« Back

Cottey receives $1 Million Gift from Donor

Dr. Judy Rogers, president of Cottey College, is pleased to announce that Cottey College is the recipient of the single, largest gift in its history. A gift of $1 million dollars has been received from Thelma Serenbetz, of Harrison, New York.

Serenbetz is a P.E.O. and member of Chapter AJ, New York.  Serenbetz stated that she is inspired by Cottey’s mission of leadership and is “thrilled and pleased” that Cottey is becoming a four-year college.

The gift is designated to The Institute for Women’s Leadership, Social Responsibility, and Global Awareness. The director of the Institute, Dr. Carol Clyde, is thrilled to add the Serenbetz name to the Institute and is excited about the programming possibilities created by this generous gift.

“The Serenbetz Institute will prepare Cottey graduates to complete their majors uniquely educated to advance as women leaders in their field of study,” Rogers explained.

The Institute was established in 2010 and supports Cottey’s mission to educate women so they may realize their full potential as “learners, leaders, and citizens.”  The vision of the Institute is to be known as one of the nation’s premier women’s leadership programs through focused research, innovative instruction, and life-long mentorship that equips its graduates to make a responsible difference globally. 

Presently, the Institute collaborates with six Bachelor of Art majors accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to provide a unique instructional and experiential environment.  As its mission evolves, the Institute also will serve as Cottey’s external programming entity to provide continuing education to women of all ages and walks of life with opportunities to remain actively engaged as life-long learners. 

College officials stated this gift will allow for improvements in the facilities in the Helen and George Washburn Center for Women’s Leadership as well as staffing and programming for the Institute. 

Cottey College is an independent, liberal arts and sciences college for women offering two-year and selected four-year degree programs. Cottey is located in Nevada, Missouri. Its residential student capacity of 350 typically represents 40 states and 20 countries. Cottey is owned by the P.E.O. Sisterhood, an international women’s organization of over 238,000 members making Cottey the only nonsectarian college in the United States owned and supported by women for women.