Marian Cook Legacy Award
The Marian D. Cook Legacy Award was established by the Cloud County Community College Humanities Division in 2011. In the spirit of Marian Cook's dedication to the arts and her community, the award is presented annually to an exemplary supporter of the arts and education within the community.
Marian Cook was a patron of the arts – simply described as “one that supports, protects, or champions someone or something, such as an institution, event, or cause.” Colonel N. B. Brown was probably Concordia’s first back in l907 when he opened the Brown Grand Theatre. After a gap of 73 years, Marian D. Cook was the next. Though gone, both are still giving to the Concordia community.
Marian Cook’s husband, the financial wizard Charles, died in l971, and shortly thereafter, Marian joined a small group of citizens talking (some thought nonsense) about buying and restoring the Brown Grand. What followed became another of fate’s happy marriages of time and place.
Marian began giving to the (Brown Grand) theatre from the onset: money, time, ideas, leadership, and encouragement. But she wouldn’t take credit or wish to be singled out above anyone else. She did what she did to get the job done. The Brown Grand Theatre continues today as a testament to Marian’s community-minded generosity.
The Charles and Marian Cook Series was founded in 1992 by Marian in memory of Charles. The Cooks were avid global explorers who embraced travel as life’s greatest form of education. Recognizing that not everyone had the resources for world travel, Mrs. Cook created an ongoing event series that would bring cultural and educational experiences to Concordia through Cloud County Community College.
Sutton named 2016 Marian D. Cook Legacy Award recipient
Susan Sutton, retired Cloud County Community College instructor, has been named the 2016 Marian D. Cook Legacy Award recipient. She will receive the award on Thursday, Nov. 17 prior to Tim Riley’s cook Series presentation of “John Lennon – The Man, The Myth, The Music,” in Cook Theatre on the Concordia campus.
The award was established in 2011 to recognize outstanding achievement in supporting the arts, culture and education in the area. For 50 years, Sutton has been a driving force for the arts and humanities in Concordia.
Sutton founded the Brown Grand Players community theatre in 1967. In the 1970’s and 80’s, she worked for the Brown Grand Theatre’s restoration and placement on the National Historical Register and was elected to its first board of directors, serving many years as president.
In 2002, she spearheaded the relocation of the Orphan Train Heritage Society of America to Concordia. Under her direction, the National Orphan Train Complex was established and the Morgan-Dowell Research Center was built for Orphan Train research. Sutton also serves on the Camp Concordia Preservation Society, a WWII Prisoner of War site.
As a theatre instructor at Cloud, Sutton and students co-wrote “The Chosen,” a play based on interviews of Orphan Train riders and descendants. The play was performed for several years, including a performance in New York City in 2005.
Sutton helped establish the Charles and Marian D. Cook Series, now in its 25th year. She also served multiple terms on the Kansas Humanities Council. In 2013, the governor named her a member of the Kansas Native Sons and Daughters.
There will be a reception in the library at Cloud County Community College following the Riley presentation to honor Sutton.