Making a Difference

A look back at the 2015 Fall Board of Trustees meeting

Members of the KSU Foundation Board of Trustees met October 9, 2015 at Forum Hall in the K-State Student Union. Highlights from this year’s meeting included a preview of the annual State of the University address by K-State President Kirk Schulz, a State of the Organization presentation by KSU Foundation President and CEO Greg Willems, a panel discussion on leadership and the future of K-State.

Here’s a look back in pictures of the meeting’s highlights:


President of the Board of Trustees Curt Frasier welcomed the trustees and kicked off the fall meeting. Continue reading “A look back at the 2015 Fall Board of Trustees meeting”

K-State alumni and friends give $141.5 million for fiscal year 2015


Philanthropic gifts and commitments by alumni, friends, parents, faculty, students and corporate partners of Kansas State University totaled $141.5 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

This level of philanthropic support marks the third most successful year in charitable giving in the more than 70-year history of the Kansas State University Foundation, and the fourth consecutive year fundraising has topped $100 million.

“The support of our alumni and friends is a resounding endorsement of the leadership of the university and future of Kansas State University,” said retired Gen. Richard Myers, Arlington, Virginia, chairman of the KSU Foundation board of directors. “The K-State family continues to come together year after year in support of our great university, and I am excited for the bold future we will build together.” Continue reading “K-State alumni and friends give $141.5 million for fiscal year 2015”

Lead tenants named in multi-phase K-State Office Park


Garmin International Inc., U.S. Engineering, and Veterinary and Biomedical Research Center will be lead tenants in the first building in the new K-State Office Park. This innovative four-phase project will help lead the development of Kansas State University’s north campus corridor and fuel economic growth and development of Manhattan and the region. Continue reading “Lead tenants named in multi-phase K-State Office Park”

KSU Foundation announces new AVP of Constituent Development

White_Matthew 2015_DCM-005The KSU Foundation recently announced the hiring of Matt White as Associate Vice President of Constituent Development. White has experience in higher education and healthcare development, with strengths in managing teams, developing strategic plans and building relationships with deans and external stakeholders. He comes to the foundation from Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital in Maryland Heights, Missouri, where he served as vice president and chief development officer. Previously, White worked in development at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, working his way up from director of development for the School of Public Health to Executive Director of Development for the Medical Center. Continue reading “KSU Foundation announces new AVP of Constituent Development”

A letter from Greg Willems

greg-089r-2Greetings KSUF Board of Trustees,

Last week, I officially hit the 30-day mark as president and CEO of the KSU Foundation. This first month has been an exciting one, filled with learning and listening. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the KSU Foundation staff, our campus partners, donors and friends, and especially learning more about the K-State family.

While the listening and learning will continue, my first 30 days have taught me volumes about the KSU Foundation and its potential to move Kansas State University forward. We’ve enjoyed tremendous successes over the last several years. Fundraising has soared to new heights, our endowment investment performance is nationally recognized and the construction of our new office building, to be completed in October 2015, will support our organization’s needed growth to advance philanthropic giving into the distant future. Continue reading “A letter from Greg Willems”

National study finds Kansas State University’s endowment growth among best in nation for 2014


The growth of Kansas State University’s endowment in fiscal year 2014 was among the best in the nation, according to a study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers, or NACUBO, and the Commonfund Institute.

The study found that the valuation of Kansas State University’s endowment — $474 million at the end of the 2014 fiscal year — represents a 30 percent increase over the previous year. This places Kansas State University in the top 5 percent of all U.S. college and university endowment growth for that time period. Continue reading “National study finds Kansas State University’s endowment growth among best in nation for 2014”

Join us for the Spring 2015 Trustees Meeting!

trustee meting banner

We hope you are planning to join us in Manhattan for the Spring 2015 Trustees Meeting, Friday, April 10. The All-University Open House is Saturday, April 11.

Registration deadline is today, Friday, April 3. Click here to register!

