Making a Difference

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.

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Test drive the new My Giving History

my-giving
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 susanb@found.ksu.edu.

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.

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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.”‘

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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.”

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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.

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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


In case you missed it: A video thank you

This holiday season, KSU Foundation launched a thank you video to all donors just before the holiday season.

Using the voices of students, young alumni and faculty, the video not only serves as a cheerful thank you to donors, but a way of showing how annual gifts help support K-State students, the faculty who teach them, and the learning environment that makes it all possible.

Advancing K-State 2025: Faculty/staff giving

K-State faculty and staff are the heart and soul of the university — in more ways than one. Not only do they shape the student experience at K-State, but they also invest in K-State’s future through the All-University Campaign for K-State.

In 2013, faculty and staff broke records again with 43 percent of faculty and staff participating. And that’s just one number we’re excited to share with you. Here are a few more: Continue reading “Advancing K-State 2025: Faculty/staff giving”

Meeting highlights: A look back in pictures

This year’s annual meeting was a busy day packed with information and excitement for K-State’s future. We hope you will make plans to join us for next year’s meeting, scheduled for September 19, 2014. Here’s a look back at the event in pictures:


The Board of Trustees welcomed 21 new members with an orientation session on Thursday. Pictured here, KSU Foundation President and CEO Fred Cholick visits with new members Van and Janice Witthuhn, Hays, Kan.

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K-State faculty and staff give back

Fall brings lots of excitement to K-State, including the kickoff of the All-University Campaign for K-State. The annual campaign allows faculty and staff on all three campuses to support the areas of the university they care about most.  Since 2007, the number of faculty and staff who make gifts to K-State annually has increased by 146 percent.  In 2012 alone, 42 percent of faculty and staff — or 2,100 employees — made gifts to the university totaling more than $1.3 million.

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Purple pride: K-State Donors set new record with $152 million in total gift activity

Alumni, friends, parents, faculty, students and corporate partners of Kansas State University made philanthropic gifts, pledges and future commitments totaling $152 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2013. This figure sets a new record in total gift activity in the 69-year history of the KSU Foundation, surpassing the previous record of $111 million in fiscal year 2012.

Total gift activity includes outright gifts of cash or securities, pledges that will come to the university within a five-year-period, and deferred gift commitments that will be realized by the university at some point in the future.

“The generosity of K-State’s alumni and friends is deeply appreciated,” said Curt Frasier, Beloit, Kan., chairman of the KSU Foundation Board of Directors. “This achievement is a testament to the 57,300 individuals who contributed this year, which is up from 51,400 individuals last year.”

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Student-led campaign earns K-State national recognition

Kansas State University has been named “Generous U” for its student philanthropy, K-State Proud, by the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at Brandeis University.

Established in 2009, “Generous U” is a national student philanthropy competition that annually recognizes university students who grow philanthropy and philanthropic values on their campus. The award includes a $5,000 prize. K-State Proud was selected from a pool of 48 student entries nationwide — up from 21 last year. There were three runners-up: the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Oklahoma. Continue reading “Student-led campaign earns K-State national recognition”