Page 1

Prairie reborn p.18 | Rx: More doctors p.20 | Two record donors p.11, p.26

For Friends of the University of K ansas • SUMMER 2010 •

Art for the people

KU’s Lied Center reaches out p.12

VISIONS OF KU Steve puppe/Mark MCdonald/ jessica roberts

Recognize these doors? Be the first to identify them at

building a greater university

KU Endowment’s mission is to solicit, receive and administer gifts and bequests for the support and advancement of the University of Kansas.



SUMMEr 2010 I volume 4 I number 1

Art for the people

KU’s Lied Center presents world-class performers — but that’s just a start By Charles Higginson




PRESIDENT’S NOTE A defining moment


EVERY GIFT MATTERS Scholarship for French horn students






I am KU A great place to advance science


GREATER KU FUND There IS a free lunch


The Faithful Our longest-term donor




PAST AND PRESENT No greater confidence

As part of a Lied Center outreach program last season, storyteller Priscilla Howe led second-graders in improvised stories about wetlands creatures.


Prairie reborn

Fire favors flowers at KU’s Rockefeller Prairie By Charles Higginson

A prescribed burn this spring produced spectacular results.


Rx for rural physician shortage

KU School of Medicine plans expansions in Salina and Wichita to promote rural practice

By Lisa Scheller

29 The Claudia Pendleton Johnson Scholarship helps Jenna Mittelmeier and Carolyn Haller keep their heads in the books.

COVER: KU’s Lied Center reaches out to new audiences across the state. See story page 12 photo BY brian goodman

Doug and Shelly Gruenbacher earned M.D.s at the KU School of Medicine-Wichita; now, both are family practitioners in Quinter, Kan. The school hopes others will follow a similar path.

brian goodman

Our core values Passion for KU The generosity of alumni and friends influences the very fabric of KU, helping the university advance the frontiers of knowledge. We are dedicated to serving the university and helping it achieve its aspirations.

Partnership with donors Our donors empower us to accomplish our mission. We pledge to faithfully administer their gifts, adhere to their philanthropic intentions and respect their requests for privacy.

Perpetual support The long-term vitality of KU represents our ultimate, unwavering goal. We strive to wisely invest funds and steward property, with the goal of achieving the greatest possible assurance of long-term financial support for the university.

People-centered approach Our team of employees, trustees and volunteers guides our present and shapes our future. We seek to attract and develop the best talent, value each individual’s unique contributions and celebrate diversity as a strength.

Commencement 2010

ways to support ku 100% of your gift benefits the area of your choice at the University of Kansas. Online Giving — You may make a gift securely online using your debit or credit card. Visit Gifts of Stock — By donating appreciated securities or mutual fund shares, you can provide a lasting contribution while receiving tax benefits, such as capital gains tax savings. Real Estate — Your gift provides a convenient way for you to enjoy a charitable deduction based on the current fair market value of your property, and it can reduce the size and complexity of your estate.

Give by mail — Gifts made by check should be payable to KU Endowment and mailed to: KU Endowment P.O. Box 928 Lawrence, KS 66044-0928 Estate Planning — To remember KU in your will or estate plan, be sure to name The Kansas University Endowment Association (our legal name) as beneficiary. Our federal tax i.d. number is 48-0547734. If you already have named KU Endowment in your estate plan, please contact us so we can welcome you to the Elizabeth M. Watkins Society. We also offer life-income gifts that provide income and immediate tax benefits. Call our director of gift planning at 800444-4201 during business hours, or visit

SUMMER 2010 I VOLUME 4 I NUMBER 1 KUENDOWMENT.ORG CHAIR, BOARD OF TRUSTEES Kurt D. Watson President Dale Seuferling Senior Vice President, Communications & Marketing Rosita Elizalde-McCoy Editor Charles Higginson Contributing Editors Lisa Scheller Katie Coffman Jessica Sain-Baird Jess Skinner Art DIRECTOR Chris Millspaugh gr aphic designer Melissa Meyer professional consultant Carol Holstead KU Associate Professor of Journalism Budig Teaching Professor of Writing


KU Endowment Communications & Marketing P.O. Box 928 Lawrence, KS 66044-0928 785-832-7400 or toll-free 800-444-4201 Email: POSTMASTER: Send address changes to KU Endowment, P.O. Box 928, Lawrence KS 66044-0928 KU Giving is published three times a year by KU Endowment, the private fundraising foundation for the University of Kansas. You are receiving this magazine because you support KU. We welcome your comments, suggestions and questions.

- FOUNDED 1891 -


The consummate professional

KU Endowment and the entire KU community have lost a good friend. James B. “Jim” Martin died April 8, 2010, in Lawrence, at 66. Jim served KU Endowment for 28 years and had a hand in two major campaigns. He served KU Endowment in various capacities starting in 1974, becoming president in 1991. He was executive campaign director for Campaign Kansas, which began in 1985 with a $177 million goal but totaled $265.3 million when concluded in 1992. In 2001, he helped launch KU’s third major campaign, KU First, which surpassed its goal of $500 million to reach $653 million. KU Endowment President Dale Seuferling said he was privileged to have Jim Martin as his direct supervisor and mentor for 21 years. “He by example taught me, and so many others in higher education fundraising, to adhere to the highest ethical standards. Jim was also a


We recently upgraded our online edition. It’s much more engaging and flexible than plain old PDFs. Check out recent issues at kuendowment — and let us know what you think.

great friend who was a joy to be with in creating a working-family atmosphere at KU Endowment. “Jim was the consummate professional in every way. He had a tremendous work ethic, and he operated KU Endowment with a high level of integrity. His leadership made KU Endowment a role model among foundations around the nation.” When he retired in 2002, Jim was elected a Life Trustee of KU Endowment. Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said, “Without Jim Martin’s efforts, the KU Endowment Association would not be what it is today. His work to support the University of Kansas will be felt by many generations of Jayhawks.” Jim also served on several civic and church-related boards. In 2007, he received the Fred B. Ellsworth Medallion for distinguished service to KU from the KU Alumni Association. We extend our condolences to the family and many friends of Jim Martin.


To contribute to the James B. Martin Memorial Scholarship Fund, visit or contact Burke Beeler at or 785-832-7443.

