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Shock the World Campaign
In This Issue

       

By supporting Koch Arena project, Steve & Becky Austin give back to WSU, community


business building rendering
 A rendering of the men’s basketball reception area planned for Charles Koch Arena.
     After Steve Austin put signed posters of WSU men’s basketball coach Gregg Marshall on the walls at his two auto body shops, he noticed a trend: An uptick in the number of customers choosing All Angles Collision Repair for their vehicle work.

     “People saw the posters and said, ‘Oh, you support Wichita State?’ ” Austin said. “That seemed important to them, and we saw an increase in business.”
Wilson K. Cadman
Steve & Becky Austin


     That community support factored greatly into the decision by Austin and his wife, Becky, a 1992 WSU graduate, to make a generous donation to the Charles Koch Arena renovation project at Wichita State. Their gift will be recognized with a naming opportunity for the reception area of the men’s basketball complex in the arena.

     “It’s a way of giving back to the community that has given so much to us,” Austin said. “We believe that a strong men’s basketball program will make the university even stronger, and that’s vital for our community.”

     The Austins also were persuaded to support the Koch Arena project when they visited the men’s basketball complex and felt it did not reflect the excellence of the program. “We need to be able to recruit the best athletes to come here, but if I was a recruit, I’m not sure I’d be very impressed by those offices,” Austin said. “It really is time for a major upgrade.”

     The Austins recognize the contribution WSU’s sports programs make to the quality of life in the Wichita area, said WSU Athletic Director Darron Boatright.

     “They believe that Shocker Athletics enriches the lives of many in this region, and they want to help that continue for years to come,” he said. “They are a special brand of donor who care deeply about their community and want to see it prosper.”

     The $12 million project at Koch Arena is a fundraising partnership of the WSU Foundation and WSU Athletics. It will include renovated offices for basketball and volleyball and the construction of a new WSU Athletics Student Services Center. The gift shop will be enlarged and moved to a new location in the arena, and the Champions Club will be remodeled.

     It was Becky Austin who invited her future husband to start attending WSU basketball games when they were dating in the early 1990s. Steve was hooked, despite being a graduate of Creighton. Armed with a pharmacy degree, he went on to earn a nuclear pharmacist certificate from Purdue. Today, he is the owner of Nuclear Enterprises Radiopharmacy, Infusion Pharmacy and All Angles Collision Repair. He also is a co-owner of Oxford Senior Living and GForce Engineering, which specializes in high-performance drivetrain products.

     The entrepreneurial drive was instilled in Austin when he managed a group of Wal- Mart stores in the Wichita area doing more than $100 million in sales each year. That job gave him the confidence and experience to strike out on his own and build a business empire.

     “What I learned is that if you just treat people well and take care of them, they will return,” Austin said. “This community has treated us well, too, and we’re so thankful for that.”

For more information

If you want to contribute to the success of the Koch Arena project, please contact Joseph L. Hunter, WSU Foundation vice president for development, at 316-978-3808 or josephl.hunter@wichita.edu.

Joseph Hunter