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SCCC Foundation Awards First Betty Jane Buchanan Nursing Scholarship

Joe Denoyer - January 10, 2024 1:29 pm

by Rachel Coleman

The Seward County Community College Foundation announces the establishment of the the Betty Jane Buchanan Nursing scholarship. Nursing student Alexis Rodriguez is the first recipient of this award.

“We are so thankful for donors like Betty,” said SCCC Foundation Interim Director Sarah Thompson. “All contributions are important, and the ones that come with a personal story and focus add another layer of warmth and connection to the students who receive this help. We’re so honored to be part of keeping Betty’s legacy and life work alive.”

Buchanan was born and lived most of her life in Liberal. She wanted to be a registered nurse as long as she could remember and follow in the footsteps of a much-admired aunt. After graduation from Liberal High School, she moved to Amarillo and attended Northwest Texas Hospital School of Nursing.

She reminisced that the three-year diploma program where students lived on campus and gained their clinical experience by staffing the hospital. Few outside interests were allowed and students had to remain single. At that time, the diploma nurse was the best-prepared RN to enter the hospital setting.

Graduating in 1957, Buchanan returned to Liberal and worked at Epworth Hospital, which later relocated and was named Southwest Medical Center. The Epworth Building eventually became the site of Seward County Community College and for several decades housed the college’s nursing and Allied Health programs.

Buchanan worked as a nurse in Liberal for 47 years, the last 10 at National Beef Packing Co. She saw many changes in nursing: when she entered the profession, reusable glass syringes were standard, and there was no such thing as intensive care units. Friends and colleagues recall Buchanan’s dedication to continuing education; she stayed current in her field. She subscribed to several nursing periodicals, studied them, tore out articles, and shared them with other nurses until she died.

“She loved being a nurse, and she loved living in Liberal,” said a family representative. “She was a mentor to many throughout her career and a fierce patient advocate her entire life.”

In tribute to Buchanan’s inspiring journey and boundless dedication to the nursing profession, The Betty Jane Buchanan Nursing Scholarship seeks to enable aspiring nurses to embark on their educational journeys without financial burden. Established in March 2023, this scholarship not only honors Betty Jane’s enduring legacy but also nurtures the next generation of compassionate and knowledgeable healthcare professionals. It is expressly designed to support individuals who, like Betty, harbor a passionate calling towards nursing, said her representatives, offering them the means to pursue their dreams and ultimately serve with a blend of compassion, continual learning, and staunch patient advocacy. Thus, Betty’s spirit will perpetually live on, fostering the growth of empathetic, educated, and devoted nurses for generations to come.

SCCC President Brad Bennett noted that donations to the SCCC Foundation are tax-deductible and timely as the year closes.

“Donors can establish endowed scholarships for $5,000, which ensures the principal funds remain invested, generating funds for scholarships far into the future,” he said. “It is people like Betty Jane Buchanan who are instrumental in ensuring a future for students in this region.”

For information about the many ways to support the SCCC Foundation’s work to support student success, contact the development office at SCCC at 620-417-1131.


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