Couple started a scholarship in their beloved pooch’s name. MCC event honors them

Honoree Karen Clegg (center) with MCC Chancellor Kimberly Beatty (from left), MCC Foundation Executive Director Jessica Ramirez, Foundation board member Bret Bonge and board chair Matt McFadden. Bonge is chair of the Foundation’s scholarship committee. (Photos by Riffel Photography)

Scholarships often bear someone’s name. More unusual is when that name belongs to a four-legged family member.

Such was the case when Stephen and Karen Clegg founded a Metropolitan Community College scholarship more than 10 years ago. As the MCC Foundation’s Jessica Ramirez tells it, after the Cleggs lost their beloved bichon frise Auriel, they reached out to thank the compassionate veterinary technician who’d shown the pooch exceptional care. But they wanted to do more.

They’d asked that vet tech where she received her training. Yes, at MCC’s vet tech program on the Maple Woods campus.

A plaque at MCC-Maple Woods’ vet tech program honors Auriel, a bichon frise, and lists the names of scholarship recipients.

The first Auriel Clegg Vet Tech Scholarship was awarded through the MCC Foundation in 2008-09. The amount of the scholarship varies. Up to two students receive the scholarship each year.

The Cleggs are hands-on donors whose support for MCC vet tech students has been “outstanding,” says Chris Morrow, vet tech program coordinator.

“Each spring they come back to Kansas City from their home in Florida to personally interview the students who have applied for their scholarship,” Morrow says. “The Cleggs show such tremendous interest in our students that all the students enjoy the interviews even if they don’t receive the award.”

Several recipients have told Morrow that the Auriel Clegg scholarship was a “key part of their success” in the vet tech program.

The MCC Foundation honored the Cleggs at its 2019 Gratitude Reception, held April 11 at the Kansas City home of Jason and Tennille Adkins. He is president of Unite Private Networks, another MCC Foundation donor.

Karen Clegg was presented with the Foundation’s Vision Award.

About 75 guests attended, including more than 20 current and former MCC students, some of them recipients of the Auriel Clegg scholarship and other Foundation scholarships. Ten vet tech student volunteers assisted at the reception.

Some scenes from the Gratitude Reception:

Hosts Tennille and Jason Adkins (from left) with Jessica Ramirez and Kimberly and Kelvin Beatty
Chancellor Beatty with John Ricciardelli, president of Honeywell Federal Manufacturing and Technology
Chancellor Beatty (back center) with a group of past and present MCC scholarship recipients
Scholarship recipient Brooke Peterman, who spoke at the event, juggles MCC online classes with working at the family business and raising two kids.
James Nowlin (left) with Tyjaun Lee, president of MCC’s Penn Valley and Maple Woods campuses, and Chris Morrow, vet tech program coordinator
Scholarship donor Karen Clegg (third from left) and vet tech program coordinator Chris Morrow (center) with a group of current and former vet tech students
Jim and Linda Martin (from left) with former MCC Foundation board member Maurice Watson. Jim Martin is a former Foundation board chair, and Linda Martin helped launch MCC’s Friends of Carter Art Center.
The MCC Jazz Ensemble performed at the reception.
Matt McFadden (from left) and Chancellor Kimberly Beatty with hosts Tennille and Jason Adkins

In this video, MCC vet tech alum Meagan Parks talks about the program, her career at a Kansas City animal hospital, and how the Auriel Clegg Vet Tech Scholarship helped her. The video was shown at the Gratitude Reception.