Former college president remembered for legacy of leadershipJune 29, 2022
Yuma, AZ (June 29, 2022) – The Arizona Western College community is saddened by the loss of former AWC President Dr. Donald “Don” Schoening. He passed away at home on Friday, June 24, at the age of 85, surrounded by family.
His tenure as president left a lasting impact on generations of local students and the Yuma and La Paz communities. Dr. Schoening served as AWC President for over twelve years and led the College through significant enrollment growth. Under his leadership, the College saw transformative growth and expansion of facilities, including the passing of a $74 million bond passed by voters that allowed for construction of new buildings on the Yuma Campus as well as the establishment of campus sites in San Luis, Quartzsite, and Parker. The College Community Center (3C), part of that growth, features a conference center named after him.
Dr. Schoening was a prominent and active member of the communities in which he lived, serving in local Rotary Clubs, and supporting local athletics. Dr. Schoening was an avid supporter of Matador Athletics and continued to attend athletic events well past his retirement. He was inducted into the Arizona Western College Hall of Fame in 2019. In addition to his induction into AWC’s Hall of Fame, he is also in the Wenatchee Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame and the Washington State Athletic Hall of Fame.
Dr. Schoening was a lifelong advocate of education. He began teaching English and coaching at Fruita Jr. Sr. High School where he met his wife, Louise. He taught Psychology and coached wrestling and football at Gallup High School in New Mexico. He served Wenatchee Valley College in various roles for 25 years before becoming president of Independence Community College in Kansas and ultimately retiring as president of Arizona Western College in 2009.
Current Arizona Western College President, Dr. Daniel Corr shares, “I’m saddened to hear of the loss of the passing of Dr. Schoening. His positive impact on this college, and our entire community cannot be overstated. He was a true giant in higher education and will be sorely missed. His legacy lives on in so many ways at Arizona Western College.”
Schoening is survived by wife of 60 years, Louise, his two sons, and six grandchildren. To honor his memory, his family encourages donations be made to the Arizona Western College Athletic Department or Trinity United Methodist Church in Yuma, AZ.
Associate Dean of Communications and Marketing
Arizona Western College