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North Arkansas College Receives Endowment Honoring NATCO Founders
August 2006

South Shore Foundation Funds Endowment at North Arkansas College

South Shore Foundation Funds Endowment at North Arkansas College
Dr. Jeff Olson, president of North Arkansas College, (seated, left) and Dr. Jim Stockton, executive director of the college’s foundation, (seated, right) view a big check representing the Millie & Ray Sanders - South Shore Foundation Endowment. The late Millie and Ray Sanders were founders of Northern Arkansas Telephone Company (NATCO), parent company of the South Shore Foundation. Standing are NATCO Vice President Steven Sanders Jr. (left) and South Shore Foundation Chairman Jodie Elizabeth Jeffrey (right). The endowment will provide full-tuition scholarships for North Arkansas College students from Marion and Boone counties.

The South Shore Foundation Board of Directors has established a $36,000 endowment with the North Arkansas College Foundation in memory of founders of Northern Arkansas Telephone Company, Millie Sanders, who died Sept. 8, 2005 at the age of 97, and her husband Ray Sanders, who died in 1982. NATCO is the parent company of the South Shore Foundation.

Since its establishment in 1951, NATCO has remained a family-owned and operated, independent telephone company. The Sanders’ son, Steven G. Sanders Sr., is the current president, and his son, Steven G. Sanders Jr., is the current vice president and plant manager.

Mr. and Mrs. Ray Sanders worked together to develop NATCO from 42 subscribers within Flippin to a 650 square-mile territory serving nearly all of Marion County plus northern and eastern Boone County. Mr. Sanders was an experienced telephone man when he came to Arkansas and did much of the early NATCO work himself as Mrs. Sanders operated telephone switchboards in Flippin and later in Lead Hill.

Mr. Sanders continued to work at NATCO until1976 when he became ill and then suffered a stroke. Mrs. Sanders was on the NATCO Board and continued to visit NATCO employees at the business throughout her life.

“Earnings from this endowment will provide scholarships for Marion and Boone County residents to attend North Arkansas College,” Steven Sanders Jr. explained. “It is a fitting memorial to my grandparents because they emphasized the importance of education for our own family and all young people of this area.”

The South Shore Foundation’s memorial endowment requires those receiving the scholarships to study math, science, or technology or enter the field of teaching for these subjects as they begin their education at North Arkansas College. “The foundation’s board is encouraging students to prepare for the careers of the future,” said South Shore Foundation Chairman Jodie Elizabeth Jeffrey of Mountain Home.

North Arkansas College President Dr. Jeff Olson said, “The service area of North Arkansas College includes all of the public school districts supported by the South Shore Foundation. We are very pleased to receive this gift, honoring the memory of Millie and Ray Sanders, which will assist deserving area students as they continue their education.”

Scholarships will be available to North Arkansas College students in the fall of 2007, said Dr. Olson. They will be renewable for the length of each student’s chosen educational program at North Arkansas College, up to two years, provided they meet requirements for progress, attendance, and grade performance, said Ms. Jeffrey. For information or a scholarship application, call the Director of Admissions at (870) 391-3221 or visit the Web site at www.northark.edu.

North Arkansas College is a comprehensive community college enrolling approximately 2,200 students offering Associate of Arts and Associate of Science degrees for transfer, Associate of Applied Science degrees, Certificates, and Certificates of Proficiency. It serves the residents of Boone, Marion, Searcy, Carroll, Newton, and Madison counties.

South Shore Foundation was established in 1996 by Northern Arkansas Telephone Company to enhance the quality of life in the South Shore, Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas region by funding projects of nonprofit groups to advance education, preserve the environment, and develop the economy. For information or a grant application, call 800-775-6682.

 
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South Shore • 301 East Main Street • P.O. Box 209 • Flippin, AR 72634
Phone: (870) 453-8800 • Toll Free: 1-800-775-6682

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