Exemplary gratitude

Students who receive scholarships often write thank-you letters to their donors. A fine recent example: Dear Mr. Cushing, My name is Trey Kapfer. I am a freshman from Olathe, Kan., majoring in tuba performance at KU. I want to thank you and your family for honoring me as the recipient of the Ned and Betty Cushing Band Scholarship. Music and band are an important part of my life. Your generosity has made it possible for me to continue my studies in music, and to become a fourth-generation Jayhawk. My greatgrandfather, Thornton Vaughn, was in the School of Engineering; both my grandma and grandpa Kapfer have degrees from KU; and my mother and father, as well as two of my aunts, hold

multiple degrees from KU. We are a proud Jayhawk family, and I am thrilled to be going to KU. Currently, I sit first chair in KU’s Symphonic Band, and I am enjoying my time playing in the Tuba-Euphonium Consort. I hope someday to be a professional musician and to compose music that people will enjoy. I am living at McCollum Hall on Daisy Hill. Two things are really great about where I live. One is the diversity of my dorm. So many people from all over the world live here, and I’m enjoying getting to know more about other people and their cultures. The other is, when I was growing up and we visited my grandparents in Lawrence, my grandma would let me help her in her garden. She would always tell me the story about how her daisies came from a place called Daisy Hill, and she transplanted them when the university built the dorms. Again, please accept my thanks for your generosity. Rock Chalk, Tuba Hawk, TREY KAPFER

KU Class of ’13

The recipient of this letter, Charles “Ned” Cushing, graduated from KU’s School of Business in 1945. He spent more than 40 years in banking and retired in 1983 as CEO of University State Bank in Lawrence. He was a member of the Kansas Board of Regents, an avid KU sports and band booster, and remained active in many university, church and civic causes. We regret to report that Mr. Cushing died in February, just a few months after this letter was written.

Write to us

KU Giving, KU Endowment P.O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044-0928 Email: Fax: 785-832-7493 We welcome your comments on our magazine and invite you to share your KU experiences with our readers. Please include your name, address, email and daytime phone. Letters may be edited for length and clarity; we assume letters are intended for publication unless the writer indicates otherwise. KUENDOWMENT.ORG |



A defining moment lisa scheller

Trustees Michael Shinn and Linda Zarda Cook share a lighthearted moment with Chancellor Bernadette GrayLittle before the organizing committee meeting.


very life passes through defining moments — decisions or events that take us in new directions and change us for the rest of our lives. The same is true of the University of Kansas. Most of us think of KU as a place, a collection of buildings tied together by tradition and history. But it’s much more than that. It is, in essence, a living entity, shaped by people, their thoughts, ideas and aspirations. While most faithful Jayhawks were riveted to the events surrounding the fate of the Big 12 earlier this summer, something else emerged that will define KU for many decades: the seeds of a new comprehensive campaign. A watermark event, this campaign will redefine

Campaign Organizing Committee Members Joe and Jean Brandmeyer, El Paso, Texas Howard E. Cohen, Leawood, Kan. Linda Zarda Cook, Concord, Mass. David B. Dillon, Cincinnati Jill S. Docking, Wichita, Kan. John B. Dicus, Topeka, Kan. Forrest E. and Sally S. Hoglund (Honorary), Dallas Drue Jennings, Prairie Village, Kan. Joe C. and Susan A. Morris, Leawood, Kan. Charles E. and Anne Jones Rhoades, Mission Hills, Kan. Michael G. Shinn, Beachwood, Ohio Charles T. Sunderland, Overland Park, Kan. Kurt D. and Sue Watson, Andover, Kan. Thomas G. Wiggans II, Olathe, Kan.



this great university and forge for it a new place in the world. The arrival of our new chancellor, Bernadette Gray-Little, presents an ideal opportunity to identify new goals and to engage friends and donors who can help the university reach new heights. A team of key leaders has begun planning this campaign. Many of them were involved as students and leaders through KU’s programs and activities. They represent a cross-section of academic fields, career paths and geographic areas. Their job is to establish a framework and overall goals for the campaign. And they also will need to recruit other key volunteers to help this campaign succeed. A campaign is an ideal time for alumni and friends to develop personal connections with our students and faculty, to witness the transformation that private giving can have on individuals’ lives. It’s about motivated students whose dreams of attending KU will be realized thanks to scholarships. And about bright faculty members whose research will lead to breakthroughs thanks to new professorships. The announcement of this committee did not light up the blogosphere, Twitter and Facebook, as the Big 12 conference realignment process did. But I’m confident of this: Their work will set the stage for a defining moment in KU history.

Dale Seuferling, President

EVERY GIFT MATTERS courtesy of chris and dee white-bradt

Dee White-Bradt and Chris Bradt still make beautiful music more than 35 years after meeting in KU’s music program.

In tune, in step and in time Former Marching Jayhawks establish first KU Horn Studio scholarship When Chris Bradt and Dee WhiteBradt met at KU in the fall of 1974, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. Both freshman horn players, they were direct competitors for various ensembles — never an easy way to start a relationship. But they soon realized that KU band students start as competitors and quickly become friends. “As time went on, we would find ourselves sitting next to each other on game day or attending the same social gathering, not to mention all of the classes and rehearsals we had together,” Dee said. “By our junior year we were best

friends, and we still are to this day. We even play the occasional horn duet; not as pretty as it used to be, but it is still fun.” Five years after they met, the couple married in Lawrence, and eventually passed on their love for the university and its music programs to their son, Ian. A member of the Class of 2006, Ian attended KU as an electrical engineering major and participated in marching band, concert band, basketball band and choir. Dee credits the instructors at KU for her family’s college experience. “When you have the positive experiences that our family did at KU,” Dee explained, “we think it’s important that you give something back.” The couple recently established the KU Horn Studio Scholarship, a merit-

based scholarship that will support students studying French horn and playing in a major ensemble in the KU School of Music. Dee, now a middle school band director in Johnston, Iowa, explains that her students who eventually pursue music as a major in college say applied performance scholarships are a key factor in their school choice. The pair recognized the KU horn program lacked this recruitment tool. Paul Stevens, who has led the KU Horn Studio since he became the university’s horn professor in 1999, says the scholarship will provide the extra boost he needs to more effectively recruit talented players to the program. “That’s something I hadn’t been able to do before,” Stevens said. Stevens recently selected the first recipient of the scholarship, who likely would not have chosen to study the horn at KU without the extra support the scholarship provides. After meeting Stevens, Chris and Dee are confident the tradition of quality in the school will continue. As an added bonus, Chris’ position as IT specialist at IBM in Des Moines, Iowa, allows them to take advantage of the company’s matching gift program. “The cost of education has become out of reach for many students,” Dee said. “If we can play some small part in helping them continue their study of music, the horn in particular, then we will have achieved what we set out to do.” — Katie Coffman

BLOW YOUR OWN HORN The couple has given $2,500, to be matched by IBM, and plan to add to the fund. They hope others — whether horn alumni, School of Music supporters or Jayhawk fans in general — also will be inspired to give. Their goal is for the fund to reach $30,000 and become an endowed scholarship that will support generations of KU horn players. Give online at hornfund, or contact Kathleen Kelly, or 785-832-7410.



