Continuing a legacy

Dr. Daniel Kuester holds the Roger Trenary Chair of Economics, an endowed chair to honor the legacy of the late economics professor, Roger Trenary.

At the beginning of every economics class taught by Dr. Daniel Kuester, his boisterous voice can be heard throughout the classroom greeting his students, “Good morning, economists! Is everybody happy today?”

Students seated in the classroom are easily transfixed by Kuester’s animated personality and interactive teaching style. Laughter can be heard classrooms away as the students watch clips from the popular television show “The Office” to illustrate daily lessons about economics.

Kuester is the holder of the Roger Trenary Chair of Economics, an endowed chair to honor the legacy of the late economics professor, Roger Trenary. Since its creation, 169 gifts have been made to the fund. Such philanthropic contributions that support endowed chairs impact the lives of many students.

“My ultimate goal by supporting Kuester as chair is to give students the opportunity to experience being educated by a comparably outstanding professor as Roger Trenary once was,” said Mike Goss, a 1981 K-State economics graduate who made a leadership gift to help create the Trenary Chair. “This endowed faculty chair position leverages a greater impact on many, many students in a year — as opposed to a scholarship that benefits one student per year.”

Former Trenary students like Goss know that one good professor can change lives. And that’s exactly what Kuester tries to do now.

After earning the Trenary Chair in 2008, Kuester said the philanthropic support provides him resources for greater engagement in his discipline. It has allowed him to attend teaching conferences, where he gains many great ideas about implementing innovative aspects into the classroom. Kuester has won the Stamey Teaching Award for outstanding teaching in the Department of Economics, as well as the Presidential Advising Award in recent years. 

“I try to utilize as many ideas as I can from teaching conferences to keep things fresh. I also try to share some of these ideas with my colleagues and particularly some of our graduate students who have teaching responsibilities,” Kuester said.

Endowed chair holders are able to better use their time and resources to benefit students and create innovative learning environments. It allows the university to safeguard funding necessary to keep highly sought-after faculty at K-State. Such gifts also provide opportunities to advance K-State toward becoming a top 50 public research university by 2025.

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