Estate gift generates more scholarships for ESU athletes

October 26, 2011

For 30 years, Larry Wild’s life revolved around coaching baseball players and teaching social studies at a Kansas City, Mo.-area high school. Friends recalled the rapport he built with his Ruskin High School teams over the years, teaching players how to succeed on the field and in the classroom.

Now his estate will benefit baseball, softball and women’s basketball athletes at Emporia State University, his alma mater.

Through a gift agreement completed prior to his death in April, 2010, Wild created the Larry Wild, Teresa Wild and Walter Wild Athletic Scholarship. The scholarship is funded with $378,000 in proceeds from Wild’s estate.
“He loved working with kids,” said his lifelong friend Jerry Smith of Iola. “He wanted to help make college possible for more of them,” Smith added.

Smith and Wild were high school classmates in Herington. They both joined Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity at Kansas State Teachers College and earned education degrees from KSTC in 1964. Wild returned to KSTC for a master’s degree in 1970. Smith also holds a KSTC master’s degree, which he earned in 1973.

After retirement Wild moved to Allen, Kan., and was a frequent visitor to baseball training camps for high school students. He also maintained a keen interest in ESU’s baseball program through the years.

“Larry had been an extended member of our baseball program for as long as I can remember,” said Bob Fornelli, ESU head baseball coach.

Inducted into the Missouri Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1994, Wild was also a part-time professional baseball scout for teams including the Baltimore Orioles, Montreal Expos, Philadelphia Phillies, Texas Rangers and the New York Mets.

“We’re grateful for the generosity of alumni such as Larry Wild, whose planned gifts and contributions make it possible for more students to see their dreams become reality,” said Tim Clothier, ESU Foundation interim president.

For more information on the Wild scholarship fund, or about other options for supporting ESU through the ESU Foundation, call (620) 341-5440 or email sacfound@emporia.edu. Visit the Foundation online at www.emporia.edu/foundation and www.emporia.edu/give.

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