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Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas State University

Susan Herbel

Susan Herbel

Many people look back and remember the moment a teacher changed their lives.

For Susan Herbel, it was Kansas State University political science professor Dr. Louis Douglas in the fall of 1961.

"I was wandering around lost and happened by his office and asked if he could help me," Herbel said, recalling her first year at K-State.

Thus began a lifelong connection, with Douglas mentoring and encouraging Herbel as she ventured forth not only academically, but also politically. He encouraged Herbel to join Sen. Eugene McCarthy's 1968 presidential primary campaign, where she learned leadership, organizational and relationship-building skills along the way.

"In those days, he referred to me as a part-time graduate student and full-time politician," Herbel said.

Creating a legacy to honor a mentor
After a lengthy career spanning academia, all levels of government and the private sector, Herbel began to consider her estate plan and how she might incorporate a gift to honor the professor who "changed her life." She decided to support the Louis H. Douglas Scholarship with a bequest in her will.

"When I think back on all the mentors along the way, his name is probably the most prominent," Herbel said.

""He taught me about developing, implementing and evaluating public policy, and he gave me a great start in learning how to navigate in a political environment. Most importantly, he gave me the courage to fail and the confidence to undertake new challenges and opportunities."

Make a difference
To learn how you can honor faculty with a legacy gift in your estate plan, contact the the Gift Planning team at 785-775-2000 or