ACROSS KU mark mcdonald

Students in the KU School of Medicine work with mannequins simulating medical conditions to practice procedures and interdisciplinary cooperation without risk to real patients.

Prognosis: the mannequin lives The patients may be artificial, but the training is real. Across the University of Kansas Medical Center, curricula include high-tech teaching mannequins. Working on simulated patients, students learn anatomy and hone critical skills without risk. James Kindscher, M.D., chair of anesthesiology at the KU School of Medicine, would like simulation education to be centralized on the campus. He and his wife, Anne, of Overland Park, Kan., gave $100,000 to help set plans in motion. Thomas O’Farrell, M.D., and his wife, Nancy, of Prairie Village, Kan., also contributed $100,000 toward the effort. A simulation center equipped with patient mannequins would represent a variety of medical conditions. It would include simulated intensive care, surgical



and emergency rooms, as well as areas where students meet with actors who portray patients. Students, residents, fellows or hospital personnel could train in interdisciplinary teams, something they will face daily in their careers. Feedback would come from instructors, peers and reviews of videotaped sessions. “This will create an environment that mimics a real-world situation for training,” Kindscher said. “The surgeon doesn’t work alone in the operating room. You have three or four people in the room who are all trying to work together. This gives them a place to learn how to do that.” The center’s proposed home is an unbuilt area above Dykes Library, which was designed to hold another floor. O’Farrell said, “The present and developing patient simulation methods

provide a powerful tool for training and enhancing skills of medical students, residents, nursing and allied health students, and other paramedical personnel. I am very excited about this.” Barbara Atkinson, executive vice chancellor of the KU Medical Center and executive dean of the KU School of Medicine, cited an additional rationale: “In the future, it is almost certain that licensing agencies for schools of medicine, nursing and allied health will introduce standards that will make simulation training essential for student education. We should be the leader in our region in providing the most advanced level of simulation training.” Kindscher said, “I think of our gift as seed money. We have money in the fund now, and we can start making a push for other donors and their support.” — Lisa Scheller


Support centralized patient simulation by visiting, or contact Stephanie Grinage, or 913-588-5552.

Participants in Project Discovery explore their interests in engineering, make friends and learn their way around KU.

Securing students’ futures Simone Cahoj, a senior in business management and leadership studies, stays incredibly busy. She belongs to the co-ed business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi, won the Mark L. Morris, Jr. New Venture Development Competition and is preparing for an internship in Washington, D.C., this fall. She says it’s scholarships that allow her to get involved to this extent while still doing well in school. She receives support from the Sam R. and Kathleen

Holthus Willcoxon Scholarship and the Manaugh Memorial Scholarship. “It’s definitely made it easier to just focus on my studies,” Cahoj says. “I work part-time, but if I didn’t have these scholarships, I feel like my grades would be suffering.” Cahoj is just one of many KU students benefitting from scholarships. Private contributions to KU Endowment provide virtually all scholarships at KU. In both dollar amount and number of

students supported, KU Endowment is the largest source of funding that students don’t need to repay. — Jessica Sain-Baird


Support KU students in all they do — visit, or contact Dan Simon, or 785-832-7378.

brian goodman

KU Endowment Scholarships Summer 2009 – Spring 2010 Students receiving scholarships about 6,500 Total amount disbursed almost $25 million Simone Cahoj, Lawrence senior, is among thousands of KU students receiving support from scholarships managed by KU Endowment.

courtesy school of engineering

Potential discovered As a senior in high school, Taneasha Roberts, e’10, wasn’t sure she wanted to study engineering in college. That changed when she attended Project Discovery, a weeklong camp for high school girls that’s been held by the School of Engineering on the KU campus since 1998. She says the camp felt like “home away from home” and familiarized her with career possibilities in engineering as well as KU’s campus, faculty and scholarships. The camp’s goal is “no distractions, just discovery,” says Florence Boldridge, camp coordinator and director of diversity and women’s programs for the school. “The role of Project Discovery is to assist young women in thinking about

the various areas of engineering and what they want to pursue,” Boldridge says. About 40 girls participate each summer. Girls at the camp focus on a particular area of engineering, from aerospace to chemical to mechanical. They attend classes and labs, and present what they’ve learned to parents and friends at the end of the week. Linda Dotson Drake, e’65, g’68, has donated a total of $7,000 to Project Discovery since 2003. “I have a natural interest in encouraging young women to go into engineering,” Drake says. She says she focuses on Project Discovery because it allows young women to recognize their potential in engineering before starting college.

Of 16 graduating seniors who participated in Project Discovery in 2009, nine applied and were admitted to the school the same year. About 20 percent of the school’s undergraduate students are women. Donations to Project Discovery primarily keep the program affordable for girls, Boldridge says. She hopes to boost sponsorship for the camp in the future. “Obviously, it is working and needs to continue,” she says. — Jessica Sain-Baird

PROMOTE THE PROJECT Support Project Discovery by visiting, or contact Amy Spikes, or 785-832-7467. KUENDOWMENT.ORG |



Joan Hunt Charles and D

orothy Hedric


For the life of the planet

Donor: Charles L. Hedrick, engineering ’56, and Dorothy L. Hedrick, education ’57, Findley Lake, N.Y.

Donor: Joan Sherar Hunt, bacteriology ’56, certificate of medical technology ’57, Ph.D. ’83, Prairie Village, Kan. Hunt is University Distinguished Professor and Vice Chancellor for Biomedical Research Infrastructure at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Gift: $10,000

Gift: $10,000

Purpose: More than 10 years ago, Charles and Dorothy Hedrick named KU as a beneficiary of their Charitable Remainder Unitrust account, a type of planned gift. They recently decided to increase their annual donations of funds that could be used now rather than later. They have given to KU since 1983 and began donating to the Greater KU Fund in 1996. The Chancellors Club recognizes donors who give $1,000 or more annually to the Greater KU Fund, KU Endowment’s primary unrestricted fund. The Greater KU Fund enables the university to take advantage of unexpected opportunities. It is through donations like the Hedricks’ that KU can launch new programs, provide cuttingedge research opportunities and reward exceptional faculty. These funds also provide financial assistance to many deserving students.

