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Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas State University

Dr. Gracie Chen

Dr. Gracie Chen, 2017 veterinary medicine graduate and recipient of the Ellithorpe scholarship.

Nearly 30 years ago, K-State alumni and siblings Dr. Vera May Ellithorpe and Glenn Ellithorpe decided to transfer their jointly-held land to Kansas State University to advance opportunity to future students. Dr. Gracie Chen, 2017 veterinary medicine graduate, is one of those students.

“The Ellithorpe family scholarship graciously provided me with the support to pursue veterinary medicine outside of the classroom,” says Chen, now an associate veterinarian. “I was able to volunteer and help local communities with veterinary care and gained a lot of surgical and anesthetic experience. I am grateful for the Ellithorpe scholarship, and have applied these new skills to my current position.”

Trailblazers in their professions — Vera was the first licensed female architect in Kansas — the Ellithorpes became philanthropic trailblazers when they created a charitable remainder unitrust or CRUT which paid both siblings an annual income while generating value for their alma mater. The CRUT not only generated an income for the sister and brother, it also provided the family tax relief and the means to create four annual K-State scholarships.

Glenn Ellithorpe

Glenn Ellithorpe

Glenn’s son, Jack — also a K-State alumnus, recently spoke of how his parents “scraped for their very large family to go to college.” He spoke of both his father and aunt’s proactive commitment to progress the role of women in society. Jack has followed the family model to support the community and has coordinated several College of Veterinary Medicine class reunions, as well as supporting his favorite K-State causes.

If you are wondering how your family can become a K-State class act and support student scholarships in your estate planning, visit us online and contact the Gift Planning team at 785-775-2000 or