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In This Issue

       

WSU Foundation marks its Golden Anniversary

The Reidenbaugh House was the first location of the WSU Endowment Association. The building was named for Howard Richard “Dick” Reidenbaugh Jr., the association’s first director.
The Reidenbaugh House was the first location of the WSU Endowment Association. The building was named for Howard Richard “Dick” Reidenbaugh Jr., the association’s first director.

April 6, 1965, was a typical Kansas spring day on the campus of Wichita State University. Under sunny skies, with light breezes and a high approaching 69 degrees, faculty lectured in classrooms, students lingered in the Campus Activities Center and staff conducted business as usual.

But it was a milestone day in the university’s history, with activity unfolding in Topeka that would affect Wichita State for the rest of its existence. There, the Kansas Board of Regents approved the articles of incorporation for the Wichita State University Endowment Association.

“This day is much more than an ordinary day on the varied calendar of Wichita State University,” WSU President Emory Lindquist said at the time.

Fifty years later, the WSU Endowment Association, now known as the WSU Foundation, continues to contribute to the advancement of Wichita State.

The vision for the newly formed nonprofit corporation focused on three activities: support the university, manage the organization’s financial affairs effectively and adhere to the terms of agreements with donors.

As stated in the articles of incorporation, the WSU Foundation exists to support the educational undertakings of Wichita State and all related or beneficial activities. That holds true today with the Foundation’s mission calling for it “to enhance a community of learning excellence for students and faculty.” The Foundation’s staff works closely with the seven colleges, University Libraries and the Ulrich Museum of Art to promote their priorities and cultivate relationships with donors who want to advance them.

WSU Foundation growth

Also stipulated in the articles was that the Foundation “care for” the funds entrusted to it, ensuring that they are used as donors direct and invested prudently and soundly. The relationships the staff develops with donors extend to the funds they entrust with us. Several years ago, the Foundation’s staff members created a list of core values they embrace in their personal lives and bring to their work. They are integrity, service, relationships and teamwork. Staff members pride themselves in incorporating those values in every relationship.

Essential to the Foundation’s success is the concept of stewardship — understanding and respecting the wishes of donors. We listen to our supporters as they share memories of time spent at Wichita State and describe their dreams and desire to give back to the university that helped shape their lives. In working with corporations and businesses, we identify ways they can invest in developing graduates who also will be successful employees. From day one, the understandings we reach with donors are translated into written guidelines and terms.

About three months after the articles were approved, the WSU Endowment Association was organized and officers were elected. Leading the association as president was Dwane Wallace of Cessna Aircraft. Vice presidents were philanthropist and businesswoman Olive Garvey, physician Woodrow Campion and banker Carl Suderman. Utility executive Gordon Evans was named secretary and banker Arthur Kincade was elected treasurer. Other members of the executive committee were Lindquist, Ray Dillon, Ben Wheat, Sheldon Coleman and Olive Ann Beech. The charge before them was to increase financial support for buildings, scholarships and academic improvement.

The WSU Endowment Association and, now, the WSU Foundation have been doing just that for 50 years, helping to build a prestigious and progressive university with a bright future ahead of it.

In future issues of Horizon, we will continue to share highlights from our 50-year journey. Through social media, we’ll feature fun facts and historical tidbits. Please join us as we look back at the people and events that have shaped the WSU Foundation and its impact on Wichita State University.

 

circle arrow Do you have a memory, story or observation involving the WSU Endowment Association or the WSU Foundation over the years? If so, please share by contacting Belinda Venters, WSU Foundation director of communications, at 316-978-5624 or belinda.venters@wichita.edu.