Jim and Cyndi Neuwirth received the Western Nebraska Community College Friends of the College award at WNCC’s 87th Annual Commencement last Saturday.
The Friend of the College award, which is the highest honor given by WNCC, is presented to a person, couple, business, or community organization for their commitment to education and fulfilling the WNCC mission of assuring learning opportunities for all – enriching lives, invigorating communities, and creating futures.
“We love our Cougar award,” Cyndi said of the trophy that depicts a cougar. “There are a lot of people in this world that are very deserving of it, too. We’ve always volunteered and tried to help our community with events, but the Dorm Host Family Program is a rare opportunity for Jim and I to give back to the college in a different way that not everybody can give back.”
“For us, when you become an empty nest and all of a sudden you’re sitting still, joining (the Dorm Host Family Program) has probably been the best thing we’ve ever done,” Jim said.
The Neuwirths, who have owned and managed ABC Nursery in Scottsbluff for more than 40 years, have been longtime participants in the program, welcoming around 40 students to their home in the last decade alone.
Through the years the Neuwirths have hosted student-athletes who participated in volleyball, softball, soccer, baseball, and basketball, as well as students involved in WNCC’s Performing Arts programs. The couple attends numerous Cougar athletic events throughout the year and routinely purchase tickets at performing arts events.
“Their influence is certainly seen, but their true depth of impact on our student-athletes is something that can only truly be felt,” said WNCC head softball coach Katie Groves.
Though the recognition is an honor, Jim said, receiving the award has given Jim and Cyndi the opportunity to encourage other community members to participate in the Dorm Host Family Program.
“Either way, we’ll keep on doing it and keep looking to make new acquaintances, so that’s fun for us,” Jim said. “Maybe next year we might be considered dorm grandparents.”
For more information on WNCC’s Friend of the College Award, contact Alumni Relations & Stewardship Director Mary Sheffield at 308-630-6571 or by email email@example.com.