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In This Issue


Of phlox, clematis and legacy

Photo of garden with WSU decor

In a garden area next to my house is a wire gate on which a combination of two varieties of vine grows. Earlier this summer, these vines, a phlox and a clematis, produced a wonderful arrangement of pink and purple flowers on a background of deep green leaves. As I have reflected on the elements of this garden, I have come to appreciate them in a broader sense.

Though they are different varieties of plants, the phlox and clematis have grown together and share the same ground, water and nutrients. And, together, they use the wire gate for support as their vines and leaves climb toward the sun. I imagine that, just as their vines are intertwined, so are their roots. And it is in these roots that my wife, Susan, and I have some of our roots. You see, the phlox came to us from my grandparent’s home in Pretty Prairie, Kan. And the wire gate is from the farmhouse of Susan’s grandparents near Welda, Kan.

Susan and I are both alumni of Wichita State University and we have a profound respect for what our WSU experience did for us. Our academic training provided us with the credentials necessary for meaningful careers. We developed life-long friendships with both fellow students and faculty. And through participation with student groups, we learned leadership skills that have served us well in professional and volunteer capacities. We are proud of our Shocker experiences and want to perpetuate these same opportunities for those who will come after us. So, with outright gifts, we have funded the Notestine Family Scholarship (named in honor of the original owners of our phlox plant). In doing so, we honor my grandparents and our university and have provided an opportunity for shared philanthropy, as our children have also been donors to this scholarship fund.

As an endowed fund, this scholarship is permanent. Just as our phlox and clematis are perennial plants, this scholarship will provide annual student support. It has been wonderful to meet the student recipients of this scholarship, share with them our motivation for creating this fund and learn of their aspirations. To further support this scholarship, we have created a planned gift using a retirement plan. It is gratifying to know that our estate plan will help perpetuate our values and what we hold to be important. Just as the plants and gate trellis serve to support each other and remind us of our heritage, this scholarship supports students today and into the future and honors our relationships with Wichita State.

How did Wichita State make a difference for you? And from this shared experience, how would you like to support the people of our great university?

Perhaps your vision is focused on student support. Or you might have an interest in helping attract and retain gifted and committed faculty. Maybe you want to help provide the facilities, technology, books and resources necessary to enhance the student and faculty research experience.

I invite you to call me or my colleague, Darin Kater, with your thoughts on the questions above. We would enjoy learning about your WSU experiences and visiting with you about the options for creating a legacy gift that is meaningful to you and the people of the university.

Mike Lamb signature