It’s been a year of celebrating and remembering for the Beloit and Hays communities, as North Central Kansas Technical College (NCK Tech) marks the 50th Anniversary of the college. The “Golden Opportunities” event in Hays on Saturday, March 28th, offered an additional reason for former NCK Tech Director, Dr. Robert (Bob) Severance, to celebrate. During the event, current NCK Tech President, Eric Burks, presented Dr. Severance with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of Bob’s many years of service to the college. Severance was hired as the second director of the North Central Area Vocational-Technical School in July, 1967 and served in that capacity until 1992. During his tenure, several significant events were a direct result of his leadership, including:

  • A satellite campus was established in Hays, on land donated by Leo J. & Albina Dreiling, in 1972. Bob recruited donors for funds to bring water, sewer, electrical and gas service to the campus;
  • Student Dormitories, a Student Union and the Dormitory Supervisor’s residence were constructed on the Beloit campus;
  • Streets on the Beloit campus were paved and named in 1977 and the Mears Administration building, in the center of campus, was dedicated in honor of Paul & Helen Mears;
  • In April, 1981, North Central Kansas Area Vocational Technical School (NCK – AVTS) was the first solely vocational-technical college in the state to achieve membership and accreditation into the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools;
  • The North Central Kansas Endowment Association was established in November, 1983 and Severance still serves on the Board as Past President;
  • In 1986, a negotiated Registered Nurse (RN) articulation agreement with Barton Co. Community College provided the opportunity for the school’s Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) students to continue their nursing education and become Registered Nurses;
  • In 1988, an indoor pool (natatorium) was added to the Beloit campus Student Union (now the Severance Student Union) and a new library also opened on the Beloit campus;
  • Sixteen new technical programs were added during Bob’s reign as Director.

Bob’s service to the college continues to this day, with service to the Foundation Board and lifeguard duties at the Natatorium, and his passion for technical education is apparent in his daily activities.

“If there’s a Mount Rushmore for NCK Tech, Bob would certainly be featured”, noted President Burks during the presentation. “It’s been a great ride”, said Severance as he accepted the award. “And, if we had it to do over, we’d do it again”.

The anniversary celebratory year began on the Beloit campus on August 23, 2014 and will conclude with a time capsule burial in late July, 2015. Remaining anniversary events include an Arbor Day tree planting on April 24, 2015, Commencement ceremonies on May 16 (Beloit) and May 17 (Hays) and a Flag Day commemoration in June.

For further information on the 50th Anniversary events, please contact Mari Tucker, Marketing/Foundation Director, at 785-623-6167, or visit: and click on the link.