The legacy of Howard Marcus and his family burns bright at Wichita State

The expansion of the building features an addition on the south side to house WSU’s career services offices.

The expansion of the Marcus Welcome Center features an addition on the south side to house WSU’s career services programs.

The $1 million gift that Howard and Rose Marcus recently pledged to support the expansion of the Marcus Welcome Center at Wichita State was deeply personal to Howard.

Not only did he make the pledge knowing it burnished an already sterling legacy of support from the Marcus family, but also that it would honor his mother, for whom the Milly Marcus Annex will be named pending approval from the Kansas Board of Regents.

The gift, pledged in April, was to be his final major commitment to the university he loved and supported for four decades, always with Rose’s endorsement. Mr. Marcus died on June 12 at the age of 80, following a battle with cancer.

This portrait of Rose and Howard Marcus is on display inside the Marcus Welcome Center.
This portrait of Rose and Howard Marcus is on display inside the Marcus Welcome Center.

“We are forever grateful to Howard and Rose for their generosity and the impact they have had on Wichita State,” said Elizabeth King, WSU Foundation president and CEO, as well as a close friend to the couple.

Marcus Welcome Center bears the family name in recognition of the lead gift Howard and Rose made in 2003 to build the facility. Their investment augmented many years of support by Howard’s parents, Sam and Mildred Marcus, who donated funds in 1973 to build the Center for Continuing Education at the same site.

When the Continuing Education Center moved to the Metropolitan Complex in 1999, the vision for a modern facility to house the WSU Admissions Department was developed by Don Beggs, university president at that time. Since opening in 2005, the Marcus Welcome Center has been the university’s front door, welcoming 10,000 prospective students and their families each year.

Now, the Marcus Welcome Center will be expanded with a new entry on the south side of the building leading to the Shocker Career Accelerator offices. The integration of Admissions and Career Services is intended to send a clear message to students about the support they will receive for applied learning opportunities and career development.

As part of the project, multiple spaces in the Marcus Welcome Center will be updated. The estimated cost of the expansion is $3.4 million and additional private support is being sought.

“The building that bears the Marcus family name has been an invaluable asset to Wichita State,” said WSU President Rick Muma. “Now it is poised to make an even greater impact. The Marcus legacy will endure for many years to come.”

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