College & Community Relations

Aims Community College names Honorary Fellows

Submitted on: 05-08-2007

The Board of Trustees of Aims Community College has selected the Aims Honorary Fellows for 2007. At the board’s May 2 meeting, the Fellows or their family members were honored by President Marsi Liddell and the board. Former Aims presidents Ed Beaty, Richard Laughlin, George Conger and Paul Thompson were selected, as well as Aims Foundation board member John Houtchens and the college’s legal counsel Stow Witwer. The Aims Honorary Fellows award recognizes community members for their extraordinary commitment, allegiance and contributions to the goals of Aims Community College and higher education in general. They are selected based on: - Long-standing efforts to further the goals and purposes of higher education - Service as an advocate of life-long learning. - Championing and/or supporting students and education. - Significant contributions to the furthering of scholarship in the state, county, community or the mission of Aims Community College. This year, in Aims’ 40th Anniversary, the board chose to recognize all past presidents of the college. Susan Brack accepted the award for her father, the late Ed Beaty. Beaty was appointed as the first president of Aims in 1967. “Without a doubt, he shepherded the college through its formative years, from its first home at the Lincoln Elementary School building through the purchase of the 175-acre permanent site for college in 1969, as well as construction of the Trades and Industry Building and Horizon Hall,” Liddell said. “Tragically, Dr. Beaty’s tenure ended suddenly when he passed away in office in 1975.” Richard Laughlin took the reigns from Ed Beaty, first as interim president, then as president. He served from 1976 to 1978. During his tenure, both the Physical Education building and Ed Beaty Hall were completed. “To this date, we have not been able to locate Dr. Laughlin or his family,” Liddell said. “So, we will retain his award until we are able to contact a representative.” George Conger succeeded Richard Laughlin and became the third president of Aims in 1979 and served through 1997. He was on hand to accept the award. “Dr. Conger’s term as president saw many advances at Aims including the addition of the south and west campuses, as well as the construction of the Welding Technology Building, Westview Hall, the College Center and the Corporate Education Center,” Liddell said. While he was in office, Aims celebrated its 25th anniversary and taught its 100,000th student. Doriann Thompson was at the meeting to accept the award on behalf of her late husband, Paul Thompson. “As the fourth president of Aims Community College, Dr. Thompson oversaw many improvements at the college including the development of the Winograd Center for Innovative Learning, the dedication of the Thai Houses and construction of the Aims Flight Simulator Center,” Liddell said. Thompson was president of Aims from 1998 to 2001. In addition to recognizing the college’s past presidents, the Board selected two community members to receive the honor. Aims Foundation Board Member, John Houtchens was on hand to accept the award. “John is an active member of the Greeley community and ardent Aims advocate,” Liddell said. “He is currently serving on the capital campaign committee for Aims and continues a long tradition of support for Aims by the entire Houtchens family.” Houtchens’ mother, the late Margaret Houtchens, was an integral part of the formation of Aims Community College. She fought for approval of the college’s tax district and served on its original board. “John has undoubtedly followed in his mother’s footsteps, both in his support of Aims and his foresight to see what might lie ahead for our institution,” Liddell said. Also, Aims’ legal counsel Stow Witwer was named as an Honorary Aims Fellow. “On the occasion of our 40th anniversary year, it seems particularly appropriate to recognize a tireless supporter of Aims Community College, one who has played an integral part in the college since its inception in 1967,” Liddell said. Less than seven months after the formation of the district in 1967, Witwer was appointed as legal counsel for the college. “Since that day, Stow has offered sage legal advice in a wide variety of topics,” Liddell said. “After a 40-year career, his opinion has earned the highest possible reputation. The history that Stow represents is invaluable. Stow is literally a walking history book of the life and times of Aims Junior College District.”

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