With the close of the fiscal year, the Hesston College community was pleased to see another year end in the black and the Development team meet the Annual Fund goal to assist with financial aid for students.

“Steady enrollment, generous contributions, strong academics and student life, and a positive learning environment have all contributed to this positive outcome,” said President Howard Keim.

Despite a slowly recovering economy, Vice President of Advancement Yvonne Sieber gives much of the credit for the Annual Fund success to alumni, friends of the college and Partners.

About 750 individuals from 36 states and three countries are considered Hesston College Partners based on their annual giving commitments to the college. Their gifts make up 79 percent of the Annual Fund, with the primary purpose being to provide institutional scholarships and grants as financial aid for students. On average, a student receives more than $8,000 in institutional aid from the Annual Fund each year.

“We are blessed with many loyal supporters of this important ministry of the church,” said Sieber.

The positive financial news for 2010-11 topped off a year of several noteworthy accomplishments for Hesston College.

In August 2010, Washington Monthly magazine named the college the number 2 two-year college in the country in terms of academic quality and student engagement and success.

The inaugural year of the First Year Seminar course improved the student experience by providing students with opportunities to engage more closely with Hesston College and the wider Hesston community and to step outside their comfort zone by exploring relevant issues. During the upcoming academic year, the course will explore sustainability practices with the wider campus community.

The nursing program continues its tradition of excellence with 98 percent of its graduates having achieved RN licensure throughout the program’s 44 year history. Due to the popularity of the program, the department expanded by eight students per class in 2010-11, and, with the partnership of Newton Medical Center, a new simulation lab was opened to accommodate the growing program. In December, the program received the full eight years of re-approval from the Kansas State Board of Nursing.

The Air Traffic Control program, which became the only FAA certified program in Kansas in April 2010, graduated its first seven students in May. All seven students scored above the necessary 70 percent on the Air Traffic Selection and Training exam in order to continue their training with the FAA.

Cross country was reinstated as a varsity athletic program after a 30-year hiatus, and one runner, freshman Kenny Graber of Stryker, Ohio, ran in the NJCAA Division I cross country championship meet in Spartanburg, S.C. in November.

The college was also successful in raising funds for the Erb Hall Renovation project. The dorm renovations will be completed before students return in August.