Purpose: To support the Biodiversity Institute, which includes KU’s Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center. The institute’s scientists study the life of the planet and document its diversity: plants, animals and ecosystems, many of which are threatened or endangered. From this research emerge the stories that are told through the museum’s exhibits, education and outreach programs. Hunt says her involvement in Women Philanthropists for KU inspired her decision to give, and that she hopes to meet an immediate need with her gift to the Biodiversity Institute — a program that she describes as one of the university’s most important.


To meet greatest needs

Why We Give: “We feel blessed and fortunate that we received such a great education from the University of Kansas. We desire to pass that opportunity along to future KU students.” ­— Charles Hedrick



Why I Give: “The Biodiversity Institute is something that’s of major importance in my mind … There’s a melding of interests for me, with both the aspect of biology and the worldwide concept of diversity. “If you think in terms of what is important to the world and its development, the kind of research that’s done at the Biodiversity Institute is going to keep us alive on this planet.” — Joan Hunt

Know when to hold ’em

Cure in the cards? Donors: Martha Stanton, journalism ’90, Leawood, Kan., and friends Gift: $100,000 raised this year, $350,000 to date at “All in For A Cure: The Brady Stanton Memorial Texas Hold ’em Tournament and Bash.” Purpose: To fund a pancreatic tissue and serum bank, the Brady Stanton Research Project in Pancreatic Cancer and the Brady Stanton Fellowship for pancreatic cancer research at The University of Kansas Cancer Center. The gifts honor her husband, Brady, who died from pancreatic cancer in 2006 at the age of 40. Stanton, along with family, friends and Roy Jensen, M.D., director of the Cancer Center, set a goal of raising $30,000 to establish the tissue and serum bank. In three years, they have raised more than 10 times that amount. Stanton said these results are a testament to her husband. Why I Give: “The main reason we chose to give to The KU Cancer Center was because Brady traveled to MD Anderson in Houston for his treatment, and it was very difficult. We wanted to enhance our local medical capabilities so that others wouldn’t have to travel. We wanted to do something for the community.” — Martha Stanton

Archie and Nancy Dy


Fix it now, not later

Ardent supporters: With a new gift, Ardis and Luther Fry turned professorship in ophth their named almology into an end owed chair.

Donor: Archie and Nancy Dykes, Leawood, Kan. Archie Dykes was KU’s 13th chancellor, serving the university from 1972-1980.

Gift bolsters ophthalmology professorship

Gift: $100,000

Luther Fry lives and works in Garden City, Kan. — 400 miles from the KU Medical Center. But distance does not cloud his vision for the department he graduated from. In 2001, he and his wife, Ardis, created a professorship in their names for the KU chair of ophthalmology. Two recent gifts totaling $350,000 brought their support for the professorship to a total of $850,000 and converted it into an endowed chair. Luther Fry, an ophthalmologist, graduated from KU in 1963 and from the School of Medicine in 1967. Ardis Fry, a registered nurse, works with her husband at Fry Eye Surgicenter. Luther grew up in southwest Kansas, in Montezuma; Ardis grew up on a farm near McPherson. After Luther completed his residency at Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit, he longed to return to southwest Kansas. The couple settled in Garden City. Today, Fry Eye Associates includes three full-time ophthalmologists, including the Frys’ son, Eric, who graduated from the KU School of

Purpose: To support deferred maintenance at KU. The state of Kansas allows donors to qualify for a 45 percent tax credit for contributions toward the university’s deferred maintenance needs. This is in addition to any standard charitable deduction that may be available. Tax credits provide a dollarfor-dollar reduction in taxes owed. About 35 buildings on the Lawrence campus and nine buildings at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City have significant deferred maintenance needs. Needs include modern electrical, plumbing and ventilation systems, repairs to windows and doors, and work to achieve ADA compliance.

Brian Goodman

Why I Give: “Having been chancellor, I know firsthand the difficulty the university experiences in securing sufficient funds for maintenance programs. There is always a critical need, sometimes very critical, for maintenance initiatives that mean much to the university’s academic and research pursuits. “I also have a special interest, as every chancellor has had, in maintaining the beauty of the campus and the attractiveness of the campus’ physical plant. One of the great assets of the university is that almost everyone who visits KU comes away saying what a beautiful place it is.” — Archie Dykes

Online Gifts

Medicine in 2003 and completed his ophthalmology residency in 2008. The first Fry Professor was Martin Mainster, now a professor emeritus. John Sutphin, current chair of KU’s Department of Ophthalmology, now holds the Fry Endowed Chair. Professorships are crucial to the university’s success, said Barbara Atkinson, executive vice chancellor at the medical center and executive dean of the School of Medicine: “When you look at the top echelon of research universities, they all have one thing in common: They boast a high number of endowed professorships.” Since endowing the ophthalmology chair, the Frys also have given $50,000 for ophthalmology resident education. Their history of giving to KU now goes back more than 20 years. Gift: $350,000 Why We Give: “I’m still grateful for the mentoring and encouragement I received from many of my professors, but especially from Dr. Al Lemoine, who was the head of KU’s ophthalmology department from 1950 to 1980.” — Dr. Luther Fry

March 2010 – May 2010 Total giving: Average number of donors/month: Average gift amount: Largest gift:

$ 174,135 344 $ 169 $ 7,000




Engineering enrichment Unique program builds students’ vision and leadership When an investment turns out well, you can simply revel in the results. Or you can double the investment and look forward to even more of the same. Madison “Al” and Lila Self, Hinsdale, Ill., recently took the second path. In March, they committed $10 million, doubling their support for a program they established just a few years ago. The gift will expand the Madison A. and Lila Self Engineering Leadership Fellows (SELF) Program, which provides academic enrichment and financial support to select students studying engineering and computer science in the KU School of Engineering. “We are grateful to Al and Lila Self for their continuing support of KU

students,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “Their remarkable generosity is helping the School of Engineering shape the next generation of leaders for a challenging technological field that is vital to our state and nation.” The SELF Program is designed to develop engineering and computer science graduates who are goal-oriented and possess the entrepreneurship, business skills and vision needed to guide technology-based corporations. The program enables students to refine their skills through mentoring and academic and leadership opportunities. The students also attend exclusive meetings with some of the world’s top leaders in business and industry. Recent visitors have included KU alumni Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford; Brian McClendon, vice president of engineering

for Google; and Linda Zarda Cook, retired executive director of Natural Gas & Power, Royal Dutch Shell Co. Students must apply for entry to the program. Grades are important but not the only consideration — applicants’ motivation and leadership potential carry great weight in the selection. The first SELF Program class started in the fall of 2007 and is scheduled to graduate in 2011. The program currently enrolls 43 students. In a typical year, 16 to 18 incoming freshmen are admitted to the program. Several additional students are selected to join the program in their junior year. With the gift, the program will be able to accommodate more students each year, expanding to a total of 80 students. Moreover, beginning in fall 2011, freshmen admitted to the program will be eligible to receive up to $24,000 over

lisa scheller

Self Engineering Leadership Fellows demonstrated their knowledge of unmanned flight while recording a thank-you video for Madison and Lila Self, the donors behind the fellowships.

