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Shock the World Campaign
In This Issue

       

A dedicated Shocker, Jim Summers took pride in giving back to WSU



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Shocker Noir was produced with custom bottles for Wichita State University by Summers Estate Wines.

Jim Summers left his home state of Kansas for northern California and the wine country he loved shortly after graduating from Wichita State in 1970, but he never forgot his roots or the connections rekindled years later with his alma mater.

“Wichita State held a special place in his heart,” said Elizabeth King, WSU Foundation president and CEO. “He was crazy for Shocker basketball but he also took great pride in the Barton School of Business. He loved seeing the growth of the Innovation Campus and all of the exciting changes over the years.”

A husband, father and icon in the Napa Valley wine industry, Mr. Summers died in August. He is survived by his wife, Beth, and daughter, Andriana.

Shock The World
Jim Summers

Mr. Summers grew up in Sabetha, Kansas. Though his parents were of modest means, they urged all six of their sons to go to college. Mr. Summers attended Wichita State and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration, then an MBA from the University of San Francisco. He began a career in corporate finance, where he met his wife, the granddaughter of California grape growers and winemakers. They purchased a 28-acre vineyard in Sonoma, then a 25-acre vineyard near Calistoga, which became the business hub of Summers Estate Wines.

It was in 2000 that Mr. Summers reconnected with Wichita State and began looking for ways to support it. Heavily invested in his vineyards, he decided that gifts-in-kind of his wines would be a special way to do that.

His winery produced custom-made bottles of wines with the logo of Wichita State on them, along with handmade gift boxes in which to present them. He donated them for the WSU Foundation to use as gifts for events and as fundraising items. For many years, he contributed special bottles for the annual Gregg Marshall Shocker Basketball Auction. He also donated travel packages to his winery for the WSU Alumni Association’s fundraising events.

In 2015, Mr. Summers decided he wanted to do more for his alma mater. He and Beth pledged a significant gift to create the Kim Summers Fellowship in Accounting, in honor of his brother, who died in a car accident while a college student. The fund supports a distinguished faculty member in the WSU School of Accountancy.

“Wichita State was very fortunate to be included in Jim’s philanthropy,” King said. “He wanted to share his good fortune with his alma mater because he appreciated the impact this university had on his own life. He was enormously proud to be a Shocker.”