Written by Marisa Larson
Doug and Vicki Hill, St. Louis, Missouri, and financial services firm Edward Jones have collectively contributed $2 million to the National Strategic Selling Institute, or NSSI, in the College of Business Administration at Kansas State University.
The funds will be used to invest in faculty, enabling growth of the program.
“We want to contribute to the evolution of the National Strategic Selling Institute program into a full-fledged sales major,” said Doug Hill, Kansas State University alumnus and senior partner and former managing partner at Edward Jones. “Those who choose this major will be able to take the courses necessary to decide whether they want to pursue a career in sales. Through the institute, students get the opportunity to experience sales as a profession. Edward Jones hires a lot of individuals and provides extensive training before they begin building their practices. Students coming out of the NSSI program at K-State already have strong sales skills, which gives them a leg up on the competition and enables them to be more successful right out of college.”
“We are seeing incredible success in our students and their careers,” said Dawn Deeter, director of the National Strategic Selling Institute. “They all have jobs when they graduate, and they go on to be very successful in their careers. Research shows that students coming out of programs like the National Strategic Selling Institute tend to bring in revenues faster than their peers and stay in their first jobs longer, so there’s an advantage for everyone. Students are better prepared and they’re happier in their careers. Employers like Edward Jones are happy because their new hires are doing a good job serving clients and they tend to stay around.”
Kevin Gwinner, Edgerley family dean of the College of Business Administration, says these gifts are a smart investment in the future of industries relying on sales professionals.
“Knowledge of and experience in sales can be utilized in many different industries, from retail to agriculture to financial services,” Gwinner said. “There is always a need for people who are skilled in sales. Being able to grow our nationally recognized National Strategic Selling Institute program so more students have the opportunities to hone their strategic selling skills not only benefits K-State but also any industry that relies on sales people. I thank Doug and Vicki Hill and Edward Jones for supporting the National Strategic Selling Institute at K-State. It’s a far-reaching investment that will have a positive ripple effect.”
Philanthropic contributions to Kansas State University are coordinated by the Kansas State University Foundation. The foundation is leading Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas State University to raise $1.4 billion for student success, faculty development, facility enhancement and programmatic success.