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Women for ESU

Coming Together to Elevate and Strengthen the Future of Emporia State University

Providing Grants and Forging Connections

Women for ESU was formed to increase philanthropic investment and to provide a pathway for women who share a vision for leadership and financial growth to come together and create opportunities for Emporia State students. Members pool their contributions into a grant fund for new or existing projects and initiatives that will make a transformational impact on Emporia State students and the campus environment. Women for ESU is also a vibrant collective passionate about encouraging and empowering women as champions and changemakers, and it welcomes anyone inspired by their mission.

On Saturday, April 6, Women for ESU held its inaugural symposium where five initiatives were celebrated and awarded grants. The winners were:

  • Corky’s Career Closet received a $12,000 grant. Corky’s Career Closet will use these funds to expand the campus clothes closet, providing students with professional attire for interviews, internships, and career fairs.
  • “Tough,” a play by Margot Connolley, received a $10,000 grant. The Emporia State Theatre Program will use these funds to add a fourth show to their regular season.
  • A Place of Comfort and Calm: Creating Sensory Spaces Inside the ESU Library received a $10,000 grant. This initiative will create a space in the ESU Library as a sensory room. This space will support students with disabilities at ESU, especially those with autism spectrum disorder.
  • Hornet Huddle: Connection for TradPlus and Transfer Students received an $8,000 grant. The goal of Hornet Huddle is to provide a variety of recurring programs addressing the unique needs of transfer and non-traditional (TradPlus) students.
  • Sociology of Sport Day received a $5,000 grant. This event will introduce high school juniors and seniors to the study of society and sports and provide sociology and crime and delinquency majors the opportunity to practice their skills and share the knowledge they have obtained in their studies.

The symposium was a partnership with the student-led Breaking Barriers Conference, which brought together attendees and students, providing them the opportunity to meet and learn more about one another at a networking luncheon and social hour. The event also featured keynote speaker Teri Karjala, a thought leader in female empowerment and entrepreneurship and alumna of Emporia State.

Women for ESU Grants – Dream Big!

Women for ESU pool their member contributions into a grant fund for new or existing projects that will make a transformational impact on Emporia State students and/or benefit the campus environment. Students, faculty and staff projects and initiatives are eligible to apply.

The deadline for applications for 2024 has passed. Look for 2025 grant applications to open at the start of next year.


Women for ESU is a vibrant collective of women passionate about supporting the success of Hornet students, Emporia State University and all of Hornet Nation.

The members of Women for ESU combine their talent and treasure to create opportunities for Hornet students while strengthening their connections to Emporia State and inspiring others through their examples of leadership and service.

"If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are an excellent leader."

Dolly Parton

Our Mission

Women for ESU was created to increase philanthropic investment, bringing to life the impact that women who share a vision for leadership and financial growth can make at ESU for the students of today and tomorrow.

By coming together, Women for ESU encourages and empowers women to recognize their innate power to create opportunities and shape the future of students at Emporia State University.

Women for ESU welcomes anyone interested in elevating the influence of women as champions for Emporia State.

Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence, and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”
- Sheryl Sandberg

Women for ESU Member Impacts and Involvement Opportunities

Total giving to Women for ESU is combined into a single fund. Members vote annually on the initiative or initiatives these funds will support.

Women for ESU hosts an annual symposium providing a venue for alumnae and friends of Emporia State to connect with one another and the university. At the symposium, the Women for ESU’s chosen initiative is revealed.

Women for ESU is led by an Advisory Council of approximately 25 Women for ESU members with an established giving history to the university and a passion for ESU. The council term is three years. Each member on the council sits on a Women for ESU committee.

Women for ESU committees are:

  • Marketing and recruitment committee.
  • Event planning committee.
  • Initiative recommendation committee.

How to Become a Member of Women for ESU

Membership in Women for ESU requires a minimum gift of $1,000 annually, or $500 annually for members 35 years old or younger. Members contributing at the endowment level of $25,000 or above join the Women for ESU lifetime member list.

To make an outright gift for membership, visit the Women for ESU giving page.

To make a gift in installments, contact the ESU Foundation to submit a gift form to establish your donation schedule.

Employees of Emporia State — You can also give using the payroll deduction form located in OnBase.

Questions about Women for ESU? Contact Bethany Tegtmeier at or 620-341-6464.

"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.”
Mother Teresa

Women for ESU is guided by a Leadership team that includes ESU Foundation staff, University staff, a Community Chairwoman, and Committee Chairs that together ensure the sustainability of Women for ESU.