Gladys ’75 and Buck Alley took a different route to support their passions at WSU 

Buck and Gladys Alley

Gladys Alley became a nurse in part because she admired her grandmother, a nurse midwife. She and her husband, Buck, each established scholarships at Wichita State based on their passions.

Some years ago, Gladys and Buck Alley made the decision that they wanted to establish two scholarships at Wichita State — one for each of their passions. The funds would pay out after their deaths. But, as time passed, they changed their minds.

“The more I thought about it, there was no sense to wait, if we could fund them now,” said Buck.

They had money with the Wichita Community Foundation and through that organization, they were able to see their vision become a reality now — instead of later.

“It was not a big problem to transfer the funds to the WSU Foundation,” said Buck.

The first scholarship to be established was the Gladys H. Alley Scholarship in Nursing.

“My grandmother was a nurse midwife and I always emulated her,” said Gladys. “Nursing was something that I always wanted to do.

“So, when I found myself as a single, divorced mother who needed to find a profession to enter the work force, the natural choice was nursing. I chose Wichita State University because it had a good nursing program and I believe in WSU.”

Gladys, who graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, believes she received a good education at WSU. It certainly came in handy when she volunteered during Hurricane Katrina.

“I was reading the Eagle about the need for volunteer nurses, so got out of my chair and called The Red Cross — the next day I left for Louisiana and spent three weeks in the Cajun Dome in Baton Rouge. What a great experience.”

That wasn’t the only time Gladys put her nursing skills to the test.

“I went to Kenya three times — the first with the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, and the second and third was sponsored by Comfort the Children International, a non-profit organization. I did nursing to the poorest of the poor in Mahi Mahi, a suburb of Nairobi, Kenya. The people had nothing materially, but were joyful and so grateful for our clinic. (It was) an experience that changed my life and my priorities.”

The Alleys believed it was important that Gladys’ scholarship be awarded for the fall 2011 semester, so they made an additional gift.

“I wanted to get it started,” said Buck. “We are not getting any younger. This way, Gladys was able to meet the person who received her scholarship funding for the 2011-2012 school year.”

Gladys and Buck also established a second scholarship — for track, Buck’s passion and way of helping students like he was helped.

“The short time I was at WU,” said Buck, “I ran track and received tuition and books on a track scholarship.”

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