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K-State Today

May 8, 2013



A lifetime of giving, an enduring legacy

By Hayli Morrison

Though born just two days apart at the same hospital in Wichita, Gary and Peggy Edwards weren’t officially introduced until their paths crossed again in high school. The couple married just before enrolling at Kansas State University, Peggy Edwards as an English major and Gary Edwards as an engineering major on a baseball scholarship. 

About two years later their first daughter was born, but that didn’t keep Peggy Edwards from maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average that semester.

"It was a special time for us and laid the groundwork for much better years to come," she said of early family life at K-State.

In the decades following their 1963 graduation, the Houston couple welcomed a second daughter and Gary Edwards enjoyed a successful career with Conoco, retiring as senior executive vice president. The couple’s longtime support of K-State includes endowed scholarship funds in the English department and College of Engineering and they remain actively involved even in retirement. Gary Edwards is a past member of the College of Engineering advisory council, including two years as council president. He earned distinction as an Alumni Fellow and member of the College of Engineering Hall of Fame.

"I feel very blessed that we’ve been able to be involved so closely, particularly in the College of Engineering, over a number of years," Gary Edwards said. "It’s just something that has built our desire to give back to the university."

The couple's most recent support for K-State came in the form of a gift in their estate plan. They are combining a deferred gift with more immediate gifts to establish the Gary and Peggy Edwards chair in engineering. Faculty chair sponsorships help supplement salary and research budgets in order to recruit and retain high-achieving faculty. The Edwards saw it as an opportunity to make a big impact at K-State in a unique way.

"The ability of the university to build its quality is dependent upon the type of faculty it can attract," Peggy Edwards said. "That’s a huge part of it. We are just thankful to be able to do what we can."