University's welcome center to be named in honor of lead benefactors, Rand and Patti Berney
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014
MANHATTAN — Kansas State University's new welcome center will be named the Berney Family Welcome Center in recognition of the $11 million commitment to advance the university made by Rand and Patti Berney, McKinney, Texas. The name was approved by the Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday.
Construction on the Berney Family Welcome Center will begin in January 2015. The unique facility will be in the east side of K-State's Memorial Stadium, the first memorial built on campus. The Berney Family Welcome Center will distinguish K-State as one of the first universities in the country to provide a central location for resources that welcome prospective and new students, along with the career and employment services to help students make the transition from college to career. This facility will serve the entire K-State family as the front door to new opportunities. The warm, progressive environment will foster engagement among prospective and current students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff and corporate representatives. Interactive technology will be utilized throughout the facility. The atmosphere will convey K-State's philosophy of "putting students first."
Rand Berney graduated from Kansas State University in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in accounting. He earned a master's degree in business administration from Oklahoma State University in 1982. He is retired from ConocoPhillips, where his last position was senior vice president of corporate shared services from 2009 until his retirement in May 2012. The majority of his career with ConocoPhillips was spent in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. He is on the executive committee of the dean's advisory council for the College of Business Administration, is an executive-in-residence for the college and serves as vice chairman of the board of directors of the Kansas State University Foundation. Berney was inducted into the Kansas State Accounting Hall of Fame in 2003. He was honored in 2004 as the College of Business Administration's Distinguished Business Leader of the Year and was inducted into the Distinguished Business Leaders Hall of Fame that same year. In 2006, he was honored again by the college when he was named an alumni fellow and in 2011 he served the college as its distinguished lecturer in the spring. He also serves as an executive mentor in the college. Berney serves on the board of directors of Tortoise Capital Advisors, Leawood, Kansas; and Arvest Bank and the Frank Phillips Foundation, both of Bartlesville.
Patti Berney attended Fort Hays State University. She has been an active volunteer leader for community, church, arts and educational institutions in Bartlesville and in Houston, Texas, including Red Cross, Greenspoint Mission, Target Hunger, the Bartlesville Symphony and Special Olympics. She serves on the board of directors for Family Crisis and Counseling, Salvation Army and Friends of Frank Phillips Home, all in Bartlesville. She is also a member of the board of trustees of the KSU Foundation.
"Kansas State University is a special part of our lives," Patti Berney said. "The sense of family that will be emphasized in the welcome center means a great deal to us and is a big part of why we felt strongly about supporting this project."
"Patti and I feel that Kansas State University is in a great place with visionary leadership and outstanding faculty," Rand Berney said. "World-class facilities, such as the welcome center, will move us closer to the goal of becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025. We are privileged to be part of this great institution."
The Berneys, who are both graduates of high school in Phillipsburg, Kansas, are members of the KSU Foundation's President's Club, a philanthropic leadership organization for friends and alumni of the university. They have served Kansas State University in a number of capacities and have supported other major projects at K-State, including the Basketball Training Facility and the new building for the College of Business Administration. They have contributed generously to numerous funds and campaigns over the past 30 years, including Telefund, the College of Business Administration Dean's Excellence Fund, the K-State Alumni Association's Tradition Founders Fund, and the Ahearn Fund's National Leadership Circle. The Berneys also serve on the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art's board of visitors at K-State.
"Rand and Patti Berney have contributed to K-State in so many ways. Over many years of involvement, they have given generously to many important initiatives," said Kirk Schulz, president of Kansas State University. "At the same time, they have contributed their leadership and expertise. Their generosity and leadership are adding momentum toward our goal of becoming a top 50 public research university by 2025. On behalf of the entire K-State family, it's an honor to express our appreciation for all that Rand and Patti Berney do for K-State."
Philanthropic contributions to Kansas State University are coordinated by the KSU Foundation. The foundation staff works with university partners to build lifelong relationships with alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students through involvement and investment in the university.