Kansas State University has received $60 million — the largest private donation in the school’s history — from the Jack Vanier family.
University President Kirk Schulz announced the gift, which is structured to provide $40 million to benefit students, faculty, programs and facilities on both the Manhattan and Salina campuses, plus $20 million more for Phase III of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium master plan.
K-State has received a record amount of donations each of the past three fiscal years, as the KSU Foundation set high marks of $99 million, $110 million and $152 million, respectively.
“The entire K-State family joins me in thanking Jack and Donna, and their children — Marty, John and Mary — for this transformational gift that will benefit the students of Kansas State for generations to come,” Schulz said.
Jack and Donna Vanier are owners of the CK Ranch in Brookville.
The Vanier Football Complex is named in honor of the family’s contributions to K-State athletics.
The Vaniers said K-State has always been an important part of their lives, and that they hoped others are inspired to make donations to the university.
“We feel very fortunate, and are honored to be able to make this gift to the university,” the family said in a statement.
“More importantly, we are thrilled to see so many other K-Staters from across the country investing in the lives of young people in Manhattan and Salina. The confidence we have in President Schulz and his leadership team, and the transparency with which they guide the university made the decision to make this gift an easy one.”
Student scholarships and fellowships have been established in the College of Technology and Aviation at K-State Salina, the College of Business Administration and the Biosecurity Research Institute.
Additional support for students across both campuses includes presidential scholarships and a gift for the K-State Proud Student Opportunity Awards.
Faculty professorships and fellowships have been established in the College of Human Ecology and at the Biosecurity Research Institute, as well as several professorships that may be awarded in any college.
Excellence funds have been established for the Biosecurity Research Institute and at K-State Salina. These funds provide flexible funding to allow university leaders to respond to urgent needs and emerging opportunities.
Additionally, a research fellows program will be established at the Biosecurity Research Institute.
Facility support on the Manhattan campus has been provided for the future K-State Welcome Center, which will be located on the renovated east side of Memorial Stadium.
The welcome center will provide a central location for new student services, admissions, financial assistance, housing and dining services, and career and employment services.
Phase III of the six-phase Bill Snyder Family Stadium master plan will provide upgrades for student-athlete needs throughout the entire athletic department.
This includes a new academic learning center, new football operations offices, new sports medicine operations and new strength and conditioning spaces.
Basic fan amenities in the north end zone also will be enhanced as seating and services are upgraded.
“From the moment we arrived in 1989, members of the Vanier family have been faithful friends to the football program and, more importantly, to Sharon and me and our family,” said football coach Bill Snyder.
“We are deeply grateful for this wonderful commitment, which will have a tremendous impact – not just in our program, but for all student-athletes at Kansas State University.”