Shock the World campaign to raise $250 million in private funds for WSU

Wichita State University (KSN File photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita State University Foundation on Wednesday announced a $250 million campaign to help Wichita State achieve its vision as an Innovation University, accelerating economic development in the region while preparing students to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

Already, the WSU Foundation has already raised $150 million of the goal during the quiet phase of the campaign, which began in 2013.

Wednesday’s announcement on the WSU campus launched the public phase of the campaign, scheduled to end in 2020. The fundraising effort is titled Shock the World: The Campaign for Wichita State University, a theme that references the school’s nickname as the Shockers as well as its bold strategy for the future.”The fact that we have raised 60 percent of our campaign goal demonstrates the passion our donors and friends have for their university, but much remains to be done,” said Elizabeth King, WSU Foundation president and CEO. “Positioning Wichita State for the important work that lies ahead will take the commitment of everyone who believes in this university.”

“The fact that we have raised 60 percent of our campaign goal demonstrates the passion our donors and friends have for their university, but much remains to be done,” said Elizabeth King, WSU Foundation president and CEO. “Positioning Wichita State for the important work that lies ahead will take the commitment of everyone who believes in this university.”

The comprehensive campaign identifies priorities that support the vision of WSU President John Bardo to empower students and faculty for transformational achievements through entrepreneurship, technology, creativity and innovation.

“This campaign is perfectly timed to strengthen our ability to be a key contributor to the economic revitalization of our region,” Bardo said. “It will secure resources to help develop the people, places and programs we need to create a university that is student centered and innovation driven.”

The $250 million raised in the campaign will provide:

  • $115 million for student and faculty support. Scholarship and fellowship awards for students will increase by 80 percent, and 20 new endowed chairs and professorships will be added to the 36 distinguished faculty positions already in existence.
  • $101 million to build or renovate facilities. These include a new home for the W. Frank Barton School of Business on the Innovation Campus; an Ideas Lab for artistic innovation inside a completely renovated Henrion Hall; equipping labs in the new Experiential Engineering Building; renovating Charles Koch Arena and building a new Wichita State Athletics Student Center adjacent to it; and completing the final phase of an improvement project for Eck Stadium.
  • $34 million for Excellence Outside the Classroom initiatives such as a Leadership Academy in the Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College; support for the WSU Career Services Office, the Shocker New Venture Competition and the Koch Innovation Challenge; and field study opportunities for students in geology, biology, anthropology and other disciplines.

Several individuals, companies and foundations already have made significant contributions to the campaign, including:

  • Koch Industries and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation, $11.25 million
  • Dorothy and Bill Cohen, $4.75 million
  • The Sam and Rie Bloomfield Foundation, $2.5 million
  • Cybertron International, $2.5 million
  • The Dwane and Velma Wallace Foundation, $1 million

Contributions to the Shock the World campaign will give Wichita State the resources and facilities it needs to attract the brightest students, faculty and staff, said Paul Allen, chair of the WSU Foundation Board of Directors.

“Just as we invest in our own organizations, we must invest in WSU so that it can remain relevant to the challenges of the rapidly changing global marketplace,” said Allen, a WSU alumnus and CEO of Allen Gibbs & Houlik LC. “In an environment of diminishing state support, it is our investment that will determine the success of the university in accomplishing the vision we share.”