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K-State Today

June 15, 2012



The Fred and Cathy Cholick Wildcat Scholarship

By Andrew Zender

Have you ever received a piece of advice or encouragement that changed your life? Did you ever share the impact of that wisdom or guidance with the person who shared it with you? Or have you ever been on the other end and learned the significance your actions or words had in another's life?

To Fred and Cathy Cholick, those moments are among the many that define what they refer to as the joy of giving and often have a bigger impact than we could ever imagine.

The Cholicks first came to Manhattan in 2004 when Fred Cholick  was hired as the dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension. In 2009, he became president and CEO of the KSU Foundation and has enjoyed the opportunity to witness the joy of giving on a daily basis.

Working with alumni and friends of Kansas State University, he learns about the people and places at K-State that had such a profound influence on their lives that it motivated them to create the same experiences for current and future K-Staters.

As former scholarship recipients, the Cholicks understand the value of financial support and were inspired to create the Fred and Cathy Cholick Wildcat Scholarship at K-State. Funded through a $62,500 charitable remainder unitrust, this endowed scholarship is part of the university's premier scholarship program and will provide a four-year renewable scholarship to a student in the College of Agriculture.

"I'm in a unique position because I see the joy of giving every day in my work," Fred Cholick said. "To see that joy and not be part of it — it's hard for me to imagine not giving. We're fortunate to be able to make a difference in a student's life and provide them with the opportunity to go to college and be successful."

"I love the students we meet," Cathy Cholick said. "They're positive, they have goals, they're motivated and they give me a wonderful amount of hope for the future. And they blossom with encouragement. Receiving a scholarship is a form of encouragement. It validates what they're doing, who they are and what they're striving for — and helps them financially."

They also believe that those who have the means to help others also have a responsibility to do so — and that experiencing the joy of giving is one of life's most satisfying experiences.

"To me, when you get to a point in your life when you can help someone, there's more joy in giving things away for the greater good," Cathy Cholick said. "So many students are mired in educational debt and can't see a way out. If we can contribute towards saving kids from having so much debt, I'm all for it."

"Philanthropy is a long-term part of our culture, and there is a certain satisfaction of being part of that group," Fred Cholick said. "If you haven't experienced the joy of giving, give it a shot. To witness it and participate in it is very rewarding."