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Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas State University

K-State was the foundation of Brian Paulson's career, and he worked with the KSU Foundation to support the college that launched him.

Brian Paulson

Brian Paulson stands atop Machu Picchu.

First-generation students arrive at Kansas State University with more than their hopes and aspirations; they often arrive carrying the dreams of their families. So it was with Brian Paulson who left rural Chapman, Kansas, in the late 1970s to study engineering technology at K-State's College of Engineering. Brian will tell you that K-State launched him — gave him the foundation for a successful career.

"My family floated the idea of attending college and it was always K-State," Brian says. "Dad wanted me to have the opportunity to do better than he had. He helped drive my schooling and career. I feel very fortunate to have attended K-State as a first-generation college student. K-State gave me the opportunity to travel the world."

As Brian traversed the globe while working for companies such as Texas Instruments, Price Waterhouse and IBM, he often ran across other K-Staters, easily identified by their purple attire. These meetings among strangers connected him with other K-Staters and allowed for the unique camaraderie of K-State family to be forged in far flung places.

Several years ago, Brian had the opportunity to purchase his family's farm. While considering his estate options, he worked with the KSU Foundation and explored how he could give back to the university which launched him, his career and his adventures around the world.

Brian learned he could put together a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) with the farm as the initial gift to establish the Brian Paulson Family Engineering Excellence Fund and invest in the alumni association, K-State athletics and K-State. By gifting the farm ground into a CRUT, he was able to receive a sizeable tax deduction all while getting guaranteed income payments for the rest of his life.

"It is my wish that my investment can help support the success of the college and provide opportunities for future generations of K-State students," Brian says.

He has found another way to give back to K-State as a mentor to students in the College of Engineering. He helps guide students as they enter dynamic industries, keeps up with his alma mater and stays current with trends and technologies on campus — even catching a few athletic events while in Manhattan.

We thank Brian and other generous K-State friends and alumni who support the university through their wills and estate plans. Find out how you can advance the K-State Family. Visit our website or contact the Gift Planning team or 785-775-2000 or