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Shock the World Campaign


Because of YOU
Wayne and Kay Woolsey Hall private fundraising is completed

It took the generosity of many Wichita State friends to help the WSU Foundation meet its goal of raising $30 million to build a new home for the W. Frank Barton School of Business. But in the weeks leading up to that accomplishment, with the goal tantalizingly in site, a few donors stepped up to clinch the deal.

Among them were Kansas City-based Sunderland Foundation, which gave $1 million, and Marc Rowland, a Dallas energy entrepreneur who pledged an additional $250,000 after an initial $250,000 contribution in 2017.

“These donors believed in the project so strongly, they went above and beyond to help put us over the top,” said Elizabeth King, WSU Foundation president and CEO. “The Barton School facility is the top priority in the Shock the World Campaign, so it’s exhilarating to say ‘We did it!’”

Rowland, who graduated from WSU with a business degree in 1975, launched several successful energy-related ventures before founding his own investment firm, IOG Capital LP, in 2014.

“I’ve had a good career and I owe a lot of that to the education I received,” Rowland says. “I’m in a position to return the favor to the school in a small way, by supporting a project that is important to the university, the students, the city and the state.”

After generously supporting other capital projects like the Experiential Engineering Building and the Advanced Education in General Dentistry facility, the Sunderland Foundation made its largest gift to Wichita State with a $1 million investment in the Barton School facility.

“Higher education is a priority for our foundation,” says Kent Sunderland, president. “Helping Wichita State build a new business school complex is something we see as beneficial for our entire region and certainly for tomorrow’s business leaders.”

The foundation was established in 1945 by Lester T. Sunderland, president of the Ash Grove Cement Co. for 33 years. His mission was to invest some of the company’s revenue in communities where Ash Grove operated. Today, the foundation awards about $6 million a year to nonprofit organizations in 10 states.

The WSU Foundation committed to raising $30 million in private funds to help pay the estimated $50 million cost for a new facility, with the university agreeing to provide the remaining $20 million.