ESU celebrates $58,034,736 in gifts to Now & Forever campaign

February 18, 2017

What was publicly launched in February 2013 as a five- to seven-year challenge to raise $45 million has transformed Emporia State University and launched Hornet Nation — a community of dedicated and loyal donors.

“Now & Forever: The Campaign for Emporia State University” has already made a lasting impact on Emporia State and its students — raising not $45 million, but $58,034,736. It is the largest philanthropic movement in Emporia State University’s history. The total was announced at a celebration Saturday evening at Emporia State. 

Beyond the dollar amount raised, the campaign has had a meaningful impact on students, faculty and staff. 

New, generous professorships and scholarships are helping Emporia State recruit and retain scholars. Two of those opportunities include the Dr. John C. Rich Distinguished Accounting Professorship and the McPherson Family Scholars.

Andy Eleazar Renteria, chemistry and physics major at Emporia State, is one of the many students impacted by funds generated through the campaign. Renteria’s parents are working-class immigrants from Mexico.

“They have fought relentlessly through countless obstacles to provide financial security to my family, and they are unable to contribute very much to my education financially,” Renteria said. “But everyone deserves to go to college regardless of income.

“Scholarships from the Now & Forever campaign provide me with the security of knowing that I can focus on my next quantum mechanics exam or the chemical reaction going on in the lab without stressing about affordability.”

Newly renovated facilities provide contemporary, functional spaces and amenities appropriate for 21st-century students. Emporia State University student Moira Pyle, junior marketing major, said she, along with other business students, will benefit from a learning commons on the first floor of Cremer Hall. 

“This renovation and innovative design perfectly describes the impression I had first received at Emporia State,” Pyle said. “This creates a sense of ease and availably of having all program and resources all on the same floor. Not only is this place more accessible, but the modern style is what all students will be greeted with as they enter the building. This is a major attraction to new students and families as they visit Emporia State.”

Welch Stadium renovations, including new Jones Field turf and running surface for Zola Witten Track, along with the Dennis Shogren Scoreboard were made possible by donors through the Now & Forever campaign. New softball stadium turf and creation of the Baxter Sports Medicine Center further complement the list of Athletic facility upgrades.

The Now & Forever Campaign has had a lasting impact on Kathryn Flott, elementary education major and Lady Hornet basketball player. 

“I honestly cannot tell you where I would be right now if it wasn’t for Emporia State University,” Flott said. “Chances are, I would not still be playing basketball, because I wouldn’t have had coaches that believed in me like they do here. I am beyond grateful for what the generous gifts to the Now & Forever campaign have done for not only me, but countless other students as well.”

The wealth of opportunities that have already been created as a result of the Now & Forever campaign will continue to grow, as 40 percent of the total came in the form of estate gifts.

“We are grateful for everyone who has participated in this exceptional opportunity to continue Emporia State’s commitment to its current students, and those who’ll be learning here in the future,” said Emporia State President Allison D. Garrett.


About Now & Forever

Now and Forever: The Campaign for Emporia State University, set out with a working goal to raise $45 million through the most comprehensive campaign in university history. Determined to build spirit, camaraderie and a sense of pride in Hornet Nation, we decided to share our victories. By ringing Silent Joe during each celebration, we announce to the world that the Hornet Nation is Silent No More.

Shepherd Family Continues to Leave Lasting Impact

April 17, 2017

In 1994, a $150,000 gift from Augusta Shepherd (BSB ’44 Business Administration) and her late husband, R. Hershel Shepherd, to the Emporia State Foundation established the Shepherd Scholars program. Annual and major gifts from Augusta, son Jim Shepherd, daughter Joyce and Craig French, daughter Judy and David Hawkins, and the family businesses have continued to grow the endowment ever since. Recently, they enhanced the Shepherd Scholars endowment with generous gifts in excess of the original gift amount.