10 |


“Selfless” is more like it

four years. Students will participate in additional educational opportunities, including workshops, retreats and lectures from guest speakers. The donation also provides funding for an additional staff member to coordinate program activities. This latest donation from the Selfs also strengthens the School of Engineering’s long-term vision titled “Building on Excellence Initiative.” “The SELF program has had an amazing impact on the School of Engineering, the students and the university,” said Engineering Dean Stuart Bell. “The enhanced program will follow this success, and we will build one of the foremost leadership programs in the country.”

Gift: $10 million — $6 million now, with an additional commitment of $4 million. Why I Give: “Through my years in business and industry, I’ve been able to identify key attributes — such as leadership, interpersonal communications, motivation, and problem solving ability — that lead to success. Lila and I are happy to be able to contribute to the personal growth of these KU students with the goal that they continue on as exceptional leaders working to build positive change in the American economy.” — Al Self

Two from one The estate of George Seymour

A $200,000 bequest from alumnus George M. Seymour was evenly divided between an endowed scholarship for students majoring in industrial design and KU’s Natural History Museum. Seymour, who lived in Prairie Village, Kan., earned a bachelor’s degree in architectural design from KU in 1932. His career path led him to the railroad industry, where he eventually became president of the George T. Cook railroad supply company. His stepdaughter, Maggie Moran, business ’78, law ’83, of Kansas City, Mo., described her late stepfather as a generous man who always was willing to help co-workers, family and friends in need. Seymour also was a talented artist, she said: “He majored in architecture, in part, because he loved to draw.”

This $10 million gift to the KU School of Engineering from alumni Madison “Al” and Lila Self, Hinsdale, Ill., brings the total they have donated to KU Endowment to more than $44 million, making them the university’s largest individual donors. The Selfs have supported several initiatives at KU, including the SELF Graduate Fellowship, the Mossberg Pharmacy Professorship and the Society of Self Fellows. In March, KU Endowment designated Al Self a Life Trustee. In 2000, he received the School of Engineering’s Distinguished Engineering Service Award. The university awarded him a Distinguished Service Citation in 1997. Both Al and Lila are native Kansans. They met as KU students and married in 1943, the year Al earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. In 1947, the Selfs acquired Bee Chemical Co. in Lansing, Ill., which produced polymers and polymer coatings for use on plastics. Over 37 years, Self built the firm from three people into an operation with five U.S. manufacturing sites and operations in Japan and England. Al later served as chairman and CEO of Tioga International. He currently is president of Allen Financial, LLC. Lila Self is active in community organizations and is interested in family genealogy and gardening. She has extensively researched the work of noted Chicago-area architect R. Harold Zook.

Lois Greene, interim chair of KU’s Department of Design, said the George M. and Harriet G. Seymour Scholarship in Industrial Design is the first endowed scholarship established for a specific area of the department. “It is also significant because it prompts the faculty to encourage students to achieve a level of excellence in order to apply for the scholarship,” she said. Leonard Krishtalka directs the Biodiversity Institute, which includes the Natural History Museum. He said the George M. Seymour Endowment for the Museum of Natural History will help bring the museum’s discoveries of the life of the planet to all Kansans. More than 60,000 children, adults and families visit the museum each year, Krishtalka said. “We are extremely grateful for this generous gift,” Krishtalka said. “It will help us to provide new exhibits and education programs on our exploration of the world’s animals and plants and how to conserve them for future generations.”



brian goodman

r o f t Ar e l p o e the p

ass l c d l r o w s resent p r e t n e C tar t s a t s u j ’s KU’s Lied t t tha u  b  — s r e m ginson ig perfor H s e l r a h By C

12 |



he day is field-trip perfection: spring sun, clear sky, blackbirds’ liquid whistle and chirp, light breeze, insect buzz. A dozen second-graders sit on a boardwalk that crosses a wetland in south Lawrence. Shallow tubs hold pailfuls of the surrounding water. The children, enraptured, noses practically in the water, stare at the tiny animals living in it. A brown creature, lightly poked, scoots rapidly under a clump of floating moss. “That’s a dragonfly nymph,” the instructor says. “If you were a quarter-inch tall, that thing would eat you without asking your name.” The children lean back, but just a bit. steve puppe

No spotlights, costumes or orchestra, but this is a Lied Center production nonetheless. It’s just one aspect of an outreach program called Learning About the Environment Through the Arts, which reached practically every second-grader in Lawrence. The center’s staff based the program on its presentation of the play Stellaluna. “Second-grade students study different species of animals that live around the world,” their classroom teacher, Karen Johnson, said. “However, our visit to the Baker Wetlands gave us the opportunity to view and learn about organisms that live right here in Lawrence, Kansas. Thanks to the Lied Center for allowing our students to learn more about the animal habitat that is part of our community.” Visitors to the Lied Center of Kansas often see spectacular sunsets from its perch on a knoll on west campus. Since it opened in 1993, it has become one of the premier community performance halls in the Midwest. An estimated 1 million people have attended events there. The center distributes thousands of free tickets a year to schools and other nonprofits throughout the state. About 80,000 people a year participate in its educational programs. Two recent gifts will extend those activities even farther, supporting expansion of the lobby and construction of a new education pavilion. The Ernst F. Lied Foundation Trust, Las Vegas, Nev., directed by sole trustee Christina Hixson, gave $2.5 million. The William T. Kemper Foundation, Kansas City, Mo., gave $300,000. Earlier gifts from Hixson and the Lied Foundation supported both the construction of the building and an endowed fund that supports outreach to new audiences. Lied Center staff members never forget what Hixson intended the gifts to achieve. The building, important as it is, is a means to an end: to present world-class performing artists. And that act itself is also a means to the ultimate end: to bring people in. Anthea Scouffas, the center’s director of education, said, “Christina Hixson wants young people to have the opportunity to experience the performing arts. She

Lawrence second-graders go eye-to-eye with wetlands wildlife during a Lied Center outreach program, under the guidance of Rex Powell, retired Lawrence high school biology teacher.

didn’t have that. Many don’t, because of money or their location. All of our educational programs are about exposing people to the arts and the artists. We try really hard to make opportunities happen.”

