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K-State Today

October 16, 2015



K-State Inspires!

By President Kirk Schulz and KSU Foundation President Greg Willems

A huge tent in front of Anderson Hall. Colorful banners, signs and sidewalk decals on all three campuses. Trucks coming and going with supplies. Music playing and people cheering. Yes, the Innovation and Inspiration Campaign was officially launched last week, and it was a celebration to remember!

The campus community collaborated in an inspiring display of thoughtful and creative planning, plus good old-fashioned hard work, to promote awareness and the impact of philanthropy on our university.

Three days of events included 10-year celebrations for K-State Proud and the All-University Campaign, and a leadership recognition event for campaign volunteer leaders and major donors in the Great Room of Hale Library. At a multimedia launch event in McCain Auditorium, we announced that $766 million has already been contributed to the campaign by more than 96,000 donors! An after-party in the big tent concluded the evening. Then, it was on to game day with lots of Innovation and Inspiration branding and recognition, plus a special formation of "Inspire," by K-State's awesome marching band.

For the many hundreds of donors who attended events, for the many more who watched the live stream of the McCain event online, for the alumni and friends throughout the world who participated in a social media Hour of Power, this was an exciting time to be a K-Stater and everyone felt the pride.

The KSU Foundation worked with a team from central administration, the Division of Communications and Marketing, the K-State Alumni Association and K-State Athletics to plan and execute the week of events. Many, many faculty, staff and students contributed their time, talent and enthusiastic support to bring the events to life. To the people and departments on all three campuses who made this possible, we are filled with gratitude for your contributions. Events of this magnitude take a village. Special thanks must be given to several people and teams whose leadership was crucial to success:

  • Jennifer Vellenga, Frank Tracz, Wayne Goins, Cora Cooper, Anna Marie Wytko, Julie Yu Oppenheim and students from the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance

  • Loleta Sump and the K-State Division of Facilities team

  • Lori Goetsch, Roberta Johnson, student ambassadors and the staff of Hale Library

  • Todd Holmberg, Terri Lee, Kyle McGuffin and the staff of McCain Auditorium

  • From the Division of Communications and Marketing: Neil Erdwien and the Web team; Robert Nelson and Jim Mock and the video team; Sheila Ellis-Glasper and the social media team; Tommy Theis and Jeff Moore, university photographers

  • From the KSU Foundation: Jennifer Rettele-Thomas and the donor relations and events team; Susan Berhow and the communications team; development staff; and the operations team

  • The K-State Student Foundation and the Student Alumni Board

  • Darwin Abbott and Parking Services

  • The Campus Security staff

  • The faculty, students and alumni whose presentations and compositions were featured at the events:
    • Greg Eiselein
    • Ralph Richardson
    • Michael Wesch
    • Stephen Higgs
    • Laurel Littrell
    • Darrington Clark
    • Rebecca Jenkins
    • Reagan Kays
    • Yubisela Toledo
    • Michael Zuniga
    • Jordan Thomas
    • MacKenzie Wade
    • Amanda Krieg
    • Blake Cordell
    • Catherine Strayhall
    • Rachel Hunt
    • Brian Rohleder
    • Lt. Andrew Talbott

The campaign continues and there is a ways to go to reach the $1 billion goal in this historic effort for K-State, which is advancing the initiatives of K-State 2025. The launch experience will be extended and enriched through the campaign website: inspire.ksu.edu and on Twitter at #K-StateInspires. Take some time to enjoy the videos, stories and beautiful K-State images to learn more about the generous contributions that have helped to move the campaign forward.

This is the university's most ambitious fundraising campaign ever and we are confident that K-State's incomparable alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students will once again prove that K-State is the place that we all love full well!

With K-State pride,

Kirk Schulz, President 

Greg Willems, President, KSU Foundation