Through the power of endowment, the Weigel scholarship has helped students for almost 60 years
By Susan Berhow
After 31 years at K-State, Paul Weigel, longtime head of the department of architecture and allied arts, was no doubt honored when his friends and former students created an endowed scholarship in his name when he retired from administrative duties. It was 1955, and if he could have looked into the future 59 years, he might have been amazed to see students still benefiting from that thoughtfulness.
Through the power of endowment, the Weigel Foundation Scholarship has helped hundreds of “worthy students interested in careers in architecture,” as the original news release described the scholarship. From the first $200 scholarship awards from the fund in the 1950s, to today’s awards that top $1,000 per student, the scholarship has remained a significant source of help for outstanding students, even with changing times and inflation.
“I think he was very pleased with the scholarship and felt very honored,” said his son, Paul David Weigel, who graduated from K-State in 1953. “He liked to teach. One of the things he had them do was give him at least one design class, even when he was an administrator.”
Today’s Paul Weigel scholarship recipients
Tyler Friesen, architecture, Manhattan, Kan.
“Because of this scholarship, I have been able to pursue my dream major. Without this contribution, I would have had to take out significant loans, or have several jobs that took time from my studies. The scholarship has helped me pursue my dream and concentrate on a demanding major, rather than being worried about finances.”
Benjamin Slater, architecture, Prairie Village, Kan.
“I would like to thank the family for their numerous contributions to the school and the architecture program. From what I understand, Paul Weigel was an integral part of the architecture faculty — a faculty which is of a rare caliber both in efficacy and generosity.”
About Paul Weigel
Born in the Bronx in 1889 and the son of a butcher, Weigel attended Stuyvesant High School and went on to graduate from Cornell University in 1912. He served as an architect for the Panama Canal and was a lieutenant in the field artillery during World War I. Weigel began his career at K-State in 1921 and headed the department from 1924 to 1955.
As a result of his leadership, the K-State architecture department was one of the first in the nation to be accredited, and he was the first Kansan named to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. After his retirement, Weigel served as the architectural adviser in the construction of Ataturk University, a land-grant-type college in Erzurum, Turkey.
How you can help
To learn more about how you can help architecture students through an endowed scholarship, contact Damon Fairchild at 785-532-7524.