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K-State Today

September 27, 2011

K-State's attention to students inspires couple to create scholarship

By Andrew Zender

Russ and Tammy McElliott, Overland Park, Kan., made a gift of ,000 to create the McElliott Family Scholarship at Kansas State University.

It's often said that first impressions leave the deepest impact. From the first time Russ and Tammy McElliott accompanied their daughter Haleigh to a Kansas State University recruitment event in Overland Park, to their first campus visit and student orientation, they knew they'd become part of a unique community at K-State, one that placed special value on its students and families.

Haleigh, now a junior majoring in microbiology, has had such a positive experience at K-State that the McElliotts were inspired to make a gift to enable future generations to attend K-State. With a gift of $80,000, they've established the McElliott Family Scholarship, which Russ McElliott hopes will provide opportunities for students who may not otherwise be able to attend college.

"Tammy and I wanted to establish a scholarship that would benefit students who need financial aid and academically would not qualify for other scholarships that require higher GPAs or ACT scores to secure a college education," Russ McElliott said. "Without the burden of working so many hours to pay for their tuition, students can focus on their studies. We feel it's important to give back and invest in the future, and couldn't think of anything that matched our desire more than investing in a student's education."

"We've been overwhelmed with the commitment the K-State staff has shown to the success of their students — they're not just a number," Tammy McElliott said. "From our first exposure to K-State, we could sense that the university views their students differently than other universities. Everyone affiliated with K-State was friendly and helpful — and that didn't change once Haleigh was a student."

Russ McElliott is a native of Overland Park, and is the president of TransAm Trucking in Olathe. Tammy McElliott is a native of Chillicothe, Mo. Before retiring in 2003, she was the director of financial systems administration for LabOne Inc. in Lenexa. She spends her time currently volunteering for different charity organizations.