Vanier family makes largest private gift in K-State history

The Jack Vanier family has made a gift of $60 million — the largest private donation in the history of K-State. The gift provides $40 million to benefit students, faculty, programs and facilities on both the Manhattan and Salina campuses, and $20 million for Phase III of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium master plan.

“Kansas State has always been a very important part of our lives,” the Vanier family said. “We feel very fortunate and are honored to be able to make this gift to the university. More importantly, we are thrilled to see so many other K-Staters from across the country investing in the lives of young people in Manhattan and Salina. The confidence we have in President Schulz and his leadership team, and the transparency with which they guide the university made the decision to make this gift an easy one. Our hope is that this will inspire others to make their investments in this great university.”

$40 million for students, faculty, programs and facilities

Student scholarships and fellowships have been established in the College of Technology and Aviation at K-State Salina, the College of Business Administration and the Biosecurity Research Institute. Additional support for students across both campuses includes Presidential Scholarships and a gift for the K-State Proud Student Opportunity Awards.

Faculty professorships and fellowships have been established in the College of Human Ecology and at the Biosecurity Research Institute, as well as several professorships that may be awarded in any college.

Excellence funds have been established for the Biosecurity Research Institute and at K-State Salina. These funds provide flexible funding to allow university leaders to respond to urgent needs and emerging opportunities. Additionally, a research fellows program will be established at the Biosecurity Research Institute.

Facility support on the Manhattan campus has been provided for the K-State Welcome Center. This unique facility will be one of the first in the country to provide a central location for students and families to connect with new student services, admissions, financial assistance, housing and dining services, and career and employment services. The east side of Memorial Stadium will be renovated and revitalized to house the Welcome Center.

$20 million for K-State Athletics

Phase III of the master plan includes dramatic upgrades for student-athlete needs spanning the entire 16-sport department. These include a new academic learning center, new football operations offices, new sports medicine operations and new strength and conditioning spaces. Basic fan amenities in the north end zone will also be enhanced as the end zone seating and services are upgraded. Read more here.

What K-Staters are saying about this gift

“The entire K-State family joins me in thanking Jack and Donna, and their children Marty, John and Mary for this transformational gift that will benefit the students of Kansas State for generations to come. This is a historic day in our progress toward our K-State 2025 vision of moving Kansas State University into the ranks of the Top 50 public research universities in the U.S.” — Kirk Schulz, President, Kansas State University

“The impact of this gift will be wide-ranging. It will have a hugely positive effect on both academics and athletics. The generosity and thoughtful planning that went into this gift will make a difference across the academy for students and faculty today and far into the future.” — Fred Cholick, President/CEO, KSU Foundation

“From the moment we arrived in 1989, members of the Vanier family have been faithful friends to the football program and, more importantly, to Sharon and me and our family. We are deeply grateful for this wonderful commitment which will have a tremendous impact not just in our program, but for all student-athletes at Kansas State University.” — Bill Snyder, Head Football Coach

“The Vanier family has supported the College of Business Administration for decades with their philanthropy and generosity. Attracting the best possible students to K-State has a direct effect on job creation and the economy in Kansas as we know many of our students will graduate to help develop businesses right here in the Sunflower state. The Vanier Scholarships will be a huge asset to the CBA as we grow and serve the state. Generations of Kansas students will go through college having less debt and less worry because of this magnificent gift.” — Ali Malekzadeh, Dean, College of Business Administration

“Sandy’s and my support for K-State has been in many ways prompted by our desire to emulate the leadership the Vanier family has provided for so many years. They are among the most generous, accomplished and humble people we have ever known. Their unbelievable philanthropic support of Kansas State, character and quiet leadership are excellent examples of what makes K-State such a special place.” — Paul Edgerley, Brookline, Mass., managing director of Bain Capital Partners; Dean’s Advisory Council and Co-Chair of the new building fundraising initiative, College of Business Administration

“This gift for the Welcome Center will join with many others to bring this incredibly important project to life for all K-Staters. We are so thankful to the Vanier family for their support of the Welcome Center, which will be a tangible expression of the K-State brand.” — Pat Bosco, Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students

“This is an extremely significant gift for our institute. The generosity of this contribution will ensure that talented researchers are attracted and retained to collaborate with other scientists throughout the world who study a wide range of high consequence disease-causing pathogens that pose a threat to animals, humans, plants and food. This gift will also enable us to expand our interdisciplinary educational and training programs to better prepare our students for careers in this area.” — Stephen Higgs, Director, Biosecurity Research Institute

“This is yet another example of the selfless generosity of the Vanier family in their home community of Salina. The Vanier Family Scholarships will help K-State Salina students achieve their academic dreams and be prepared for the opportunities of tomorrow’s careers.” — Verna Fitzsimmons, CEO, K-State Salina and Dean, College of Technology and Aviation

“In the College of Human Ecology we strive to provide a transformational educational experience for our students. The ability to attract and retain talented faculty is essential to this endeavor. The generosity of the Vanier family is deeply appreciated.” — John Buckwalter, Dean, College of Human Ecology

“For 75 years the Vanier family has been among Kansas State’s most faithful and generous supporters. While the family has never sought attention or recognition for their support, a further impact of their generosity has been the inspirational example they have provided for a new generation of K-State philanthropists.” — Gen. Richard Myers (Ret.), Arlington, Va., Chairman, KSU Foundation Board of Directors

“Collectively K-Staters are building tremendous momentum toward the vision of a ‘Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program.’ The support of the Vanier Family is perhaps the most consistent factor throughout the modern history of K-State Athletics, and this gift will have a transformative effect on our ability to expedite Bill Snyder Family Stadium Phase III. All K-State coaches and student-athletes join me in expressing our appreciation for Jack, Donna, Marty, John and Mary Vanier.” — John Currie, Director of Athletics

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