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Kansas State University

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K-State ProudIt's a success that lives up to its name: K-State Proud.

K-Staters contributed a total of $117,618 to the fifth annual K-State Proud campaign, Feb. 14-18.

K-State Proud is a nationally recognized, student-led campaign that raises money for student opportunity awards. The campaign goal of $100,000 was surpassed through a variety of campaign activities developed by K-State Proud student leaders.

The campaign features a K-State Proud T-shirt that contributors receive for a minimum $10 donation. Students, faculty, staff and alumni are encouraged to wear the T-shirt to express their K-State pride, especially at a men's basketball game where the campaign total is announced each year. This year's announcement came Feb. 19, when the black K-State Proud T-shirts were worn to black out Bramlage Coliseum.

"The K-State Proud T-shirt is a great way for the K-State community to show its pride, but K-State Proud is much more than a T-shirt," said Frank Tracz, director of bands and this year's honorary co-chair of K-State Proud. "All contributions to K-State Proud fund two types of student opportunity awards, the K-State Proud Award and the K-State Hero Award. In the fall 2010, 35 student opportunity awards were given. The average award amount was $1,500, and the average awarded per week was $4,000. The essence of K-State Proud is students helping students."

Campaign week activities included an information table at the K-State Student Union each day and an information table on the Salina campus. Student volunteers were on hand to provide information about student opportunity awards, take contributions and distribute T-shirts.

Student campaign volunteers also visited Greek houses, campus clubs and organizations, and sponsored a cereal party to welcome students back to the residence halls at the beginning of the spring 2011 semester. In addition to banners, posters, table tents and news releases, Facebook and Twitter were used to spread the word about campaign week activities. A campaign video posted on K-State's YouTube channel received more than 2,800 views.

"We're starting to see several grassroots efforts by students to support K-State Proud," said Ryan Wilkerson, senior in accounting and finance, president of the K-State Student Foundation and member of the K-State Proud Advisory Board. "We had a student who ran the Chicago Marathon and solicited donations for the campaign. Farmhouse fraternity hosted a pancake feed, and we took contributions there. In its first five years K-State Proud has built a solid foundation to continue to grow the culture of student philanthropy at K-State.

"We're also very grateful for the ongoing support from our corporate sponsors," Wilkerson said. "Cox Communications and GTM Sportswear have been integral to the campaign's success."