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Shock the World Campaign
In This Issue


Meritrust Credit Union pledge will help WSU students develop real-world skills

business building rendering
 From left, Tammy Taylor, Meritrust director of market development; WSU Foundation President and CEO Elizabeth King; Anand Desai, dean of the Barton School of Business; Meritrust President and CEO James Nastars; Kim Sandlin, director of the WSU Office of Student Success; and Jamie Taulbee, Meritrust vice president and chief retail officer.
     Meritrust Credit Union has pledged $324,000 to help Wichita State launch a career-development program for students in the W. Frank Barton School of Business and enhance services provided by the WSU Office for Student Money Management.

     The gift, to be made over three years, commits $80,000 a year for the Professional Edge program in the Barton School and $28,000 a year for Student Money Management. The contribution will count toward the WSU Foundation’s Shock the World campaign, which seeks to raise $250 million in private funds for Wichita State by 2020.

     “Meritrust continues to be a generous partner with Wichita State in supporting initiatives that equip WSU students with real-world skills,” said Angela Dudley, WSU Foundation director of development for the Barton School of Business. “These programs are intended to help students succeed in their careers and lives upon graduation.”

     The Professional Edge and Student Money Management programs at Wichita State are a natural fit with Meritrust’s mission and expertise, said James Nastars, president and CEO.

     “As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, we seek to improve the lives of our members and the communities we serve,” he said. “Financial literacy and career development are vital to long-term personal success and we’re excited to help WSU students set the stage for a bright future.”

     Meritrust also views its support of Wichita State as a way to encourage the work of university leaders who are trying to improve the workforce and build strong communities, Nastars said.

     “WSU President John Bardo and Barton School Dean Anand Desai have an innovative and compelling vision for the future of the university and its students, the community and beyond,” he said.

     Professional Edge is a program to help students identify career pathways, teach them how to interact with business professionals and develop their professional and interpersonal skills. Examples of skills and competencies that Professional Edge provides include networking, resume writing, communication etiquette, financial literacy and knowledge of the field in which the student has an interest.

     The gift from Meritrust also will help fund three separate services and initiatives in the Office for Student Money Management:

  • HIRE more peer financial coaches, who are WSU students who help other students gain financial literacy and make day-to-day money decisions.
  • FUND an annual event called Game of Life, in which students navigate their way through simulated financial situations and learn what impact their decisions had on their lives.
  • HOST the College Success Conference, an event to train personnel from other Kansas colleges, high schools and middle schools how to help students improve financial literacy.