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Sept 2014 Horizon Header

       

Support from Gus ’73 and Mary ’79 Campuzano reaches all corners of campus

Their giving includes two endowed scholarships and unrestricted aid to WSU athletics

Mary and Gus Campuzano endowed scholarships in the disciplines they studied — health professions for Mary and business for Gus.
Mary and Gus Campuzano have endowed scholarships in the disciplines they studied — health professions for Mary and business for Gus.

Gus Campuzano was 12 when his parents left their homeland of Cuba in search of freedom and new opportunities in the United States. That quest eventually landed the family in Wichita, where Campuzano’s father, a physician, entered a residency program at what was then St. Francis Hospital.

“You go where the job takes you,” Campuzano says of the unlikely move from Cuba to Kansas.

Growing up in an unfamiliar environment with language challenges and cultural differences had a lasting impact. So he was gratified and touched when his wife, Mary, suggested that the scholarship they created at Wichita State in 2000 be awarded with preference to first- or second-generation immigrant students.

“We've had students from Asia, from South America — it’s been a rewarding experience,” Gus says of aid the couple has given with the Gus and Mary K. Campuzano Scholarship/Fellowship in Health Professions.

Based in part on that good experience, the Campuzanos decided to use the same criteria for the Gus and Mary K. Campuzano Scholarship in Business, which they established earlier this year. They also increased substantially the size of their Health Professionals scholarship and made a generous gift to WSU athletics.

“Mary and Gus understand the big picture of higher education at WSU,” says Darin Kater, WSU Foundation director of development for planned giving and University Libraries. “Their support expands across the campus with the end goal of making this a great place for current and future Shockers.”


“We’ve had students from Asia, from South America — it’s been a rewarding experience.”

- Gus Campuzano

Both Mary and Gus are Wichita State graduates. Gus earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1973 and Mary received a master’s degree in nursing in 1979 after getting a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Florida International University. She was on the faculty of the WSU School of Nursing before starting a 23-year career as vice president of programming for the Kansas Health Foundation. Gus was claim manager and vice president of IMA Financial Group for 14 years and worked at USF&G Corp. for 24 years before that. Mary and Gus are now retired.

The couple recognizes the power that higher education has to change lives. But that opportunity isn’t available sometimes to immigrant students who don’t have the financial means to attend college, Mary says.

“Money is hard to come by for every student, but certainly that’s even more true for first- and second-generation immigrants,” she says. “We hope to level the economic and social playing field for these students, which simply makes for a stronger society in the long run.”

Mary and Gus are enthusiastic fans of WSU men’s basketball. Gus recalls camping out overnight in a line for student tickets in his college days, with Mary bringing him dinner during the wait. They hope their support for WSU athletics will help student athletes successfully pursue degrees.

“The vast majority of student athletes won’t have professional careers,” Gus says. “It’s really important for them to understand the need to balance athletics with the need to earn a degree.”

 

circle arrow If you would like to help Wichita State students succeed in their pursuit of a college degree, contact Joseph Hunter, WSU Foundation vice president for development, at 316-978-3808 or josephl.hunter@wichita.edu.

Support from Gus ’73 and Mary ’79 Campuzano reaches all corners of campus