At the spring KSU Foundation Board of Trustees meeting, trustees Dan and Beth Bird, Manhattan, Kansas, were awarded the Kansas State University Medal of Excellence (click for link for video), which recognizes those who have advanced Kansas State University through exceptional service, leadership and philanthropic contributions.
Dan received his degree in animal sciences and industry from K-State in 1962. Beth earned her degree in business administration from K-State in 1961.
“I’ve said for years, it’s always been easier for us to give than receive,” Dan said. “And the proverbial ‘give back’ thing does play into that. We grew up with that philosophy and followed it from then on. We’ve met so many people through K-State and they’re all good people who we enjoy. We encourage people to volunteer and give to K-State. It all boils down to, we’re having a lot of fun.”
Dan served as a past member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the College of Agriculture Alumni Board. The Birds are lifetime members of the Alumni Association and members of the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art Board of Visitors, which Beth is past chair. They are past members and volunteers with K-State Catbackers. Beth serves on the board for K-State Libraries, and both Dan and Beth serve on the College of Agriculture’s Innovation and Inspiration Campaign steering committee.
“Dan and Beth Bird are dedicated K-Staters who define what it means to extend extraordinary service to Kansas State University as philanthropic leaders and enthusiastic Wildcat fans,” said K-State President Richard Myers. “We so appreciate their commitment to advancing what makes K-State great today and in the future and are excited to celebrate the Birds by awarding them the university’s Medal of Excellence.”
Since Dan’s first gift of $10 to the university in 1964, Dan and Beth have established five named funds and scholarships in the colleges of Agriculture and Business Administration, and across K-State through funds for Athletics, the Alumni Association, K-State Libraries, the marching band, K-State Gardens, McCain Auditorium and the Berney Family Welcome Center.
“The Birds bring more than a big presence and a cowboy hat to the K-State family, they bring their best to boldly advance K-State wherever they are needed,” said Greg Willems, president and CEO of the KSU Foundation. “K-State is known for the alumni and friends who selflessly serve and give to advance the university. Without the volunteer and philanthropic leadership of alumni and friends like Dan and Beth Bird, K-State would not be the university it is today.”