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K-State Today

Division of Communications and Marketing
Kansas State University
128 Dole Hall
1525 Mid-Campus Drive North
Manhattan, KS 66506

November 27, 2023

APDesign recognizes donors and announces 5th Year Fellowship program recipients

Submitted by Thom Jackson

The College of Architecture, Planning & Design, or APDesign, at Kansas State University celebrated an Evening of Gratitude in October, bringing together donors and members of the KSU Foundation for a special occasion. The pinnacle of the evening was the announcement of the APDesign 5th Year Fellowship, a groundbreaking initiative that aims to support students in their final year of a fifth-year professional master's degree program.

At the heart of the land-grant mission lie core values of affordability and access. APDesign aspires to be a model 21st-century land-grant design college, educating students who reflect the diverse society we serve and ensuring they graduate with less financial burden than their peers.

Philanthropic support plays a crucial role in achieving these goals by decreasing the overall cost of degree completion, motivating design and planning students to reach their personal and professional aspirations, and aiding the college in attracting and retaining top talent.

The APDesign 5th Year Fellowship program is designed to provide every student in the fifth year of their program with philanthropic support, thus reducing the total cost of their degree and eliminating financial obstacles. With generous contributions from alumni and friends, APDesign aims to retain and graduate the next generation of design leaders who will shape the future world.

"The transformative impact of our supporters' generosity cannot be overstated," said Michael McClure, professor and dean for the college. "Their contributions have fueled innovation, empowered our students and elevated the excellence of our academic programs. Together, we have made it possible for dreams to become realities, for ideas to take form and for creativity to flourish within the walls of our institution."

"The 5th Year Fellowship is a game-changer for APDesign students receiving the award, relieving a burden of tuition cost in the final year of a fifth-year professional master's degree," said Katie Kingery-Page, associate dean. "This fellowship complements other awards given by the university, college, or department, closing the gap of remaining tuition. Students who have already benefited note reduced financial stress, decreased student loan debt, and the ability to focus on rigorous capstone projects and the start of their professional careers."

As the program evolves, APDesign aims to offer all fifth-year students in good academic standing a fellowship, providing them with greater freedom to plan their time at K-State. This initiative is expected to open doors to activities like education abroad, allowing students to expand horizons that were previously out of reach.

Damon Fairchild, senior director of development for APDesign at the KSU Foundation, highlighted the significant role of philanthropy in the college's success.

"Generous support from our alumni, friends, firms and foundations has enabled APDesign to recruit and retain aspiring design and planning students," Fairchild said. "Philanthropy addresses the issues of access and affordability and supports community outreach, essential to the university's Next-Gen K-State."

Fairchild expressed gratitude to all those who have made a difference and emphasized the ongoing commitment to support the next generation of design leaders.