Six honored for estate gifts at Circle of the Gold Society Luncheon

Circle of Gold
Published: Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

This year's inductees for the Circle of the Gold society were recognized at a luncheon this month. The event included a keynote speech from the 2016 Hubbard Award of Excellence recipient Amy Winters.

Fighting tears throughout the delivery of her speech Amy Winter, a full-time employee of Fidelity Bank and a full-time mom and wife, thanked donors during her keynote speech delivered at this year’s Circle of the Gold Society Luncheon at Butler Community College. Referring to the term, HERO, Helping Each other Reach our Objectives, Winter told the guests, “You…each are a HERO. Butler and donors, you help Butler students take tomorrow.”

The annual event, which featured Winter who is the 2016 Hubbard Award of Excellence winner, honors those individuals who have signed a Declaration of Intent to include Butler in their estate plans. The luncheon this year was sponsored by The Commerce Trust Company and Lance and Lisa Lechtenberg of El Dorado.

This year, six individuals and couples were inducted into the Circle of the Gold Society. Their deferred gifts count toward The Forever Butler Campaign’s $10 million endowment goal. The campaign is in its final year and is more than $9 million to the goal. Dollars raised for the campaign are all to support scholarships, internships, and college program funds.

“Today you are philanthropists,” said Stacy Cofer, Vice President of Advancement. “You are improving humankind by solving social issues.”

Winter took the attendees through the events leading up to Butler’s recent commencement. Coming into her last semester she had not planned on attending any commencement activities. A meeting with  an academic advisor to arrange her class schedule changed that. The advisor told her if she kept her grade point average (GPA) high she could not only attend the Order of the Purple academic honors ceremony, but she would be eligible to nominate an outstanding faculty or staff member who had impacted her journey at Butler.

“I wanted to stay above a 3.75 (GPA) so I could honor a faculty member,” Winter said. “They were amazing to me in so many ways, I can’t even say in words.”

It was because of her high GPA that Winter was eligible for the Hubbard Award of Excellence, Butler’s highest academic honor and largest transfer scholarship for $14,000 established by R.D. and Joan Dale Hubbard in 1985. Winter had nearly given up finding any transfer scholarships because her non-traditional student status did not qualify her for many. After receiving a reminder email to apply for the Hubbard Award of Excellence, Winter decided it was worth taking a risk.

“Had I just found a scholarship I qualified for?” Winter told the audience she asked herself.

She applied and interviewed as one of the four finalists chosen from more than 60 applicants. But she did not find out she was the winner until the morning commencement ceremony on May 14. Winter told the audience she had a million thoughts running through her mind as her name was announced, but one very important one was last; how much winning this award meant to her and her family.

“I wanted to give the Hubbard’s a big hug,” Winter said.

Winter closed her speech with thankfulness.

“I am glad I chose Butler,” Winter said. “It has prepared me to be a successful alum and more driven for the future. Thank you for the students of the past and those in the future. Thank you. You are HEROs (Helping Each other Reach our Objectives) in our books forever.”

2016 inductees to the Circle of the Gold Society:

Rev. Dr. James and Micaela Ayers – El Dorado, Kansas

Debbie Hinnen – Monument, Colorado

Alan and Bobbie Jaax – El Dorado, Kansas

Tom McKibban and Dr. Cathy Cooper – El Dorado, Kansas

Charlie and Mary Moon – Wichita, Kansas

Bernadette A. Spradling – El Dorado, Kansas

Philanthropic contributions to Butler Community College are coordinated by the Butler Community College Foundation. The foundation manages fundraising efforts with alumni, friends, corporations and foundations to secure private support for the college. For more information about the Butler Community College Foundation visit our website at or find us on Facebook