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Spirit of the Gift
Biography Project

Histories of the men and women behind WSU's endowed funds

Bobbie and Marvin Bastian Endowed President’s Discretionary Fund

H. Marvin Bastian and his wife, Bobbie, were stalwart friends and supporters of Wichita State University. They were equally committed to campus and civic involvement. Mr. Bastian was a prominent businessman but he never sought the spotlight. He was CEO and then chairman of Fidelity Bank, a financial institution that grew into a $1.8 billion company with 400 employees in multiple cities.  Mr. Bastian sometimes described himself as “hopelessly overcommitted,” serving on many boards, including United Way of the Plains, the Kansas Society for Crippled Children and the Wichita Symphony. He died in 2008.

Mrs. Bastian received her bachelor’s degree in music from Northwestern University. She directed men’s and boys’ choirs and participated in the St. James Episcopal Church choir. She and her husband had three children, Clark, Clay and Christine. Mrs. Bastian died in 2003. 

The Bastians were members of the WSU Foundation’s Society of 1895 and Fairmount Society Life Members. Mr. Bastian, recipient of the WSU President’s Medal in 1989 and the prestigious Uncommon Citizen Award from the Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce, also served on the WSU Foundation’s National Advisory Council, the Ulrich Museum Advisory Board and the Barton School Advisory Board. He and his wife established the Bobbie and Marvin Bastian Endowed President’s Discretionary Fund in 1989.