Emporia State University has received the single largest gift in the history of the university. The Walter S. & Evan C. Jones Testamentary Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee has generously awarded ESU a grant of $5 million for the construction of the Emporia State University Nursing + Student Wellness building.
This new state-of-the-art facility will be the future home of ESU’s nursing program and Student Wellness Center. The 32,000-square-foot building will allow ESU to increase the number of nursing students it can admit and grow the nursing program. Through this gift, the Jones Trust will expand opportunities for future ESU students interested in pursuing this high-demand career. This gift will also help support the needs of many communities in Kansas where there are shortages of nursing personnel.
“The Walter S. and Evan C. Jones Trust is pleased to have this opportunity to support the new home for the ESU Nursing Program and Student Wellness Center,” said Greg Bachman of Emporia, Jones Trust Advisory Committee member. “Participation in this project allows the Trust to support the mission of improving health care and education in Coffey, Lyon and Osage counties.”
The building will be situated in the heart of the Emporia State campus. By replacing Central Morse Hall, this new construction will consolidate ESU’s infrastructure footprint, improve space utilization, reduce operating costs and eliminate costly deferred maintenance. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2024. The project is a key component to the ESU Model.
“Emporia State is committed to elevating the academic programs that serve today’s students and the state of Kansas,” said Ken Hush, ESU president. “The Nursing + Student Wellness facility is one more upgrade we are making for our students as part of our total campus transformation.”
This gift is the latest of many generous grants the Jones Trust has made to Emporia State. Not including this gift, the Jones Trust has provided over $10.9 million of support for a variety of areas like nursing education operations, new construction for the Prophet Aquatic Research and Outreach Center and the Kossover Family Tennis Complex, renovation funding for projects like Welch Stadium and Cram Hall, endowed professorships and more.
“Emporia State is grateful for the Jones Trust’s longstanding support and their commitment to building and strengthening communities through education and healthcare-focused investment,” said Shane Shivley, ESU vice president for advancement and CEO/president of the ESU Foundation.
These investments are emblematic of the ongoing work the Jones Trust does to support the health and well-being of the region. Most notably, the Jones Trust has partnered with Newman Regional Health and local K-12 schools to make a positive impact on local communities. Emporia State is proud to once again partner with the Jones Trust to build infrastructure and create opportunities in the Emporia community.
“Emporia State is excited to move our nursing program onto our main campus,” said Cory Falldine, ESU vice president for infrastructure. “This gift from the Jones Trust is key to us being able to move forward with a state-of-the-art building for both the nursing academic program and the ESU Student Wellness Center.”
Officials from Emporia State University and the Walter S. & Evan C. Testamentary Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee gather behind ESU nursing students during a check presentation on campus.
Front row, from left, Kristin Scott, Grace Showalter, Alex Scott, Drew Statler and Guadalupe Ramirez. Middle row, Lindsay Bays, director Student Wellness Center-Counseling Services; Dr. Mary Mitsui, professor and chair, ESU nursing program; Mary McDaniel Anschutz, director Student Wellness Center-Health Services; Dr. Shelly Gehrke, vice president for enrollment management and student success; Greg Bachman, Jones Trust Advisory Committee member. Back row, Peter Hauff, director of facility planning; Kelly Heine, vice president for marketing and communication and chief marketing officer; Shane Shivley, vice president for advancement and CEO/president of the ESU Foundation; Cory Falldine, vice president for infrastructure; Bill McKernan, executive director of facilities; Ken Hush, president.