A proud partnership

the dwyers

Newlyweds encourage gifts to K-State Proud.

When newlyweds Sarah and Casey Dwyer, of Indianapolis, Indiana, created their wedding registry, they went beyond the usual china, stemware and household goods. They asked their friends and family to make a gift to K-State Proud, stating, “It would mean the world to us and, more importantly, would mean the world to a hard-working student.”

K-State Proud is a nationally-recognized, student-led philanthropy at K-State that helps students who have exhausted all other forms of financial aid but still need assistance. K-State Proud raises money during its annual campaign to provide Student Opportunity Awards to students in need, often providing the funds necessary to help keep a student from having to drop out.

Both Sarah and Casey served on the K-State Proud campaign team and saw firsthand the impact their work was achieving. “One of the girls that had received an award was in several of my education classes,” Sarah said. “Knowing that K-State Proud helped her to continue pursuing a teaching degree helped me see the power of K-State Proud.”

K-State Proud began 10 years ago, and in that time, a culture of philanthropy has grown on campus. “Working on the K-State Proud campaign showed me that philanthropy is also about connecting to others,” Sarah said. “My experience helped me feel the impact of people coming together to help others in need. When you hear the roar of the crowd wearing K-State Proud shirts at a basketball game, when you walk on campus and see students walking to class in purple, when faculty and staff invest time in helping students outside of the classroom — that’s when you can feel philanthropy around you.”

K-State Proud has also demonstrated the power of small donations from many people. “K-State Proud shifted my perception of philanthropy in a big way,” Casey said. “Before my first year as a volunteer, I thought of philanthropists solely as wealthy, big-time donors. Proud really opened my eyes to the potential of large groups who believe in a common purpose. In this case, our large group was the K-State student body and our purpose was helping fellow students. Donations might have been smaller, but the number of donors — the number of K-Staters who believed in helping their peers — was extraordinary.”

Sarah and Casey look forward to continuing their legacy of giving and encourage others to join them in becoming young philanthropists. “When you see the direct impact of your time, energy and donations, it’s a no-brainer to continue donating as alumni,” Sarah said. “We have the power to teach others, who may not have experienced anything like Proud during their college career, about the importance of philanthropy. I would encourage other young alumni to donate so that the next generation of K-State graduates can have an opportunity to make their mark on the world, just like other donors did for us.”

Read more about how you can support K-State Proud. 

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Contact a gift officer

Kerry Wefald

Kerry Wefald Senior Director of Development - Agriculture


Gordon Dowell

Gordon Dowell Executive Gift Planning Officer