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Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas State University

Kurt and Kristen Thompson gave to inspire students

Thompson family

Kurt and Kristen Thompson and their children

When Kurt Thompson talks about why his family gave toward the Seaton Hall revitalization and expansion project, he mentions his experience as a College of Architecture, Planning and Design (APD) student at Kansas State University and how architecture is about solving problems. Kurt speaks of friendships forged over late nights in Seaton Hall, the campus community, and how his now-wife, Kristen, often studied with him in the studio. He may even say that curve balls will change the course of a life — like suddenly losing your dad to pancreatic cancer — and can teach a person how gratifying it is to help others.

"My father passed away very quickly in 2010 as a result of pancreatic cancer," Kurt says. "Since then, my family has helped to raise funds in support of (pancreatic cancer) research. The outpouring of love and support shown for my dad was incredible. It instilled a great pride in our family to know we were helping others. It motivated me to seek ways to give back."

Giving back

For Kurt, giving back looks like traveling to Manhattan, Kansas, from St. Louis to speak with fifth-year APD students, serving on the college's architecture professional advisory board and helping renew the place on campus that meant so much to him personally and professionally — Seaton Hall.

Thompson family children

The Thompson kids pose with Willie the Wildcat.

"I really wanted to find a way to support the (revitalization and expansion) project financially," Kurt says. "Kristen and I met with our financial advisor and with KSU Foundation representatives. We realized a gift through life insurance was the perfect answer for what we wanted to do. It turns out naming K-State as a beneficiary (via the KSU Foundation) in our life insurance policy made this gift easier than we'd ever thought possible."

Kurt and his family hope their gift enables future generations of K-State students to realize their career goals and utilize the work ethic and skills learned in architecture, planning and design to society's benefit.

You can help K-State students design a better world

Help future students apply their K-State education to solve problems and benefit society. Learn more today at and contact the Gift Planning team at 785-775-2000 or