Photo courtesy of Special Collections and University Archives, Wichita State University Libraries
No longer in existence, the Reidenbaugh House was the home to the WSU Endowment Association until 1989, when it moved to its permanent location in the Woodman Alumni Center.
About the Wichita State University Foundation
“This day is much more than an ordinary day on the varied calendar of Wichita State University. The additional support of the Endowment Association will provide the difference — and it is a great difference — between a university and a university of excellence.”
— Dr. Emory Lindquist, president of WSU, on April 6, 1965,
when the WSU Endowment Association articles of incorporation were approved by the state
Since 1965, the WSU Foundation has sought to fulfill WSU President Emory Lindquist’s vision of providing the “great difference between a university and a university of excellence.” Early records show that the WSU Endowment Association (the predecessor to the WSU Foundation) had assets of $1.8 million in 1973. This amount has grown to nearly $225 million today. Twenty years ago, the average amount of funds raised annually was $7 million. Today, the Foundation raises $26.7 million annually. The number of supporters during this same time period also increased from 10,700 to more than 14,000.
Early leadership was critical to the launching of the WSU Endowment Association. The first officers presiding over the Endowment Association in 1965 were Dwane L. Wallace, president; Olive W. Garvey, first vice president; Woodrow M. Champion, second vice president; Carl K. Suderman, third vice president; Gordon W. Evans, secretary; and Arthur W. Kincade, treasurer. Five years later, the WSU Board of Governors approved the part-time services of Richard Reidenbaugh, who was then the executive vice president of the Board of Trustees, to serve as executive secretary of the Endowment Association.
Reidenbaugh served in this role for 15 years and was followed by Robert F. Hartsook, who assumed the title of vice president for development, alumni and university relations, which included the oversight of the Endowment Association. He was in this role until 1990.
In July 1991, Elizabeth King arrived at WSU to serve as its vice president for university advancement, which included responsibility for the Endowment Association as well as the areas of University Relations, the Ulrich Museum of Art, the WSU Board of Trustees and the WSU Alumni Association.
During the summer and fall of 2000, the WSU Endowment Association changed its name to the WSU Foundation to better reflect the role of the entity, which identifies, cultivates and solicits private and corporate support to help advance the mission of the university. King became president and CEO of the WSU Foundation on July 1, 2006, a role created because of the substantial growth of the Foundation.
Private support has made an enormous difference for Wichita State. More than 1,100 endowed funds and 500 current funds provide scholarship support, as well as support for professorships and chairs, the library, the Ulrich Museum and other areas on campus. Since the mid-’80s, donors have contributed to important campus facilities, such as the National Institute for Aviation Research building, Devlin Hall, the Woodman Alumni Center, Elliott Hall, the renovation of McKinley Hall, Eck Stadium, Charles Koch Arena, the Marcus Welcome Center and the Advanced Education in General Dentistry facility, a building funded entirely by private support.