John Sturd named recipient of Outstanding Tiger Alumni Award
John Sturd is a life-long resident of Arkansas City. He is a graduate of Arkansas City High School and Cowley College. He has gone on to forge a successful career in banking and currently serves as Arkansas City Market President for RCB Bank. The well-liked Sturd was recently recognized for his philanthropic work by being named the recipient of Cowley College’s Outstanding Tiger Alumni Award.
While a student at Cowley College, Sturd was a member of the nationally ranked Cowley Tiger tennis team where he was the Region VI singles and doubles champion. He was also the Vice President of the Student Government Association (SGA).
“I enjoyed my time at Cowley,” Sturd said. “After graduating from high school, I thought I knew what I wanted to do with my life, but really wasn’t sure. Cowley gave me the opportunity to explore different options and develop my self-confidence.”
Sturd has fond memories of his time on the Tiger tennis team and being involved in SGA.
“But, after all these years, my fondest memories are of the friendships I made that last to this day, and the people (faculty & staff) who took interest in me and helped me grow as a person – Dr. Gwen and Lu Nelson, coach Mike Watters, Linda Puntney, Don Hastings, Carol Hobaugh, W.S. (Bill) Scott, Sid Regnier, Linda Hargrove, Larry & Wanda (Shepard) Schwintz, and Forrest Smith to name a few.”
After completing his education at Oklahoma State University, he returned to Arkansas City to start his banking career and it was easy to get plugged back in at the College.
“Being a huge sports fan, I didn’t miss a Cowley College athletic event,” Sturd said. “I got involved with the Cowley College Foundation shortly after coming back to Arkansas City. I was forced to take a brief hiatus from the Foundation but was thrilled to get back on the Foundation Board, and get involved with the Tiger Booster Club Board. I have been fortunate over the years to serve the College in other capacities too.”
Sturd went on to complete his education at the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Colorado. He has spent his entire career as a banker in Arkansas City where he has held positions in audit, bank operations, lending, and bank management. He currently serves as Arkansas City Market President for RCB Bank. During his career, he has served numerous boards and organizations.
He is a retired college men’s basketball official and was named the recipient of the 2016-2017 Cowley College Foundation Ambassador Award. Both he and his wife, LeeAnn, graduated from Cowley as well as four of their five children. LeeAnn’s father, Lyle Eaton, served on the Board of Trustees. LeeAnn and her mother, Terry Eaton-Naden, taught ABE/GED/ESL at Cowley College for years. While LeeAnn’s brother, Curtis Eaton, attended Cowley; her sister, Stacy (Eaton) Tener is also a Cowley graduate. Terry, LeeAnn, Stacy, and the Sturd’s daughters Brylee, Jancye, and Karlye were all Queen Alalah finalists –with Brylee being crowned Queen Alalah.
“We’re working on the next generation – all our grandchildren are Cowley Tiger fans,” Sturd said.
Cowley College vice president of institutional advancement Dr. Kori Gregg said each year the Cowley College Foundation has the honor of selecting an individual(s) for the Outstanding Tiger Alumni award, the highest award bestowed upon an outstanding alum.
“This year’s recipient absolutely bleeds Orange and Black! John exemplifies all the qualities that make us proud to say he is a Tiger – not only is he successful in his career, but he continues to give back to our college and our community in immeasurable ways. He truly sets the example that we hope all of our graduates will follow,” Dr. Gregg said.
Sturd is honored and humbled to be named the recipient of the Outstanding Tiger Alumni Award.
“I am certain there are other alumnus out there who are much more deserving than me,” Sturd said. “Cowley College is a very special place. The relationships developed there last a lifetime. Once a Tiger always a Tiger!”