Honoring her husband while providing more opportunities for students

Connie Satzler established a scholarship for the College of Engineering to honor her late husband, while hoping to give more students opportunities to attend K-State

For Connie Satzler, Kansas State University is more than just a school filled with purple. Connie graduated from K-State in 1991 and 1999 with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in industrial engineering. Connie’s experiences as a K-State student were filled late study nights in Durland Hall, serving in several engineering and K-State student organizations, and cheering the cats on at K-State sporting events.

During an Engineering Open House in 1991, Connie was escorted to the banquet by her late husband, Larry Satzler, on one of their first dates. Weeks later they would be engaged. To honor Larry’s memory, Connie established the Larry Satzler Engineering Scholarship.

“Because of the positive experiences that Larry and I had at K-State, the scholarships I received as a student, and the scholarships my children are currently receiving, I believe it is my obligation and privilege to help repay at least a portion of those benefits,” Connie said.

Larry graduated from K-State in 1987 and 1989, earning his bachelor’s and master’s degree in industrial engineering. At the time of Larry’s passing in December 2015, he was serving as the assistant dean for student services in the College of Engineering. Before that, he was an instructor in K-State’s College of Business Administration while working on his PhD in engineering. 

“He enjoyed his colleagues and his students tremendously. He liked their shared goals of promoting learning and student success, and he had a lot of fun on a daily basis with students and staff alike,” Connie said. “From Larry’s work within the College of Engineering, I saw how the college placed a high priority on meeting its renewable scholarship obligations to students and expanding these opportunities to cover the college’s growing enrollment. I wanted Larry’s scholarship to be for the engineering fund with the least restrictions to make it as easy as possible for the college to continue fulfilling scholarship obligations. 

Larry and Connie’s three children also attend K-State. Josiah Satzler who pursued mechanical engineering, Stacia pursing architectural engineering and Julia finishing up her degree dietetics and kinesiology. The Satzler family’s close bond to K-State now includes two of the children’s spouses; Abbi Satzler and Trevor Lambert, a Nebraska native who has expanded his wardrobe to include some K-State purple.

“I want future students to have the same scholarship opportunities afforded my children by generous K-State alums and donors,” Connie said. “I don’t look at this as a gift, so much as the beginning of a more intentional journey to help pay back the many direct and indirect ways our family has been blessed through our K-State experiences.”

The Satzler family earned more than an education at K-State, they gained a family, support system and a place filled with memorable experiences and opportunities.

“K-State ‘family’ is not just a slogan. The K-State campus is a great place to live, learn and work,” Connie said. “After Larry’s passing, tangible acts of love, service and generosity were demonstrated to our family by many in the K-State family. I can’t imagine there would be another university with a ‘family’ like this one — how I love these purple-wearing people.”

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