College News

Jim and Kathi Armatys recognized by Barton Foundation

Jim and Kathi Armatys
Jim and Kathi Armatys were presented with the 2024 Distinguished Service Award during Barton's commencement ceremony Friday night in the Barton Gymnasium.

May 10, 2024
Story by Lindsey Bogner
Courtesy photo submitted

The Barton Community College Foundation presented the 2024 Distinguished Service Award to Jim and Kathi Armatys Friday during the annual commencement ceremony, both of whom are esteemed community members whose unwavering dedication has significantly enriched the missions of Barton and the Foundation.

After moving to Great Bend in 1987, Jim and Kathi quickly became involved in college events, attending basketball games and fundraising events and enjoying theatre productions.

Since the 1990s, the Armatyses have served as volunteers, directors, chairs, and advisors. Kathi co-chaired two consecutive Big Benefit Auctions for the Foundation in 1993 and 1994 and served as a Director on the Foundation Board from 1999 to 2005. In 2007, Jim and Kathi served as honorary chairs of the Academic Enrichment Fund campaign, showcasing their enduring care for Barton students.

In addition to their personal support, Jim is celebrating his 40th year with Edward Jones. He serves as a financial advisor, empowering others in our community to maximize their philanthropic giving to the Foundation.

He said he appreciates the well-rounded approach the College has taken to educate its students.

"We have always been impressed with the mission to nurture not only academic growth but also social and cultural development,” he said. “Equipping students with the essential skills to navigate the workforce successfully."

Kathi echoed this sentiment and said she recognizes the power of a college education.

"Each diploma earned at Barton represents a triumph, giving graduates the tools to confront the challenges of today's world,” she said.

Together, Jim and Kathi champion the Foundation and College's initiatives, building a culture of empowerment within our community. Their commitment to expanding opportunities underscores their belief in the transformative impact of education.

"The high cost of education often puts it out of reach for many," she said. "It takes all of us, through our committed support, to open doors for our friends, neighbors, and fellow community members to pursue their goals, improve their lives, and effect positive change in the communities we call home."

They are the parents of three children, Michael, Todd, and Kristyn, and they have six grandchildren. Their children were able to complete Barton classes before attending K-State, and they currently have a grandson attending classes at Barton.

Their years of service and enduring legacy resonate across our campuses, enriching the lives of countless individuals and shaping the future of Barton Community College. The Foundation is honored to recognize Jim and Kathi with this award.

The Distinguished Service Award was created in 1981 to recognize individuals who have shown genuine regard for and performed outstanding service to Barton Community College.