K-State Geography Department, students benefit from estate gifts

The estate of Steven Kale, Salem, Oregon, has provided a gift of nearly $800,000 to Kansas State University through his will. The funds will support a scholarship and the excellence fund for the Department of Geography in the College of Arts & Sciences.

The scholarship and the excellence fund are endowed, which means they will provide a continuous source of support for the purposes specified by Kale. The principal of the fund is maintained and invested in perpetuity, and awards are made from earnings.

Kale graduated from K-State in 1970 with degrees in geography and business administration. He then obtained a master’s and a doctoral degree in geography from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Kale had a varied and successful career in teaching, research and transportation planning. He never lost his enthusiasm for geography or his interest in helping his alma mater. Kale served on the K-State geography alumni board and was a member of the President’s Club, a philanthropic leadership organization for friends and alumni of K-State.

Both gifts will leave a lasting impact on the Department of Geography at K-State. “The scholarship fund will help the department support talented undergraduate geography majors,” said Charles Martin, geography department head. “With these funds, we’ll establish the Steven Kale Field Research Scholarship, which will support undergraduate student field research during the summer. Field work is a critical component in the discipline of geography. This fund will allow us to provide that enriching educational experience to our majors and engage them in cutting-edge geographic field research with members of the faculty.”

 “The Steven Kale Excellence Fund will provide the geography department with a steady source of funds to further the teaching and research missions of our department,” Martin said. “The fund will be used to bring outstanding speakers and visiting scholars to the department on a regular basis. The fund will also support students to travel to and present their research at national and international conferences. The continuing support from the Kale funds provides financial resources to substantially enrich the educational experiences of our students, advancing us toward our 2025 goals and vision to be a top 50 public research university.”

Philanthropic contributions to K-State are coordinated by the Kansas State University Foundation. The foundation staff works with university partners to build lifelong relationships with alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students through involvement and investment in the university.

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