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In This Issue


Gift from R.D. and Joan Dale Hubbard Foundation will aid Horatio Alger scholars at WSU

Horatio Alger scholars
Horatio Alger scholars Cassandra Thompson, freshman from the College of Fine Arts, and Kaylee VonFeldt, freshman from the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, stand in front of Hubbard Hall, named for R.D. Hubbard, a donor to the Horatio Alger Association.

R.D. Hubbard has much in common with the heroes of the stories written by 19th century author Horatio Alger. Like them, he grew up poor but hard-working, determined to rise above his circumstances despite the obstacles in his way.

By supporting the Horatio Alger Association, Hubbard hopes to help young men and women from disadvantaged backgrounds succeed in life by getting a college education. The association provides more than 900 scholarships a year to students in every state.

In addition to donating money to the association, Hubbard recently provided a grant of $100,000 to the Wichita State University Foundation to supplement scholarships awarded to WSU students by the association. The grant was made by the R.D. and Joan Dale Hubbard Foundation.

“The Horatio Alger Association promotes the ideals of individualism and hard work that I feel helped me achieve what I have been able to accomplish in life,” said Hubbard, for whom WSU’s Hubbard Hall is named. “We are there to give students a real chance at the American Dream.”

R.D. and Joan Dale Hubbard
R.D. and Joan Dale Hubbard

Hubbard was born the youngest of eight children to parents who owned a small restaurant in Smith Center, Kansas. He worked farm jobs growing up and was selling products for Fuller Brush when his former high school coach offered him a scholarship to Butler Community College in El Dorado. Upon graduation, he became a teacher and coach, but aspired for a better quality of life for his family. He landed a job in Wichita with a company called Service Auto Glass, later renamed Safelite, and eventually became a part owner, enabling him to buy glass shops and warehouses in 26 states.

Wichita State last year became a member of the Horatio Alger Association’s Collegiate Partners Program, in which participating universities agree to match scholarship funds awarded to students by the association. The association urges recipients to attend schools that participate in the program. Wichita State is the only Kansas university in the program.

“The Hubbard Foundation gift to the Wichita State University Foundation, combined with the commitment WSU has made to the Horatio Alger scholars through the Collegiate Partners Program, will hopefully encourage those scholars to consider Wichita State as their university of choice,” said Robert Donaldson, executive director of the Hubbard Foundation.

Donaldson noted that both R.D. Hubbard and his wife, Joan Dale, began their careers as high school teachers in Kansas. They now live in Palm Desert, California.

“Mr. and Mrs. Hubbard have never forgotten their Kansas roots,” Donaldson says. “Their support of the education of young people in Kansas has truly been a passion developed over a lifetime.”

Horatio Alger scholars at the state level receive about $7,000 spread over their college years. As a participant in the Collegiate Partners Program, Wichita State will provide additional scholarship funds. Grant funds donated by the Hubbard Foundation will enhance the amount even further, with the goal of helping students graduate with as little student debt as possible.