Improving communities

Kansas Masons give $2.5 million to Kansas State University programs

Masons from 220 lodges across Kansas have collectively given $2.5 million through the Kansas Masonic Foundation to support Kansas State University programs. The gift will support the Kansas PRIDE program, the Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship and the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs.

“This gift is on behalf of Kansas Masons to benefit programs that are good for Kansans and Kansas communities,” said Grand Master of Kansas Masons Darren Kellerman. “Last year, we awarded 78 scholarships to Kansas State University students. Now we are excited to expand our partnership with K-State through three truly unique initiatives,” said Michael Tavares, president of the Kansas Masonic Foundation. He added that the Kansas Masonic Foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the public launch of a $20 million fundraising campaign to help Kansas Masons continue improving communities.

“We are grateful for this significant partnership with Kansas Masons,” said Kirk Schulz, president of Kansas State University. “Their generous investment will support K-State’s outreach and service mission, which is part of our land grant heritage and is key to becoming a top 50 public research university by 2025.”

The Kansas PRIDE Program is a partnership between K-State Research and Extension, the Kansas Department of Commerce and Kansas PRIDE, Inc. The program encourages and assists local volunteers working in cooperation with local government in making their community a better place to work and live through projects that preserve, create and improve.

“With more than 45 years of success, the Kansas PRIDE program continues to be vital in creating a better tomorrow for 500 Kansas communities over the life of the program, including about 70 communities each year,” said Daryl Bucholz, associate director of extension and applied research at K-State. “The Kansas Masons’ generous investment of time and money will help us expand this program to even more communities, engaging more Kansans in community-vitality projects that will improve their future.”

The Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship works to enhance the entrepreneurial environment at K-State and throughout Kansas by providing education and support to entrepreneurs. The Kansas Masonic Foundation’s gift will support the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge, offering financial prizes and mentors from masonic and business leaders to guide teams from Kansas high schools and universities.

“We are sincerely grateful for the generosity and support of the Kansas Masons,” said Chad Jackson, director of the Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship. “Their sponsorship of the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge will enable us to provide key resources and support for the next generation of Kansas entrepreneurs who will drive our state’s economy.”

The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs focuses on military-related institutional policies, education, research and outreach. The office works in conjunction with administrative, academic and student life offices across K-State, and also with the ROTC program, the Kansas National Guard and Fort Riley military installation.

“This gift will help us expand the reach and depth of our work serving military and their families in the state of Kansas, as well as those who are transitioning from military back into civilian work and education in the state of Kansas,” said Arthur DeGroat, U.S. Army Lt. Col. (retired) and executive director of military and veterans affairs at K-State.

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