Terry Chesnut continues to support the WSU Child Care Development Center — a program she helped start 

Terry Chesnut at the Child Development CenterTerry Chesnut '76 visits the WSU Child Development Center, where she was director for 20 years. She encourages university employees to support the departments they love. 

Terry Chesnut began contributing to the WSU Foundation Annual Fund for Excellence in 1984, but her loyalty to Wichita State University began more than a decade earlier as a student and employee — and continues today.

While working full-time with a neighborhood preschool and raising a family, Chesnut enrolled in evening classes at WSU. In January 1971, a Women’s Student Association telephone survey revealed a need for child care within the campus and nearby community, so long-time mentor, Ruth Tasch, associate professor in the College of Education, turned to Chesnut with an offer.

“She asked me if I would be interested in starting the child care center in exchange for teaching hours,” said Chesnut. “I thought it sounded like a great idea.”

The center was opened in a neighborhood church and Chesnut as its director. In 1976, Chesnut earned her master’s in educational psychology. Two years later, the center was moved to the middle of campus to better accommodate staff and students, but as the need for childcare continued to grow, a new facility was built adjacent to Fairmount Towers. The WSU Child Care Development Center was dedicated in May 1991.

For more than 20 years, Chesnut enjoyed working with the children and being a mentor to the student teaching assistants.

“We had some great young people, as well as a wonderful staff,” said Chesnut. “I loved it."

Through the annual fund, Chesnut supports the College of Education and the Ablah Library. In addition to the preschool, she gives to the WSU Dames, the Holiday Card Scholarship Fund and, as a former member of the Kansas Women’s Golf Association Board of Directors, she supports Shocker women’s golf.

When asked why she began giving back to her alma mater, Chesnut said, “I had a wonderful experience as a graduate student. I really felt the faculty, especially Ruth, believed in and encouraged my success. Plus, all those years working within the Division of Campus Life and University Relations where everyone was so caring, I felt I needed to return the favor.”

Retired since 1991, Chesnut looks back fondly on her years at WSU and will continue to support the university to ensure the betterment of the departments and the child development center.

To contribute to the WSU Foundation Annual Fund for Excellence, please go to wichita.edu/giveonline. For more information, please contact Krista Voth, WSU Foundation director of annual fund, at (316) 978-3819 or krista.voth@wichita.edu.

© 2014 Wichita State University Foundation

Wichita State University Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.