Curtain up

The need for something like the Lied Center, increasingly obvious for decades, became critical in 1991 when a stroke of lightning hit Hoch Auditorium. Despite the love expressed for Hoch after it burned, it had outlived its usefulness as a performance hall. Other performance spaces on campus were technically superior, but they were smaller. No place on campus could accommodate large musical groups, let alone a touring Broadway production. Chancellor Gene Budig and Fine Arts Dean Peter Thompson formed a committee that sketched out what KU needed to attract the kinds of artists they knew the KUENDOWMENT.ORG |


The Lied Center

community would support. Budig contacted Christina Hixson at the suggestion of a colleague. Discussions ensued, and she agreed to jump-start the project, offering a gift of $10 million. The Lied Center opened Sept. 28, 1993 with an invitationonly performance of the Broadway musical The Secret Garden. But the company didn’t just load up and drive away. Seven more performances followed over the next five days, attended by more than 11,000 people. Lied Center Executive Director Tim Van Leer still shakes his head in admiration that his predecessor, Jackie Davis, stretched an untested hall to its limits and attracted so many people. “With most openings you have one big night, a big party, and everyone goes home,” he said. “To get that show here, to fill the house for eight performances, she really pulled off a coup.”

On stage

Off-stage programming is the core of the Lied Center’s mission, but its eight regular performance series create the foundation. They bring in dance troupes, symphony orchestras, touring Broadway productions, chamber musicians and more. Artists range from the well established and world renowned to up-and-coming groundbreakers. The center encourages artists to teach master classes or multiple-day residencies. If their schedules don’t allow that, pre- or post-performance discussions allow the community to interact with the artists.

“It’s not just bricks and mortar; it’s about what that vision does.” — Karen Christilles, Associate Director

Off stage: on the Hill

Master classes for KU students and others are one classic form of educational outreach. In the past 10 years, music, dance and theater students have attended about 100 such sessions, with

14 |




SEAT 118

A $2.5 million gift from the Ernst F. Lied Foundation, Las Vegas, Nev., along with a $300,000 gift from the William T. Kemper Foundation, Kansas City, Mo., will support several additions to the Lied Center. Education pavilion A one-story space to be added to the southeast corner of the building, the pavilion will accommodate master classes, teacher workshops, pre-performance discussions, postperformance artist receptions and more; these often take place now in less-than-ideal spaces. Office space The office complex will be expanded, allowing for growth. Perhaps more importantly, staff members now scattered throughout the building, some working in storage closets, will work together. Lobby The Center’s main lobby area will be doubled, expanding by about 1,800 square feet. These spaces have always been crowded during well-attended events. The lobby and office expansions also will accommodate public displays of memorabilia and artifacts related to Ernst F. Lied and the history of the Lied Foundation Trust. Associate Director Karen Christilles said, “We want the archives to tell that story, to let the community see and be inspired by the giving. It’s not just bricks and mortar; it’s about what that vision does.” brian goodman

Beyond its own scheduled programs, the building plays host to many events sponsored by KU organizations and academic departments, the university and independent organizations. The center clearly has become the kind of community hub Hixson envisioned. Performances form the bedrock on which the Lied Center’s mission rests. But they don’t necessarily provide the most striking memories. “Meeting Ravi Shankar, Philip Glass, Twyla Tharp, Mikhail Baryshnikov — these people are my heroes,” said Associate Director Karen Christilles. “There are those moments. But to see two men from India, in suits, one a KU professor and the other a successful businessman, prostrate themselves flat on the floor at Shankar’s feet — that’s a moment when you realize how powerful the arts are. It’s beyond words.”

Education and elbow room

Among the shovel-wielders at the groundbreaking for the Lied Center’s expansion were Patrick Kelly, USD 497 arts education coordinator; Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little; Christina Hixson; Dale Seuferling, KU Endowment president; Kurt Watson, chair, KU Endowment Board of Trustees; Tim Van Leer, Lied Center executive director; and Susan Williams, board president, Friends of the Lied.

Above: Members of Shidara, a drumming ensemble from Toei, Japan, introduced the technique and attitude of Taiko drumming during a March workshop. Left: Lawrence second-graders show mixed reactions to the water snake securely held by retired Lawrence high school biology teacher Stan Roth. Below: Owls, frogs, bats and other animals figured into a story invented on the spot by Lawrence second-graders, guided by storyteller Priscilla Howe. Photos: steve puppe



T he Lied Foundation Tr ust and KU



SEAT 118

In April, KU Endowment recognized Christina Hixson by naming her a Life Trustee. Since 1991, she has directed about $22.2 million from the Lied Foundation Trust for several purposes at KU. Lied Center Construction $10 million (1991 – 1993) The lead gift that sparked the construction of the Lied Center. The largest gift ever made to KU at the time, it was announced at the opening ceremony of the University’s second capital campaign, Campaign Kansas. Lied Research Fund $1.5 million (1995 – 1996) A permanent fund to support biomedical research conducted at the KU Medical Center. Lied Performance Fund $3.2 million (1995 – 2000) Supports Lied Center performances, subsidized tickets for new audiences, outreach programming and commissions of new work. As an endowed fund, it will provide that support in perpetuity. Hixson Opportunity Fund $5 million (2006 – 2008) Supports a scholarship program for students who would not otherwise be able to attend the university because of personal challenges or financial hardship; priority is given to students whose parents did not graduate from college. Lied Center Addition $2.5 million (2009) To support expansions of the Lied Center and construction of an attached educational pavilion. A previous gift of $100,000 will provide new carpeting throughout the building.

“Kids get it — they know when the artists really connect.” — Anthea Scouffas, Director of Education

16 |


artists of the caliber of the Kronos Quartet, L.A. Theatre Works and the Beijing Modern Dance Company. The center also provides a professional-quality venue for recitals by students in KU’s music and dance programs. On occasion, it has become the outlet for wide-ranging collaborations.

