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Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas State University


This late 19th century view of Fairchild Hall (left) and Anderson Hall (right) demonstrates how much the K-State campus has changed in 150 years.

"Previous generations before us had a vision and that's how the university started. The previous generations gave us opportunities, so if we don't look after generations after us, what opportunities would they have? If we don't do it now, who will?" asks Laurel Erickson.

Laurel and her husband, Larry, took that philosophy to heart and established charitable gift annuities with the KSU Foundation in the amount of $150,000 in honor of K-State's 150th anniversary.

"It seemed like a logical way to celebrate the 150th anniversary in terms of something that seemed doable and appropriate. Giving a gift annuity is a different way to contribute than just giving the university $150,000. It seems to be a logical way for us to move toward retirement and have retirement income. We see this as a win-win opportunity, as it's good for K-State and it's good for us."

Laurel and Larry, who live in Manhattan, Kansas, are K-State graduates and Larry is a professor of chemical engineering.

"I feel that Kansas State University and other universities are an important part of the society we live in and that many good things happen to students who come here," Larry says. "A university with a research program does things that have a significant value, so we feel that's a good reason to contribute."

"When I was an out-of-state student in 1957, I paid $199 a semester in tuition and fees. Now it's much more, and the state has not kept supporting the university as well as it did in the past, so there is a greater need for philanthropic support."

Laurel encourages others to contribute to K-State as well.

"With the 150th anniversary, wouldn't it be great if a person had 150 pennies or 150 dollars or 150 thousand or 150 million, to be able to do something with it — contact the university and explore all the different programs where they might have an interest."