Vignettes about Events & People
In April 1995, Patti Hunter became the first woman ever elected to the Board of Trustees of Cowley County Community College.
When she left office in 1999 and decided not to seek re-election, she was one of three women on the six-member Board. Donna Avery and LaDonna Lanning were the two other females elected.
Complete fiscal and administrative independence did not become effective until July 1, 1967, when a separate Board of Trustees, elected by the citizens of Cowley County, assumed full control.
Until that time, members of the Board of Education for District 470 acted in a dual capacity by serving as trustees of the college. Board members who acted in this double-duty role included three women, Dorothy Bryant, Marilyn Childers, and Zora Weir. Hunter not only became the first female elected to the college’s Board, but she also was the top vote-getter in the April 1995 election.
Hunter, the former Patti Tieperman and the fourth of eight children, was an Arkansas City resident. She was employed at General Electric’s Aircraft Engine Maintenance Center at Strother Field, and was married to Doug Hunter, then director of Cowley’s art department. Doug died on Jan. 6, 2001, following a lengthy illness.
Patti graduated from Cowley and Kansas Newman College, now known as Newman University. She was a charter member of the Two Rivers Quality Improvement Network, and was active in the total quality management concept at GE. She said she ran for a spot on the Board because, "I needed to prove to myself and to other people that there was more here," referring to herself as a person. "People don’t like taking chances on outsiders." Patti attended Cowley after graduating from Arkansas City High School in 1978. In 1995, she received her bachelor’s degree in business management from Newman. She has three daughters, Lindsay, Ashley, and Tricia, and one granddaughter Chase.