Honors & Recognitions | Butler Community College

Honors & Recognitions

Each year Butler Community College recognizes the outstanding work of our students with academic honors and yearly awards.


Established 1937

The Order of the Purple was established to recognize graduates who were outstanding in scholarship, leadership, service and character. The first group of seven students was inducted into the ORDER OF THE PURPLE in the spring of 1937. Over the years, the requirements for this award have changed as standards and practices have changed.Today, to be eligible for this honor, students must have completed 30 resident Butler hours and hold a 3.75 or higher combined (institutional and transfer) grade point average. Students inducted into ORDER OF THE PURPLE receive a commemorative medallion to wear at Commencement as a distinctive symbol of their academic achievement.


Established 1985

In 1985, the Board of Trustees created the ORDER OF THE GOLD award for students who maintain a 4.0 GPA. Students who have completed 30 resident Butler hours and achieved a 4.0 combined (institutional and transfer) grade point average are honored as ORDER OF THE GOLD. These recipients will be inducted into ORDER OF THE PURPLE at the ceremony the afternoon before Commencement and receive a special plaque recognition during the Commencement ceremony.


Established 1918


Established 1992

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) is a National Honors Society serving American institutions that offer associate degree programs. Its purpose is to recognize and encourage scholarship among associate degree students. PTK provides opportunity for the development of leadership and service, for an intellectual climate to exchange ideas and ideals, for lively fellowship for scholars and for stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence. PTK members are inducted during a special ceremony held each fall and spring semester. At Commencement, PTK members are distinguished by a yellow stole.

Hubbard Award

Established 1985

In 1985, R.D. Hubbard dedicated a scholarship fund to recognize and encourage excellence at Butler. Mr. Hubbard and his wife, Joan Dale, have devoted many resources to the support of Butler students and facilities. The Hubbard Center, Hubbard Champions Training Center, Hubbard Welcome Center, and Hubbard Award of Excellence are but a few of the many gifts they have provided. Through the Hubbard Foundation, more than $3 million has been donated to our college. The Hubbards support numerous high schools, colleges, and universities throughout the United States. In late April, R.D. passed away. This great loss to our institution makes this award even more special as it is a great legacy to everything the Hubbards have done for Butler.


Bailey Baker, Alanis Balza, Hannah Becker, Kylie Litavniks and Summer Scharenberg


Established 2018

The Butler Community College Trustee Scholarship was established in 2018 and awarded last year for the first time. This scholarship was established by former trustee Ron Engelbrecht and his wife Barbra along with other current and former trustees. As a former trustee, Ron knows the impact Butler has on the lives of students. The goal of this scholarship is to invest in the education of a graduating student from Butler County.


Established 1989

Gregory A. Bales (1965-1989) was the son of Leon and Nancy Bales of Yates Center, Kansas. Before his untimely death, he exemplified the highest standards of a college student. Besides demonstrating outstanding academic achievement, Greg was active in journalism, music and theatre. In 1985, he earned an Associate in Arts degree from Butler County Community College. In 1988, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kansas State University. Greg, nicknamed Huey at Butler for his clean-cut looks and his resemblance to the leader of the musical group Huey Lewis and the News, was a Renaissance person.

The HUEY Award, Humankind Understands Educating Youth is, in the view of a committee of administrators, faculty and staff, a fitting award memorializing his life. Each year the HUEY Award is given to an ORDER OF THE PURPLE graduate who possesses the same high standards for both academics and extra-curricular activities that Greg possessed.


Established 1984

Helen Teter (1912-1984) was a pioneer of Butler County and an early rancher of the state. She was one of El Dorado’s leading philanthropists. Few people knew about her works, and that was the way she wanted it. She was a leader in the community, assisting church organizations, young people and those in need.

Helen attended Kansas State University where she met Robert Zebold, an agriculture major. They married in 1933 and spent the next 12 years on a cotton plantation in southeastern Arkansas. After World War II, they returned to Butler County to raise livestock and to look after the land she had inherited. Helen loved the Flint Hills and stayed there until her death in 1983.

The Helen Teter Zebold Science Award was established in her memory. Each year it is awarded to a graduating sophomore majoring in science, math or engineering. The student must be firmly committed to continued study in that major, and plan to work toward earning a bachelor’s degree.


The Winnie Broers scholarship is awarded annually by the Butler Foundation to an eligible graduating sophomore. The recipient will receive the scholarship for four semesters while attending either Kansas State University or the University of Kansas. This scholarship was established in the early 1980’s from the last will and testament of Winnie L. Broers.


Established 2019

David and Shirley Longfellow both retired from Butler after careers as beloved instructors. David taught English Composition, American Literature, and Introduction to Science Fiction while Shirley taught business classes. David and Shirley helped start the Butler Community College High Q competition and were members of the committee for 17 years; Shirley was coordinator of the program for 14 years. For many years David was active in the nominations and applications for the Butler Community College Master Teacher program. Shirley coordinated a Butler Community College High School Business Contest for 25 years. In 1977, Shirley received the Kansas Master Teacher Award and in 1987 she received the R. B. Russell Outstanding Teacher of Kansas Award. Both David and Shirley are well respected among Butler’s retired faculty and have equal credibility in the community. Their endowed fund supports one student who is dedicating their career to teaching by completing their degree in the BEST (Butler/Emporia Students to Teachers) Program.


Established 2019

Crossland Construction Company and the Crossland family exemplify what it means to give back. Their expertise building athletic stadiums, as evidenced by the BG Products Veterans Sports Complex, is known throughout the country. It is the Crossland’s focus on education and philanthropy that makes them stand out as a true leader in the communities their company calls home. The company encourages career advancement through education with Crossland Academy, their in-house program that partners with regional institutions of higher education. Long-time supports of Pittsburg State University, the Crossland endowed fund supports one student who is attending Pittsburg State following their graduation from Butler.