January 29, 2023

GCCC trustee Ron Schwartz passes away

The death of long standing Garden City Community College Board of Trustee, Ronald K. Schwartz, 67, was announced April 15, 2016, at St. Catherine Hospital. 

Schwartz began his service to the Board of Trustees at Garden City Community College in 2005.  During his time on the board Schwartz served in various positions, including Chairman of the Board 2009-2010.  Schwartz also served as a Kansas Association of Community College representative.  His current term on the board would have ended in 2017. 

A businessman in Garden City since 1978, Ron served as a Sales Representative with Burtis Motors.  His talented gift of working with people escalated his career and he received many promotions, eventually becoming a Partner and Manager of the Parts and Service Department until his retirement in 2012.

Ron was clearly committed to serving the community and especially Garden City Community College.  Ron’s skills in leadership included: serving as Chairman of the Kansas Automobile Association in 2007, Finney County Economic Development Corporation Board Member 2005-present; Pro-Am Committee for several years; and served on GCCC Board of Trustees from 2005-Present.

Accomplishments of Schwartz’s tenure on the board include: New Mobile Classroom; Renovations of the DPAC, renovation of the Beth Tedrow Student Center, new Broncbuster housing, new football/track/soccer complex/ replacement of several parking lots, new meats lab, multiple deferred maintenance projects, two new instructional programs (first new programs in 17 years), and board leadership toward advancing GCCC with substantial enrollment growth–largest in the state of Kansas.

Schwartz was honored this last August, 11, 2015 at a monthly GCCC Board of Trustee’s meeting with a special surprise for his birthday.  The road running East and West in front of the Beth Tedrow Student Center was named Schwartz Drive in Ron’s honor.  At that time Schwartz was asked what his favorite part of serving on the Board of Trustees had been.  Schwartz stated, “My favorite part of the serving on the board is the students. I want to see Garden City Community College continue to grow.  I want to see GCCC continue to improve their offerings, and I want to offer the best for our students.”

Indeed, Ron Schwartz, was a great supporter of the students of Garden City Community College.  It was a rare occasion that Ron and his wife Janie missed out on activities on the GCCC campus.  Ron and Janie truly enjoyed cheering on Broncbuster Athletics, and were a fixture in the stands of Broncbuster Volleyball, Football, and Basketball games.  Schwart’s infectious smile and wonderful attitude in spite of battling illness was an inspiration to students, faculty, staff, and board members at Garden City Community College.

President Herbert J. Swender, “Our campus flags will be lowered to half-staff on Tuesday, April 19, in tribute to Mr. Schwartz’s service to GCCC.   Ron clearly made a positive difference for thousands of students, many employees, and most certainly, our community.    It was truly our college’s privilege to have a Trustee that put service above self—he will be missed.  We join together in offering our condolences to his family, and honoring his legacy of leadership to Garden City Community College.”