A retired U.S. Air Force colonel who died in 2012 has provided a $5 million gift to Kansas State University through his trust.
The bequest from former Manhattan resident Wayne McIntosh will benefit construction of the university Welcome Center and multicultural initiatives.
McIntosh was a native of Ramona. He earned a bachelor’s degree in general sciences from Kansas State University in 1938 and a master’s degree in education in 1939. While in college, he was in the ROTC program and played trumpet in the marching band. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1941, serving in World War II and flying over Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, on D-Day in 1944. His 30-year military career ended with retirement as a colonel, having earned the Legion of Merit, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Medal and seven campaign medals. Relatives say McIntosh’s fondest career memory was serving as co-pilot for Gen. Chuck Yeager’s flight that broke the sound barrier in 1947.
After military retirement, McIntosh returned to Manhattan and worked for 10 years for the Kansas State University Division of Continuing Education. A travel enthusiast, he visited all 50 states and five continents during his lifetime.
“He was a very humble gentleman. I respected him so much,” said Linda Frey, Manhattan, whose husband Ron Frey was a second cousin to McIntosh. “I would go visit him and he would keep me up to date on the news. He was very well read. Both Ron and I miss him very much.”
McIntosh was very fond of his alma mater, according to Lucy Williams, vice president of The Trust Company, where McIntosh established his trust.
“Although Mr. McIntosh chose not to limit K-State’s application of this gift, it is particularly satisfying to see it applied to this inviting and visible project at K-State, his university, which he dearly loved,” said Mark Knackendoffel, president of The Trust Company. “We were honored to have the opportunity to work with and serve Mr. McIntosh, and particularly for my colleague, Lucy Williams, who worked closely with Wayne and knew him for more than 30 years.”
The generous support of loyal alumni like McIntosh is critical to completing the campus master plan, said Kirk Schulz, Kansas State University president.
“The Welcome Center will revitalize the historic Memorial Stadium, and provide a central location for students and families to connect with a wide range of services,” Schulz said. “Moving this project forward through such generous gifts will benefit the entire K-State family. We could not be more appreciative of Mr. McIntosh’s longtime service to our country and his enduring love of K-State. His generosity will help us continue the progress we are making toward our strategic goal to become a Top 50 public research university by 2025.”
Philanthropic contributions to Kansas State University are coordinated by the Kansas State University Foundation.