Driven to give back

Donors feel the need to give back to the university that gave them so much more than a degree.

It’s no secret that students today face different challenges than most of their parents faced during their college days. For Chris Althoff and Jamie Yates, this is the driving force behind their need to give back to Kansas State University.

“We both felt that it was important to help those who have helped us. The organizations we were involved with at K-State have left a lasting impact on both of us, and we hope that by giving back, we can enable these organizations to reach others,” said Chris and Jamie.

Chris Althoff and Jamie Yates, both graduates from K-State, remember their time at the university in stories that they share with their kids. “We love telling our kids about attending K-State football games and fraternity functions, living in Manhattan in the summertime, and even spending time studying in the old cathedral room at Hale Library,” Chris said. 

The lasting impact that Chris and Jamie will leave on the campus can be seen in the multiple ways they have decided to give back to the colleges of Engineering and Business Administration, Greek life, and universitywide programs. 

When asked why they felt it was important to donate to their alma mater, they both said, “We feel driven to give to the organizations that helped us grow while we were students at K-State. These organizations helped our values take root and taught us many of the skills that we still use today.”

While not in the same degree program, Chris and Jamie learned invaluable lessons both in and out of class. “We were taught to think in ways that prepared us for our future careers. Chris’s academic path as an engineer taught him how to think critically, and his MBA helped him apply those skills to the world of business — critical skills for launching and leading his first company,” Jamie said. 

“Jamie’s interdisciplinary path taught him how to examine human behavior and approach situations with empathy and compassion; skills he applied thoroughly as a high school teacher. Coupled with our academic paths, participating in leadership programs and extracurriculars at K-State helped us greatly by enriching our social lives and honing our interpersonal and communication skills,” Chris said. 

Seeing how students’ lives have changed gives both of them a different perspective on their college years and how the cost of college has gone up. “We hope that these gifts will help students lessen any undue financial burden — rewarding and encouraging them to work hard and invest in their growth for the betterment of themselves and our society,” said Chris. 

Chris and Jamie have one message for donors: to remember where you came from.

“It’s our turn to give back. Contact an old professor or the sponsor of a club that you were involved with at K-State, and let them know how much that program or organization meant to you. Ask if there is any way you can give back. It doesn’t have to be a treasure, you can make a world of difference just by sharing your own time and talents.”

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Contact a gift officer

Jenna Brown

Jenna Brown Senior Director of Development - Engineering


Dylan Zheng

Ty Brull Development Officer - Universitywide