By many, John and Kathy Paxton are considered "Mr. and Mrs. Mustang". John and Kathy were charter class members of Southwest Minnesota State College in 1967. In fact, John, by assisting his father and brother, helped create the sign that appeared on campus welcoming the arrival of the new college. Upon graduation and continuing the family business of Paxton Signs, John and Kathy were early leaders and board members of the Alumni Association and the Mustang Booster Club. Many didn't realize that every Homecoming Saturday morning the Paxton family was instrumental in lining up the Homecoming Parade participants. John was famous for waving the Mustang flag for years at Southwest football and basketball games. The SMSC/SSU/SMSU community lost "Mr. Mustang" on June 12, 2017, as John passed away battling Parkinson's.
The John & Kathy Alumni Service Award Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to a distinguished student attending Southwest Minnesota State University administered by the SMSU Foundation.
Southwest alumni are uniting to honor John and Kathy by working to raise $15,000 by Homecoming 2017 (September 30) to establish the John & Kathy Paxton Alumni Service Award Endowed Scholarship. Any amount will help to honor a couple who have given so much to SMSU as students, alumni, boosters, donors and friends for the past 50 years. By creating an endowed scholarship, it will allow for a SMSU student to receive a scholarship each year, a legacy honoring John and Kathy's passion for Southwest.