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K-State Today

July 21, 2011

Alumna creates two scholarships with $250,000 gift

Submitted by Julie Fosberg

Education comes in many forms and happens in many places, whether in the classroom or in the community. As a former teacher and highly active volunteer, Dorothy "Dot" Bramlage Willcoxon, Joplin, Mo., knows the value of an education earned in both of those places.

And now with a $250,000 gift, she's establishing two scholarships in the College of Education at Kansas State University: the Dorothy Bramlage Willcoxon Education Scholarship, awarded to two incoming freshmen each year; and the Dorothy Bramlage Willcoxon Student Teacher Scholarship, awarded to three seniors enrolled in their professional semester.

"My parents always taught me to give back to the community in which you live as a way of continuing your education through life," Willcoxon said. "It's just as important to give back to the institutions that had an impact on you. I've always believed that with an education you can be successful in anything, and I hope these scholarships will help future generations succeed."

Willcoxon, daughter of noted K-State benefactor Fred Bramlage, is a K-State alumna, earning her bachelor's degree in secondary education in 1963. She currently serves several Joplin-based organizations in a variety of roles: as board president for the Bramlage Foundation, Joplin Public Library and Lafayette House; philanthropy committee chair for the Freeman Foundation; treasurer of the Willcoxon Foundation; and as a member of the international advisory board for Missouri Southern State University, among others.

Together, Willcoxon and her husband of 47 years, Dr. Robert Willcoxon, have invested in a wide range of charitable and civic organizations, health care initiatives and higher education, including the Willcoxon Student Health Clinic and the Robert and Dorothy Willcoxon Emergency/Trauma Center at Freeman Hospital in Joplin. For the last 10 years they've also supported the Willcoxon/Bramlage Scholarship, which annually provides full-ride scholarships to two nursing students at surrounding area schools.

The Willcoxons are members of the Kansas State University Foundation Presidents Club, a philanthropic leadership group of alumni and friends who support K-State, and Dot Willcoxon is a lifetime member of the K-State Alumni Association.

"Dot's generosity will have a tremendous impact on students studying education at K-State," said Michael Holen, dean of the College of Education. "Her gift will help K-State develop those students into teachers who will exhibit exemplary leadership in classrooms and in the community, and commit themselves to a life of learning."

Philanthropic contributions to K-State are coordinated by the Kansas State University 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.