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Shock the World Campaign
In This Issue

       

With a $500,000 investment, Diane Klepper makes college more affordable for WSU students


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 Diane Klepper consulted with family members who had attended or graduated from Wichita State before deciding how her gift could make the greatest impact.
     Before she makes important life decisions, Diane Klepper tries to study all the angles and make calculated choices. When choosing a college to complete her prerequisites to get into medical school, for example, she chose the University of Colorado so she could also learn to ski.

     And before making a substantial philanthropic donation to Wichita State University, she consulted with family members who had attended or graduated from the school to help decide how to make the greatest impact with her investment. In the end, Klepper pledged a gift of $500,000 to endow the Denny Klepper Scholarship for Community Leadership at Wichita State, named in honor of her father.

     “It was my father who introduced me to Wichita State as a child and took me to football and basketball games,” Klepper says. “He also served on the Kansas Board of Regents and believed strongly in the importance of higher education. This seemed a fitting way to remember him.”

     It was also her father who taught her how to study and analyze the stock markets, resulting in a life-long investing hobby that has been lucrative as well as enjoyable. During his lifetime, James T. “Denny” Klepper was highly regarded as a Kansas oil and gas businessman, establishing Klepper gasoline stations all around south central Kansas.

     Diane Klepper, who has lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, most of her adult life, graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1964 – one of two female students in a class of 100 – and completed a residency at the University of Washington-Seattle. Her love for the state of New Mexico, where she had attended camps as a child, drew her to what was then a new hospital at the University of New Mexico.

     Klepper began a 31-year career as a pulmonary specialist and associate dean for admissions and student affairs. Her clinical practice reached all corners of the state, providing a touchstone for health care in rural New Mexico. She also was known for helping students from rural areas earn their degrees and remain in the state to establish their practices.

     Although she retired in 1999, she continued to teach in the undergraduate program and was active as a pulmonary specialist in the School of Medicine.

     The scholarship she has endowed at Wichita State is a general award, meaning that it is not restricted to a specific academic area.

     “I want it to go to deserving students in any field of study,” Klepper said. “I know how much help students need today to go to college. My father paid for my education, but so many do not have that advantage.”