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K-State Today

February 28, 2014

Largest private gift in K-State history to benefit Manhattan and Salina campuses

Submitted by KSU Foundation

Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz announced today that the Jack Vanier family has made a gift of $60 million — the largest private donation in the history of K-State. The gift provides $40 million to benefit students, faculty, programs and facilities on both the Manhattan and Salina campuses, and $20 million for Phase III of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium master plan.

“The entire K-State family joins me in thanking Jack and Donna, and their children — Marty, John and Mary — for this transformational gift that will benefit the students of Kansas State for generations to come,” Schulz said. “This is a historic day in our progress toward our K-State 2025 vision of moving Kansas State University into the ranks of the Top 50 public research universities in the U.S.”

“Kansas State has always been a very important part of our lives,” the Vanier family said. “We feel very fortunate and are honored to be able to make this gift to the university. More importantly, we are thrilled to see so many other K-Staters from across the country investing in the lives of young people in Manhattan and Salina. The confidence we have in President Schulz and his leadership team, and the transparency with which they guide the university made the decision to make this gift an easy one. Our hope is that this will inspire others to make their investments in this great university.”

On K-State’s Manhattan and Salina campuses, the gift provides $40 million for students, faculty, programs and facilities.

Student scholarships and fellowships have been established in the College of Technology and Aviation at K-State Salina, the College of Business Administration and the Biosecurity Research Institute. Additional support for students across both campuses includes Presidential Scholarships and a gift for the K-State Proud Student Opportunity Awards.

Faculty professorships and fellowships have been established in the College of Human Ecology and at the Biosecurity Research Institute, as well as several professorships that may be awarded in any college.

Excellence funds have been established for the Biosecurity Research Institute and at K-State Salina. These funds provide flexible funding to allow university leaders to respond to urgent needs and emerging opportunities. Additionally, a research fellows program will be established at the Biosecurity Research Institute.

Facility support on the Manhattan campus has been provided for the K-State Welcome Center. This unique facility will be one of the first in the country to provide a central location for students and families to connect with new student services, admissions, financial assistance, housing and dining services, and career and employment services. The east side of Memorial Stadium will be renovated and revitalized to house the Welcome Center.

For K-State Athletics, the gift provides $20 million to support Phase III of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium master plan. Phase III of the master plan includes dramatic upgrades for student-athlete needs spanning the entire 16-sport department. These include a new academic learning center, new football operations offices, new sports medicine operations and new strength and conditioning spaces. Basic fan amenities in the north end zone will also be enhanced as the end zone seating and services are upgraded. 

“From the moment we arrived in 1989, members of the Vanier family have been faithful friends to the football program and, more importantly, to Sharon and me and our family,” said head football coach Bill Snyder. “We are deeply grateful for this wonderful commitment which will have a tremendous impact not just in our program, but on all student-athletes at Kansas State University.”

The Vanier gift comes at a time in which K-State is benefiting from record philanthropic giving. The KSU Foundation has reached record marks of $99 million, $110 million and $152 million in the past three fiscal years.