Silent No More


Fall General Assembly

Silent Joe, the limestone-faced bell tower southeast of Welch Stadium, is taking on a new role in Emporia State University’s comprehensive fundraising campaign. Traditionally rung after the football team scores a victory, the bell has become an audible icon for success as part of Now & Forever: The Campaign for Emporia State University. 

In the second half of 2013, bell-ringing celebrations recognizing significant campaign gifts and achievements have happened five times: 

  • A leadership gift to Emporia State’s athletics program from Steve and Bobbi Sauder of Emporia in excess of $600,000, 
  • Recognition of a record $9.4 million fundraising total in fiscal year 2013, 
  • Creation of the Fulhage Music Scholarship program with a $250,000 gift from the estate of Mildred Fulhage, a longtime Kansas City, Kan. public school music teacher, 
  • A $100,000 leadership gift to the School of Business from Dale and Carolyn Davis of Emporia, and 
  • $200,000 gifted anonymously for the School of Business to establish a Distinguished Business Scholar program. Coupled with the donor’s prior gifts and a planned gift, the contribution will grow to $1 million. 

Fulhage Scholarship ReceptionDavis Gift ReceptionSauder Gift AnnouncementAnnounced at the Founders’ Day Gala in February 2013, Now & Forever has now topped the $22 million mark on its way to a working goal of $45 million. 

“This is truly a team effort,” said DenaSue Potestio, Emporia State Foundation President/CEO. “I’m excited about the spirit, pride and camaraderie that’s building in our Hornet Nation as we engage alumni across the globe to build the strength and vitality of their alma mater.” 

Steve Sauder is the Now & Forever campaign’s Champion for Athletics, a role in which he leads fundraising for Emporia State’s athletics programs. The vision goal for Hornet Athletics is $9 million in private gifts and grants. “With Steve’s leadership I know this is possible,” said Potestio. 

“I’m pretty invested in the future of this community, and I understand that Emporia State University and the city of Emporia are joined at the hip,” Steve Sauder said in an earlier interview. The owner Emporia’s Radio Stations, Inc., he serves on the Emporia State University Foundation Board of Trustees in addition to his involvement in numerous community activities. 

“We’ve all stretched and succeeded during the past few months,” noted Lana Oleen, past chair of the Foundation’s board of trustees during a July celebration marking the record-breaking fundraising year. “I sincerely appreciate not only the efforts of the Foundation staff, but also the gifts that 5,950 individuals, families, groups and corporations have made to our Now & Forever campaign this year.” 

The September celebration of the Fulhage Music Scholarships of course included performances by some of the students benefiting from the scholarships. 

“My biggest dream was to study in the United States,” said Anastasia Motiti, Fulhage Scholarship recipient and international transfer student from Cyprus, an island country in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Motiti, a talented musician who has attended several piano and flute academies and master classes with a number of European musicians in Cyprus, Greece and Austria, is attending Emporia State with the support of her family, the Fulhage Scholarship, and the Fulbright Commission in Cyprus. 

The forward-thinking gift from Dale and Carolyn Davis recognizes the service and achievement of Dr. John C. Rich, professor of accounting and information systems and director of student affairs and alumni for the AACSB International-accredited School of Business. 

“For me personally, this has been an overwhelming and humbling experience,” said Rich, a faculty member at Emporia State since 1968, and part of the leadership team for the Now & Forever campaign. 

“The thoughtfulness of the Davises in recognizing me through this gift was unexpected and is one of the most meaningful things that I have ever experienced,” Rich continued. 

The final bell-ringing ceremony of 2013 took a different turn, in that the person making the gift chose to remain anonymous. A $200,000 campaign gift, coupled with $200,000 the donor has previously given, established the Distinguished Business Scholar program at Emporia State. 

“This same individual is also making a generous planned gift to bring the endowed scholarship fund to $1 million. This elegant giving strategy enables the new program to begin today and to grow in the future,” added Jennifer Denton, Emporia State Foundation vice president for stewardship and administration. 

Campaign commitments to be celebrated in 2014 include: 

  • A seven-figure planned gift to support the Department of Physical Sciences 
  • A seven-figure planned gift to establish two scholarship funds 
  • A six-figure planned gift for student scholarships 
  • A six-figure commitment comprised of both current and planned gifts to support athletics, academics, accounting, music, and fraternity and sorority life 
  • A quarter-million dollar commitment to athletics 
  • A quarter-million dollar commitment to Women’s Basketball 
  • A quarter-million dollar commitment to promote a popular speaker series through student scholarships 
  • A quarter-million dollar planned gift to establish scholarships for business and business education majors 
  • And multiple other six-figure commitments to Now & Forever, the Campaign for Emporia State University.