Off stage: in school

The center organizes numerous education programs, all designed to introduce young students to the arts and to equip their teachers with arts-based approaches to education standards. Most of these programs reach well outside the local area. Educational opportunities even affect performance programming to a degree. Scouffas said, “There are lots of really fine musicians. When we’re booking, if we have a choice, we consider an artist’s reputation for being adept at working with grade school kids or college students. Kids get it — they know when the artists really connect.” Just in the past season, more than 5,300 K-12 school children attended performances reserved for them alone. Almost 70 classroom teachers from across Kansas participated in free summer workshops to learn how to incorporate the arts into curricula. Touring artists reached more than 700 students, including local K-12 and students from Haskell Indian Nations University and the Douglas County Regional Juvenile Detention Center. Few similar venues offer early education, but four years ago, the Lied Center started a program called Performing Arts 3to5, which draws preschool children deep into the creative process. Scouffas said, “The kids sit on the stage. We limit it to 100 or 150, because a sense of intimacy with the artist is important. The kids are immersed in the work.”

Off stage: across Kansas

The center’s influence extends far from Lawrence — its outreach programs now touch 65 Kansas counties. In perhaps the most direct form of outreach, the center distributes about 3,000 free or discounted tickets — about $30,000 worth — annually through 150 schools and nonprofit organizations around the state. Frequently, transportation is included. Touring artists often carry out week-long residencies in Lawrence. Some travel the central and western parts of the state, visiting schools and local arts organizations. A recently developed initiative called Lied.Art.Teach brings together Kansas artists to learn teaching strategies and techniques they can take into classrooms and community events. A session in Salina drew artists from central and western Kansas, forming a corps of local teaching artists who can assist school districts and arts organizations.

steve puppe

Flamenco dancer Soledad Barrio demonstrates proper hand positions during a November workshop. Dancers came from as far away as Oklahoma City to take part.

Carry it forward

Looking ahead to the expansions funded by the recent gifts, Lied Center staff members doubt they have foreseen all the possible uses for the new spaces. But, without question, they intend to continue in the spirit that has guided them since the

beginning. Christilles said, “I’m incredibly proud to be part of the journey that this building, this staff, this community have been on. To embrace what it means to be a true community performing arts center. To dream together, and then get your hands dirty to make something happen.” brian goodman

One job interview, one job Ernst F. Lied grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and enrolled as a KU student in 1923. He made the honor roll, was elected president of the sophomore class, and lettered in golf. By the spring of 1925, however, he had left for Omaha, where his father had taken a job at a car dealership. He graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1927 and later became the owner of a growing Buick dealership in Omaha. Christina Hixson was born near Burlington Junction, Mo. She started working early on to help support her six siblings. She graduated from high school in Clarinda, Iowa, in 1944. College was out of the question, but she knew the value of education. She borrowed money to attend Commercial Extension Business School in Omaha.

In November 1944, Ernst Lied called the school looking for an assistant. Miss Hixson, meet Mr. Lied. He hired her to take dictation and operate his company’s switchboard. She was 17. He came to trust her eye for detail and her judgment of people, and she became indispensable. In the late 1950s, Lied began investing in undeveloped land in Las Vegas. In 1961, Lied sent Hixson there to manage his expanding real estate holdings and development operations. As Las Vegas expanded, those investments became a real estate empire. Lied established the Lied Foundation Trust in Las Vegas in 1972, in honor of his parents, Ernst M. and Ida K. Lied. Before his death in 1980 at age 74, he named Hixson the sole trustee, and

Christina Hixson at the luncheon following the groundbreaking for the Lied Center expansion.

entrusted her to sell the acquired land to benefit the Trust. Since then, Hixson has singlehandedly directed the distribution of the Trust. Always focusing on the creation of opportunities, she has directed contributions to educational, arts, research and community projects in California, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah and Washington.



The burn begins …

… two hours later …

18 |


earl richardson

brian goodman

‌ two months later.

Yellow coneflower and mixed prairie grasses. brian goodman

Prairie reborn

A prescribed burn this spring roared through KU’s Rockefeller Prairie, a remnant of tallgrass prairie north of Lawrence. After the fire burned out, little remained but ash and charred stubble. By mid-July, the regrown prairie was bursting with bloom. Periodic fire is an integral part of prairie ecosystems that developed over thousands of years. Since 1957, researchers affiliated with the KU Field Station have studied the effects of fire and other management approaches on prairies. The Field Station manages about 3,400 acres of diverse native and managed habitats. Here, KU scientists and students study such subjects as endangered species, climate change and the environmental impact of various chemicals. To support the Field Station, contact Nancy Jackson, 785-832-7357 or, or visit



Cristina Aslin

Rx for rural physician shortage KU School of Medicine plans expansions in Salina and Wichita to promote rural practice By Lisa Scheller 20 |



s there a doctor in the house? Maybe, maybe not. Of Kansas’s 105 counties, 90 are medically underserved. It’s not uncommon for rural Kansans to travel 50 miles or more to see a physician. And it’s difficult for small towns to recruit physicians, said Faye Melton, who manages four rural health clinics in the southeast Kansas counties of Chatauqua, Cowley and Elk. “To recruit people in the medical field, they almost have to be familiar with a rural area themselves — and you have to consider their entire family,” Melton said. “There isn’t a WalMart down the street, there’s no selection of restaurants. All those things factor in when you’re trying to recruit.” To address that challenge — and knowing that physicians tend to practice medicine in areas similar to where they attended medical school — KU’s School of Medicine is expanding its geographic boundaries. Starting in Fall 2011, the school will open a new four-year site in Salina. The school also will expand the curriculum to four years at the KU School of Medicine-Wichita, which currently offers just the third and fourth years. The plans are pending approval from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. Heidi Chumley, M.D., senior associate dean for medical education, said the Salina and Wichita programs will admit students from rural areas who are more likely to return to rural areas after training in rural areas. “I look at this as a pilot program,” Chumley said. “Hopefully, 10 to 20 years from now, this will lead to similar programs being established farther into western Kansas.” The Salina school of medicine site will be housed in space provided by the Salina Regional Health Center. It will admit eight students each year for four years and then maintain enrollment at 32. The Wichita program will be located on the existing campus and will admit eight first-year medical students in Fall 2011.

Robyn Liu, M.D., lives and works in Tribune, Kan.