We are excited to see you and promise that your weekend will be packed with great presentations, plus opportunities to meet and greet fellow trustees. See you soon!

Greg Willems to lead KSU Foundation as president and CEO

Greg Willems
Greg Willems will become the president and CEO of KSU Foundation in Feb. 27.

Greg Willems has been named president and chief executive officer of the KSU Foundation, Manhattan, effective Friday, February 27.

“We are pleased to welcome Greg Willems to the K-State family,” said retired Gen. Richard Myers, Arlington, Virginia, chairman of the KSU Foundation Board of Directors. “Greg comes to us with extensive development and management experience, having successfully led several major research universities through comprehensive capital campaigns. He truly has the experience and passion worthy of leading the KSU Foundation into the future.”

Willems has held executive fundraising positions at the University of Hawai’i, University of British Columbia and Texas A&M. Prior to his development work, he worked in the corporate sector in the construction, finance and insurance industries.

Continue reading “Greg Willems to lead KSU Foundation as president and CEO”

Test drive the new My Giving History

Trustees are invited to visit the new My Giving area of our website and provide feedback.

We’ve improved an area of our website, and invite trustees to help us evaluate it!

This fall, we launched major enhancements to My Giving History, an area of our website where donors can access their past giving information. The new improvement built on that core capability with graphics that help donors visualize the areas where they have made an impact. It also offers the new ability to download scholarship and endowment reports for those who have established funds.

We would appreciate your feedback on these improvements. Click here to try out My Giving. Please send feedback to Susan Wolf Berhow at 785-532-7616 or

A look back at the 2014 Board of Trustees meeting

Mark your calendars: Upcoming Board of Trustees Meetings
April 10-11, 2015 and October 2-3, 2015

Trustees Janet and Jack Ayres check in before the beginning of the 2014 Board of Trustees meeting in September.

This year’s annual meeting of the Board of Trustees was more interactive, informative and inspirational than ever before, with more than 200 trustees from 17 states attending. Here’s a look back at some highlights of the meetings.

Continue reading “A look back at the 2014 Board of Trustees meeting”

Welcome Center named for Berney family

K-State’s new welcome center will be named the Berney Family Welcome Center, in recognition of the $11 million commitment to advance K-State made by Rand and Patti Berney, McKinney, Texas.

Construction on K-State’s Berney Family Welcome Center will begin in January 2015. The unique facility will be located in the east side of K-State’s Memorial Stadium, the first memorial built on campus. The Berney Family Welcome Center will distinguish K-State as one of the first universities in the country to provide a central location for resources that welcome prospective and new students, along with the career and employment services to help students make the transition from college to career. This facility will serve the entire K-State family as the front door to new opportunities. The warm, progressive environment will foster engagement among prospective and current students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff and corporate representatives. Interactive technology will be utilized throughout the facility. The atmosphere will convey K-State’s philosophy of “putting students first.”‘

Continue reading “Welcome Center named for Berney family”

K-State faculty and staff talk about why they give

For the last nine years, faculty and staff at K-State have come together to support K-State through the All-University Campaign. With each year, the campaign has gained momentum, with more and more faculty and staff becoming more passionate about giving back to the area of K-State they care about most.

This fall, we asked more than 15 faculty and staff members why they give to the campaign. The resulting conversations show that for many, K-State is more than just an employer; it’s where they give. Read more giving stories from faculty and staff.

K-State donors set new record with $211 million in philanthropic gifts

Alumni, friends, parents, faculty, students and corporate partners of Kansas State University made philanthropic gifts and commitments totaling $211 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014.

This figure sets a new record in charitable giving in the 70-year history of the KSU Foundation, surpassing the $200 million mark for the first time. The previous record of $152 million was set last year.

“The generosity of K-State’s alumni and friends is phenomenal,” said retired Gen. Richard Myers, Arlington, Virginia, chairman of the KSU Foundation Board of Directors. “This achievement is a clear statement of support for the leadership of Kansas State University and its strategic direction. K-State is thriving and the future is very bright.”

