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Shock the World Campaign
In This Issue


Bloomfield Foundation endorses new building for Barton School with $750,000 gift

Most people who know the legacy of Sam Bloomfield and his years leading Swallow Aircraft probably think of him first as an engineer. He had an engineering degree and held multiple patents for tools and gadgets he designed himself.

Verlon McKay
Verlon McKay, alumnus

But his genius was equally as a businessman and entrepreneur, says Verlon McKay, chair of the trustees governing the Sam and Rie Bloomfield Foundation. The foundation, which has made substantial gifts supporting engineering education at Wichita State University, recently pledged $750,000 to the campaign to build a new home for the W. Frank Barton School of Business.

“With this gift, we want to recognize that successful innovation requires a mastery of the business disciplines,” McKay says. “The trustees believe that Sam would have been a strong supporter of the new business building, particularly as it will fit into the Innovation Campus that is being developed at Wichita State.”

In recognition of the pledge, an executive conference room in the new facility will be named for Sam and Rie Bloomfield, says Elizabeth King, president and CEO of the WSU Foundation.

“It’s hard to overstate the impact the Bloomfield Foundation has had on Wichita State,” King says. “Their generosity includes faculty chairs in engineering, a highly respected organ series in the College of Fine Arts and now this support for the business school. Our university is fortunate to have their ongoing loyalty and friendship.”

Even though the Bloomfields lived the second half of their lives in California, they were committed to making Wichita a better place to live and work, McKay says. They believed they could accomplish that best by supporting Wichita State.

“The new business school building should have a positive impact on economic growth for Wichita and Kansas,” McKay says. “The trustees believe that is something Sam and Rie Bloomfield would have wanted.”