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Shock the World Campaign
In This Issue


Shock the World Campaign
Momentum grows for new business school facility

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 Alumni and corporate gifts move fundraising campaign forward

The fundraising campaign to build a new home on the WSU Innovation Campus for the W. Frank Barton School of Business continues to draw support, surpassing $11.5 million in recent weeks. That’s almost half of the fundraising goal for the facility, which will replace the nearly 50-year-old Clinton Hall as the business school building.

The project is the top priority in the Shock the World Campaign for Wichita State University. Among those pledging support for the facility recently are these individuals and businesses:

Commerce Bank/William T. Kemper Foundation


For most business organizations, the need for a well-educated workforce is of paramount importance. It is a key reason that Commerce Bank and the William T. Kemper Foundation have chosen to invest in the business school complex with a combined gift of $250,000. “Like other businesses in the community, we need well-rounded college graduates with both the technical and soft skills essential to our success,” said Marilyn Pauly, vice chairman of Commerce Bank-Wichita. “The new Barton Business School building will have the appropriate facilities in which to educate students to meet the changing needs of the future.”

For example, the collaborative spaces planned for the new facility will help create an environment that fosters creative thinking, innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset, she said.

Commerce Bank has been a longtime advocate for Wichita State, contributing to scholarships, athletics and academic and cultural programs. Many of the bank’s gifts to Wichita State have been made jointly with the Kemper Foundation, of which Commerce Bank serves as trustee. “Both Commerce Bank and the Kemper Foundation are committed to the community and we can think of no better way to evidence that than through our active involvement in projects like the new home for the Barton Business School,” Pauly said.

Tom and Katherine Kirk


As a partner and senior managing director of the wealth management firm Meridian 6, Tom Kirk understands the importance of a vibrant business community that relies on a skilled workforce. That’s why he and his wife, Katherine, chose to invest in the new business school building. “Our gift is really about supporting the local business community and doing what we can to keep it healthy and thriving,” says Kirk, a 1982 graduate of Wichita State.

The couple is especially interested in the mission of the Innovation Campus to provide applied learning experiences for WSU students to help them become career-ready. “You have to have some structure to support the concept of businesses and students working alongside each other, which is a real positive,” says Kirk. “We think a new facility will provide that structure and do it in an environment that reflects today’s business world.”

Kirk is a member of the WSU Foundation’s National Advisory Council and also serves on the Business Building Leadership Council, a group of volunteers helping to raise private funds for the new Barton School home.

Cox Communications


Helping Wichita grow and prosper is a responsibility Cox Communications takes to heart, says Coleen Jennison, market vice president for the company. By supporting Wichita State, Cox is also promoting the university’s efforts to help drive Wichita’s economy, she says.

“We feel a genuine responsibility and an honest desire to work with our community partners to make Wichita the best it can be for those who are here today and for the generations to follow,” Jennison says. “The innovation that is occurring on the Wichita State campus is something that Cox is proud to support.”

In recognition of the company’s $150,000 gift to the new business school facility, Cox will have its name displayed on a digital communications wall in the lobby of the building. “Technology is at the core of what we do every day,” Jennison says. “By supporting a space where people can come together and connect with each other and the world around them, we are delivering life’s most important connections.”

Cox Communications has supported several important WSU projects and programs, including the Marcus Welcome Center, the Shocker New Venture Competition and WSU Athletics.

Stephanie and Mark Luetters


As a 1992 graduate of the Barton School, Stephanie Luetters stepped right from the WSU campus into a challenging financial position with Koch Industries. “To this day I feel grateful that Wichita State and the Barton School prepared me for an excellent job opportunity right out of college,” says Luetters, who eventually retired from her career to raise four children with her husband, Mark.

A member of the WSU Foundation’s National Advisory Council, Luetters believes it is time to provide a facility for the Barton School that will help attract top students to Wichita State. “Facilities are important to students and their parents,” she says. “They want to see that the school values the business school enough to invest in it appropriately. I believe a new and improved space for the Barton School will have a very positive impact on recruiting.”

Luetters currently lives in Atlanta but will soon move back with her family to Wichita, where Mark is president of Koch Agriculture and Energy Solutions.

For more information

If you would like to learn more about the Barton School building project, contact Angela Dudley, senior development director for the WSU Foundation, at 316-978-3837 or

Angela Dudley