ONEOK Foundation makes $250K donation for K-State Welcome Center

By The Mercury

The ONEOK Foundation has made a commitment of $250,000 over five years in support of K-State’s new Welcome Center. A patio providing the threshold to the entrance of the K-State Welcome Center will be named the ONEOK Patio.

ONEOK is the parent company of Kansas Gas Service. The ONEOK Foundation has awarded $39 million in grants to support nonprofit organizations throughout its operating areas since 1997.

“The K-State Welcome Center will serve the entire K-State family as the front door to new opportunities, and the ONEOK Patio will be the threshold to this one-of-a-kind facility,” said Pat Bosco, K-State’s vice president for student life and dean of students. “Whether taking a break between interviews or waiting to depart on a walking tour of campus, visitors to the ONEOK Patio will enjoy a welcoming spot when spending a day on campus.”

The K-State Welcome Center will revitalize Memorial Stadium. Completed in 1924, it honored the sacrifices of students and graduates who were lost in World War I.

The transformational renovation will build upon the legacy of purple pride established by previous generations and will be one of the first in the country to provide a central location for students and families to connect with new student services, admissions, financial aid, housing and dining services, and career and employment services.

The center will create a welcoming, convenient and progressive environment for prospective and current students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff and corporate representatives to interact and engage with each other.

“ONEOK is proud to partner with Kansas State University on this project and is excited by the positive impact it will have on current and future students,” said John W. Gibson, ONEOK chairman and chief executive officer. “Supporting higher education and programs that assist students with career placement opportunities are priorities for ONEOK as we seek to attract and retain talented employees to our company.”

The ONEOK Patio will be equipped with benches and landscaping and will include direct access to the parking garage across the street and be visible to traffic passing or entering the university’s main entrance at 17th Street and Anderson Avenue.

“Facility enhancements like the K-State Welcome Center are central to advancing K-State toward its goal of becoming a Top 50 public research university by the year 2025,” said President Kirk Schulz. “ONEOK’s commitment to the K-State Welcome Center will help us with this transformational renovation that will build upon the legacy of purple pride established by generations of K-Staters.”

In addition to its charitable efforts, the ONEOK Foundation gave $2.4 million in corporate contributions in 2010 to support local nonprofit organizations.

Philanthropic contributions to the university are coordinated by the KSU Foundation.

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