Giving students wings

Bill and Elaine Gross use matching funds to create a scholarship for K-State Polytechnic students.

Flying and teaching are two things Bill Gross loves most about his job as an aviation instructor at Kansas State University Polytechnic. It’s because of these passions he and his wife, Elaine, participated in the K-State Family Scholarship Program and created a scholarship for Polytechnic students.

With the K-State Family Scholarship Program, new gifts of $30,000 are matched with $30,000 from the seed fund provided by Mary Vanier, for a total of $60,000. $10,000 goes into an expendable fund, making $2,000 scholarships available to be awarded to students immediately. The remaining $50,000 goes into the endowment, ensuring future generations of Wildcats will receive scholarships as well.

“The flight program is expensive,” Gross said. “My goal is to help these young people create a career. The aviation field is wide open with lots of possibilities. We could graduate students who will have opportunities at their doorstep. However, it’s expensive for students to get flight training. Scholarships will assist with the affordability aspect of earning their flight ratings. To become flight certified costs students approximately $40,000 in addition to tuition.

“Whatever we can do to assist Kansas State Polytechnic recruit students, and then be able to see them move on to graduation; that’s what Elaine and I want,” Gross said.

Learn more about how you can take advantage of matching opportunities through the K-State Family Scholarship Program at, or contact John Morris, senior vice president of development, via email or 785-532-7587

The K-State Family Scholarship Program supports Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas State University, raising 1.4 billion in support of K-State students, faculty and programs.

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