Described as kind, quiet, unassuming and humble, Corbin Wilt served many people while rising to the rank of Sergeant with the Winfield Police Department. Hoping to honor Corbin’s legacy, the Corbin Wilt Memorial Scholarship was created at Cowley College. A number of Corbin’s friends and family members turned out for the announcement of the scholarship Wednesday inside Cowley College’s President’s Dining Hall.
Corbin was by his very nature a leader that helped inspire and motivate others.
“I am glad to honor Corbin with this scholarship in his name and hope it can provide quiet support to those that need it and also motivate people to follow their law enforcement dreams and provide humility of service like Corbin did,” Cowley College director of Criminal Justice Frank Owens said. “Just like Corbin, I hope this scholarship serves many people.”
Corbin was raised and educated in Winfield, and graduated from Winfield High School in 1993. He then attended Cowley College, majoring in Criminology. Corbin later attended the KU Law Enforcement Training Facility in Hutchinson, Kansas.
He later worked for the Winfield Police Department where he was a sergeant and also served as a volunteer firefighter for the Winfield Fire Department.
Sadly, he passed away in 2012.
Owens said the idea for a criminal justice scholarship was generated by a class of his.
“They worked events and donated $600 of their own money to help start the scholarship so I accepted the money and had to decide what we wanted to name it,” Owens said. “I approached Corbin’s family and asked if it would be ok to honor his memory by naming the scholarship after him and they immediately loved the idea. The driving idea behind the scholarship is that it will be specifically for students majoring in criminal justice and will not be based solely on academics as the idea is that there are lots of people (like Corbin) that may struggle and need a little extra help and we want to provide that for them.”
Owens thanked friends of Corbin’s from the Winfield Police Department that were in attendance, and also thanked Winfield Police Chief Robbie DeLong for the Department’s $1,000 donation to the Corbin Wilt Memorial Scholarship.
Corbin’s father, Wayne, was a reserve officer with the Winfield Police Department for 19 years before becoming a county commissioner. Corbin’s brother, Roger, is the police chief in Burden, KS, and his other brother, Barclay, is a former sergeant with the Cowley County Sheriff’s Department.
“For decades the Wilt family name has been synonymous with public service,” Owens said. “Despite being taken away too early; Corbin was ahead of his time. He would have been an exemplary officer by today’s standards. He was a good officer and a good friend. He left a hole we cannot fill.”
Cowley College president Dr. Dennis C. Rittle said the College will work to make this an endowed scholarship.
“I appreciate what Corbin meant as a Criminal Justice student and as a community member in law enforcement,” Dr. Rittle said. “Scholarships change lives. This scholarship will benefit people for years to come.”
Corbin’s father, Wayne, flanked by his wife, Karen, accepted a plaque honoring Corbin and thanked those in attendance for attending the scholarship reception.
“Thank you for being friends with Corbin,” Wilt said. “We really miss him and appreciate your friendship.”
To donate to the Corbin Wilt scholarship visitwww.cowleyfoundation.org and click on “donate”.