grocery business, for 20 years. Since 2002 Mallory has worked for S & T Communications.
Aside from his professional career, Mallory served on the Colby City Council for 19 years. He was a member of the CCC Board of Trustees for four years (1995-1999), and the Thomas County Economic Development board for six years. Today, Mallory is a member of Kiwanis, and serves on the executive board for the Citizens Medical Center Hospital Foundation. He is also part of the Kansas Municipal Energy Agency board for the City of Colby.
“I believe CCC is not only vital to the community and northwest Kansas for its educational opportunities,” he said, “but is extremely important to the local economy.”
Mallory’s wife Deanna is a retired co-owner of Donelan Jewelry in downtown Colby. They have been married 44 years and have two daughters, Darci and Kerri, who also attended CCC.
Pat Keiser was born and raised on a farm in Cozad, Neb. Her passion for helping others came early, when in eighth grade she began working in a Cozad doctor’s office. From the time she could walk, she helped her father with cows and horses, working yearlings, stitching up injured horses, and delivering baby calves.
In 1977 she married Bruce Keiser. They have two sons who attended CCC, and a daughter-in-law: Michael and Kim of Pratt, and Nathan, of Nevada, Mo.
Being a mother is Keiser’s first love, and as her children got older she was still able to “mother” by becoming involved with Colby High School basketball and eventually Colby Community College athletics. She started doing the official basketball books in 1994 and acquired the nickname “Mother Pat.”
Keiser has contributed to many local boards over the years. First, with the United Methodist Church, and later as chairwoman for three years on the inaugural board of the Genesis-Thomas County food bank in Colby. In addition to her favorite job of mothering, she enjoyed being the crossing guard at the corner of 4th and Grant.
Her life in Colby has had trying times as well. Eleven years ago she was diagnosed with retinal cancer. Her involvement in athletics gives her an outlet to keep her occupied.
“Without coaches, players, and referees I would not be here” she said. “They let me ‘see’ one or two hours a day at practices and games, and it allows me to forget that I am blind.”
According to Keiser, many coaches have come and gone in her time with CCC and CHS, and hundreds of players have circled through her life.
“Thanks to my husband Bruce taking me to out of town games and doctors Jeff Morrison and Peter Hoveland using aggressive treatments,” I am still here to mother the next team.”
A native of Colby, Dawn Chambers Stephens was a member of the CCC Lady Trojans basketball team from 1986-1988. In her tenure at CCC, she set school records in career points (1094), assists (373), steals (239) and established new standards in 16 different categories including game high marks for points (42) and assists (15). She was an all-region first-team pick, first team all-conference, and the top vote recipient in the region for NJCAA All-America honors in 1988. In addition, she was an Academic All-American both years at CCC. She went on to play point guard for Penn State University from 1988-1990, where she led the Lady Lions in free throw percentage (84.2). She also played professionally for the Women’s Basketball Association’s Kansas Marauders in 1993-1994.
In 1991 Stephens received a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and was the top graduating student in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State. She earned a Master’s of Physical Therapy degree from Wichita State University in 1993, and was selected as the top PT student from WSU and the University of Kansas in 1993. She has been a physical therapist since 1993.
Stephens returned to the Lady Trojans from 1997-2009 as assistant coach to her husband and head coach Tom Stephens. She and Tom have 3 children - Reed, 19; Jill, 13; and Grant, 8.
Today, she owns Northwest Kansas Physical Therapy in Stockton.