Continue reading “K-State donors set new record with $211 million in philanthropic gifts”

Windows of opportunity

As we move closer to breaking ground on a historic revitalization of the east side of Memorial Stadium and  new home of the K-State Welcome Center, there is a special opportunity to be part of this project. A limited number of windows in the Welcome Center are available for naming.

These beautiful, arched windows can provide a lasting tribute for many different occasions:

Cholick to retire in 2015

Fred Cholick, president and CEO of the KSU Foundation since February 2010, has announced his plans to retire in early 2015. Cholick came to the foundation with an extensive record of achievement in academic leadership including six years at Kansas State University as dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension.

During Cholick’s tenure, total philanthropic giving rose from $99.5 million in fiscal year 2011 to $211 million in fiscal year 2014.

Continue reading “Cholick to retire in 2015”

Reaching out in Kansas City

K-State First Lady Noel Schulz served as a guest speaker for Olathe events for 1863 Circle members and Land Grand Legacy Society members.

KSU Foundation hosted two special events at the K-State Olathe campus recently, both with the goal of appreciating the loyal alumni and friends in the Kansas City area who help make K-State great.

The first-ever 1863 Circle events were held March 31 on the K-State Olathe campus. Special guests included K-State first lady Noel Schulz, as well as faculty and staff members from the Olathe campus. A breakfast and evening reception were held to accommodate this growing group, which has nearly 5,000 members.

The main focus was celebrating 1863 Circle members, current and future, and their impact on K-State.

“The purpose of the events was really two-fold,” said Jenna Harmison, development officer for the 1863 Circle. “The events allowed us the opportunity to recognize our members of 1863 Circle, as well as to grow the circle by raising awareness in the Kansas City area.”

In its third year, the 1863 Circle is K-State’s annual giving recognition society showcasing the generosity of alumni and friends with giving of $1,000 or more annually. Similar events are planned for Wichita, Salina, Topeka and southwest Kansas.

On the same day, Kansas City-area members of Land Grant Legacy Society were also honored at a luncheon on the K-State Olathe campus.

“Our annual luncheon on the Manhattan campus is always a wonderful opportunity to recognize our loyal donors who have included K-State in their estate plans,” said Kent Sedlacek, senior director of gift planning. “This was the first time we’ve taken the luncheon on the road, and it was great to see so many K-Staters connect on our newest campus.”

Like the 1863 Circle, Land Grant Legacy Society is a growing group, with more than 900 K-Staters from across the country as members.

Noel Schulz, who served as a guest speaker at the events, enjoyed the opportunity to reach out to K-Staters in the Kansas City area.

“Members of 1863 Circle and Land Grant Legacy Society are vital to the future of K-State, and their support touches the lives of our students and faculty every day,” she said. “With their help, we are making progress toward our K-State 2025 vision. It was a great honor to spend a day with these special K-Staters and thank them for all they do for the university.”

Find out more about donor recognition societies

At the Land Grant Legacy Society luncheon on the K-State Olathe campus, students Connor Kraus (left), a sophomore in Family Studies and Human Services from Topeka, and Ariel Mendiola (right), a senior in political science and criminology from De Soto, provided updates from a student perspective.

Yes, we’re PROUD!

In the eighth year of the student-led K-State Proud campaign, a record-breaking $133,645 was raised to benefit Student Opportunity Awards. The grand total now stands at just over $833,000!

Everyone who donates a minimum amount of $20 receives a campaign T-shirt, which also promotes the K-State brand. Cox Communications and GTM provide important corporate sponsorship each year.

Since the first year of the campaign, students have established a culture of philanthropy by promoting the idea of “students helping students,” through Student Opportunity Awards, more than 450 of which have now been awarded to students. Learn more about the awards and meet some of the award recipients.

Find out more about K-State Proud