Advancing Philanthropy Workshop April 25

April 11, 2017

The 2017 Advancing Philanthropy in the Flint Hills workshop presents Robert Swanson, President & CEO of Swanson House, Inc. The annual event provides a special opportunity at no cost for individuals, organizations and professional advisors to learn about initiatives and resources that help support the work they do. This year’s event is Tuesday, April 25, at the Flint Hills Technical College.

Department of Music Receives Largest-Ever Music Scholarship Endowment

April 4, 2017

A transformational gift from the late Virginia Hagan Meeker will have a profound impact on current and future Emporia State University music education majors.

Former Students, Others Honor Faculty Member Dr. John Rich

February 18, 2017

A new professorship will honor a long-time Emporia State educator for his ability to start students solidly on their career paths, being well-educated in their major fields of study and in life in general.

Legacy Gifts to Support Scholarships in The Teachers College

February 17, 2017

Planned gifts from two Hornet alumnae — Mildred Caldwell (BSE 61 – Speech, Psychology) and Coleen Thebo (BSE 64 – English) — will continue to give education majors in The Teachers College the opportunity to chase their dreams through scholarships. Caldwell’s gift establishes the Mildred L. Caldwell Donor Advised Fund, and Thebo’s gift benefits the recently established Roger G. and Colleen D. Thebo Scholarship.

Building a University House

February 16, 2017

George Breidenthal always preferred to work behind the scenes to advance Emporia State University and its programs. His substantial gifts to music, elementary education and women’s athletics — Lady Hornet basketball, in particular — cemented his standing as a quiet superfan always ready to support students.

New Aquatic Research and Outreach Center Facility at ESU to Shape Future of Aquatic Ecology

February 15, 2017

Emporia State University will soon be home to the Aquatic Research and Outreach Center, a new facility planned for the north end of campus and adjacent to I-35 where aquatic ecology research and training could have a worldwide impact on generations to come. During the afternoon of Feb. 15, gifts in support of the Aquatic Research and Outreach Center were celebrated with a bell ringing ceremony at the Sauder Alumni Center.

Remodeling in ESU’s Cremer Hall Will Create Preston Family Student Complex

February 14, 2017

School of Business students will soon be enjoying a new area in Cremer Hall dedicated to their success, thanks to a gift from the William and Aloha Preston Family Trust. The new area, with a proposed name of the Preston Family Student Complex, will be created in the lower level of Cremer. The Complex will house the BizHornet Center, new spaces for business clubs to meet and additional conversation areas.

Hornet Football Facilities Benefit from Former Teammate’s Gift

February 13, 2017

Hornet football at Emporia State University is a success story that’s been developing for many years. Now, a former player from the days of Coaches Bob Seamen and Larry Kramer is making a gift that will have a substantial impact on teams of the future.

Rotary Club of Emporia’s Scholarship Gifts are a Boost

January 31, 2017

The Rotary Club of Emporia is committed to giving both Emporia State University and Flint Hills Technical College gifts of $10,000 payable over the next five years, benefitting students at the two institutions.

Habitat for Humanity to benefit from president’s residence salvage items

January 18, 2017

The Emporia State University Foundation is giving back to the Emporia community by partnering with Habitat for Humanity to donate items from the current President’s Residence. The current home, built in 1960, is slated to be torn down to make room for a new University House.

University Closed, Foundation Open During Holidays

December 16, 2016

When the clock hits noon on Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, Emporia State University offices will close for the holidays. The campus will re-open at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. During the break, offices and...

Athletics Names 2016-17 Earl W. Sauder Scholars

December 5, 2016

Kent Weiser, executive director of intercollegiate athletics, named 36 student-athletes from all 15 of Emporia State

Capitol Federal Celebrates 2016-17 Scholars

November 10, 2016

In 2002, Emporia State was the first of seven Kansas higher education institutions to partner with Capitol Federal in a scholarship program preparing business students for the challenges of the ...

Emporia State Mourns the Passing of John 'Doc' Baxter

November 4, 2016

John "Doc" Baxter, longtime athletic trainer at Emporia State, passed away on Thursday night at Aldersgate Village in Topeka. "John Baxter helped mold the culture of Hornet Athletics through his work ...



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