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Shock the World Campaign
In This Issue


Spirit of the Gift profiles the donors and stories behind WSU Foundation’s endowed funds

Cooper family
 WSU students can look through the Spirit of the Gift website to learn more about scholarship donors.

Everyone has a story, and sometimes those stories inspire philanthropic gifts that have a tremendous impact on Wichita State University. Spirit of the Gift is one way the WSU Foundation shares the stories of people and organizations that endow scholarships and other funds.

Many are alumni who remember the financial struggles they endured in college and want to ease the burden for today’s students. Some seek to honor family members and other loved ones by endowing a fund in their names. Others have a passion in a specific area – maybe music or engineering or entrepreneurship – and want to see it flourish at Wichita State.

All of these motivations and many more are documented in the Spirit of the Gift project, launched in 2007. The project provides the stories behind every support fund endowed through the Foundation – about 1,300 so far. They are organized alphabetically under the Spirit of the Gift tab on the home page of the Foundation’s website,

“It’s been fascinating to collect the personal accounts of what inspires someone to make a significant philanthropic gift to endow a fund,” says WSU Foundation Vice President Mike Lamb, who was the first to oversee the project. “Their stories and backgrounds are worth sharing.”

The project was suggested by Carolyn Harrison, a member of the Foundation’s National Advisory Council. Through the years, other universities and nonprofit organizations have learned about Spirit of the Gift and contacted the Foundation to get ideas for starting their own versions.

The listing is not only a way to recognize donors in a format that can be easily accessed by the public, but it also is used by scholarship recipients to learn more about the people, companies and organizations that established their scholarships.

If you have questions or comments about the listings, contact Lori Linenberger on the WSU Foundation’s communications team at 316-978-6812 or

For more information

Interested in sharing your story and making a lasting impact on WSU students through an endowed fund? Contact Keith Pickus, WSU Foundation vice president, at 316-978-7791 or

Aaron Winter