KSU Foundation Announces 2023 Medal of Excellence Honors

patti and rand berney

Rand and Patti Berney of Ponce Inlet, Florida, have been awarded the KSU Foundation’s 2023 Medal of Excellence award for efforts to boldly advance Kansas State University through exceptional service, leadership and financial support.

Rand and Patti, originally from Phillipsburg, Kansas, are both members of the KSU Foundation Board of Trustees, for which Rand served as chair in 2018. A seven-year member of the foundation’s board of directors as well, Rand held the positions of vice chair from 2014-15 and chair from 2016-17. Together, the couple are lifetime members of the K-State Alumni Association and belong to the President’s Club and Land Grant Legacy Society. Serving as co-chairs for the record-breaking Innovation and Inspiration campaign, the Berneys helped raise $1.6 billion in support of university initiatives.

The Berneys’ commitment to K-State has made possible many recent additions and improvements, most notably the Berney Family Welcome Center, the College of Business building and the Ice Family Basketball Center. 

“We’re so appreciative of the many things Rand and Patti have done for the college,” said Kevin Gwinner, Edgerly Family Dean of the College of Business Administration and marketing professor. “But considering the role they played in the Innovation and Inspiration campaign and the Welcome Center initiative — everything they’ve been a part of has been a positive experience for K-State and we wouldn’t be where we are today without their support.”

Rand earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from K-State in 1977 and a master’s degree in business administration from Oklahoma State University 1982. He retired from ConocoPhillips in 2012 as the company’s senior vice president of corporate shared services. Rand has played an active leadership role in the College of Business Administration, serving as an instructor, mentor, alumni fellow and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council. The college has recognized Rand with several awards, including Distinguished Business Leader of the Year (2004), and membership in its Leaders Hall of Fame (2004) and Accounting Hall of Fame (2004). In 2013, he was appointed executive in residence.  

“When I arrived at the foundation as a new, very green CEO, Rand was one of the first board of directors chairs I had the pleasure of working with,” said Greg Willems, KSU Foundation president and CEO. “I’ll always be grateful for his leadership and guidance, and for the selfless generosity he and Patti both have shown over their many years of support for the university.”

The Berneys feel a profound sense of responsibility toward causes that hold meaning for them. With an eye on K-State’s recruitment and retention efforts, they remain dedicated to the university’s continued success.

“We both feel strongly that only when you give of your time, talent and treasure are you fully committed to the success of whatever institution or initiative you have a passion for,” said Rand. “And for us, Kansas State University is high on that list. In the same way that K-State never slows down to rest on its reputation, success and progress, we’re challenged to keep doing our part as well — never thinking of success as a destination, but more of a journey.”

As Kansas State University’s strategic partner for philanthropy, the KSU Foundation inspires and guides philanthropy toward university priorities to boldly advance K-State family. Visit www.ksufoundation.org for more information.

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