Wichita State University has announced pledges totaling $11.25 million from Koch Industries and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation for programs aimed at helping students succeed academically and become entrepreneurs, innovators, and business leaders.
The gift to the Wichita State University Foundation, the lead gift in the quiet phase of a comprehensive capital campaign, will be divided among five initiatives: $3.75 million to establish a Maker Space facility on the Innovation Campus that is open on a paid basis to members of the public; $4.5 million to expand and renovate Charles Koch Arena, including a major expansion of support services for student athletes; $1.54 million to create an Honors College Koch Scholars Program, a competitive award for high school seniors who plan to enroll in the university's Honors College and major in business or engineering; $1 million in support of the Koch Innovation Challenge, an annual program in which WSU freshmen and transfer students compete for funding and scholarships; and $460,000 to move the Koch Global Trading Center to a new building planned for the W. Frank Barton School of Business.
"Wichita is Koch Industries' global headquarters, and Wichita State is an important asset for us and the community," said Steve Feilmeier, Koch Industries' executive vice president and chief financial officer, who also serves on the WSU Foundation board of directors. "We have many connections to the university including scholarships [and] academic and athletic support, and we hire many graduates from WSU every year. We want WSU to be successful and its teaching programs to be top tier."