Effective Treatment

History shows these programs do inspire physicians to practice medicine in rural Kansas. Of the 1,608 medical students who have graduated from KU School of MedicineWichita since 1975, almost half have remained in the state to practice medicine. In the late 1990s, the KU School of Medicine started the Salina rural track program, in which students interested in rural medicine spend their last year and a half of training. They study in conjunction with the Smoky Hill Family Medicine Residency Program, which was created specifically to train family physicians to serve in rural communities. The program has a strong record, said Michael Kennedy, M.D., associate dean for rural health education. “The majority of our medical students who have gone through the Salina rural track program have ended up practicing rural medicine, mostly in Kansas,” he said.

Private support set plans in motion

Private funding will be crucial to the expansions. The School of Medicine-Wichita has formed a Four-Year Founders Club for individuals pledging $25,000 a year for four years, totaling $100,000 or more. Two recent gifts totaling $300,000 will help establish the four-year school in Salina. Longtime Russell, Kan., physician Earl Merkel, M.D., and his wife, Kathleen, made a $75,000 gift that will help develop curriculum and create a gross anatomy lab. The Salina Regional Health Foundation’s gift of $225,000 will support faculty, curriculum development, and preparation of classroom, laboratory and office space. Merkel hopes some Salina students will settle in western Kansas: “The KU School of Medicine site in Salina seems like a good way to get students, and hopefully, later, more physicians, out here in this area.”



Cristina Aslin

The rural life

Robyn Liu could have practiced medicine nearly anywhere in the world. She followed her lifelong dream of working in a small town.

22 |


Robyn Liu, M.D., has lived coast to coast. She grew up in Belleville, Kan., and earned her undergraduate degree at Harvard and her medical degree at the KU School of Medicine. She then completed residencies in family medicine and preventive medicine, and earned a master’s degree in public health in Oregon. In 2007, she returned to Kansas to follow her longtime dream of practicing medicine in a small town. She and her husband, Jonathan, settled with their two young children in Tribune, Kan., population 835, just 15 miles from Colorado. Liu works at a clinic with four other physicians and also sees patients in satellite offices in two nearby towns. Liu spent a year and a half as a student in the KU School of Medicine’s rural track program in Salina — one reason she settled in a remote area of Kansas. “I was pretty much always going to practice medicine in a small town,” she said. “As a medical student, the Salina rural track program provided me with the best of all worlds, as well as with the encouragement to continue toward my goal.” After living around the country, she’s still a Kansan at heart. “My soul lives on the prairie,” Liu said. “There aren’t many places you can live where you see this much sky, this many sunrises and sunsets. It has a beauty all its own.”

Cristina Aslin

Shelly and Doug Gruenbacher often receive pictures of babies they have delivered and families they have seen in their practice in Quinter, Kan.

The best decision

Shelly and Doug Gruenbacher both grew up in small towns — Shelly in Stockton, Kan., and Doug in Andale, Kan. Both earned M.D.s at the School of Medicine-Wichita in 1999. Now, both are family practitioners at the Gove County Medical Center in Quinter, Kan., population 782. “I wasn’t totally sold on going to Wichita until we visited,” Shelly said. “We were so impressed with everyone we met. I liked the idea of a smaller group of peers, and after two years in Kansas City I was ready for a change.” The couple did their fourth-year rural rotation together in Quinter and enjoyed it so much they jumped at an offer to return. Shelly said, “That’s one of the testimonies to how it works — we wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t been students here.”

She said they like the opportunity to treat many different kinds of people. And with four small children, they like the safe, secure feeling of a small town. “We both truly think going to Wichita was the best decision we made in medical school, except for getting married,” she said.


Contributions to KU Endowment can support the KU School of Medicine programs in Salina and Wichita and, ultimately, address the shortage of physicians in rural Kansas. Please contact Ryan Johnson,, 913-588-1269 or 888-588-5249, or visit or



I am ku

Buddhadeb Dawn

Director, Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, KU Medical Center Dr. Dawn came to KU last September from the University of Louisville School of Medicine, where he practiced cardiology and directed the Chest Pain Center. His research focuses on the use of adult stem cells to repair heart muscle damaged by a heart attack. He is also director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute, the Maureen and Marvin Dunn Professor of Cardiovascular Diseases, and vice chair for research in the Department of Internal Medicine.

Tell us about your research.

What are the over-arching principles that guide your work?

I’m guided by the desire to help people. I want our research findings to eventually go to the patients, that is, from bench to bedside. That ranges from finding the basic science solutions to help their conditions to helping devise new therapies through clinical research. It also includes improving the education and training of our fellows, mentoring faculty, and promoting research and translation, which will take lab discoveries to the patients who need them.

What convinced you to come to KU?

I love it here. I was looking for the opportunity for growth, which we have here in abundance because of the area’s bioscience initiatives. It also was important to have strong support from the university as well as the hospital. Moreover, I was impressed with KU Medical Center’s clinical cardiology program, the Mid-America Cardiology,

and with the stability of the department and the university. Finally, I was touched by the Midwestern hospitality, and the sheer goodness and kindness of people in this wonderful community.

How important is private giving to biomedical research?

Money that we can get through competitive grant funding is always limited – and with the sky-rocketing cost of biomedical research, there is a tremendous need for private funding. This is truly critical for high-tech science. Fortunately, there is support for it in the Kansas City area through private philanthropy. With those factors coming together, I knew this would be a great place to advance scientific discoveries.


Support KU Medical Center’s cardiology program by giving online at or contact Peggy Person, or 913-588-5441. lisa scheller

After a heart attack, a part of the heart is replaced by scar tissue that does not contract. This makes the heart unable to pump as much blood to meet the needs of the body, which causes symptoms of shortness of breath and fatigue. Patients with heart failure have poor quality of life and die prematurely. The main goal of our research is to reverse these ravages of heart attack, and we are attempting to do that by injecting adult stem cells into the damaged heart. In animal models, we have injected stem cells directly into the heart or during heart catheterization, and a number of those cells developed into cardiac cells, improving heart function. We hope to identify the adult stem cell most suitable for such regenerative therapy, and after studies in animal models, bring this therapy to patients with heart disease.

Besides this issue with safety, even the efficacy of embryonic stem cell therapy in humans remains to be proven.

Why do you focus on adult stem cells rather than embryonic stem cells?

The evidence from animals and humans thus far suggests that adult stem cells are quite safe. On the other hand, a vast majority of studies in animals show that embryonic stem cells can give rise to tumors. If you are injecting embryonic stem cells into a human heart, and if even one of those cells retains the traits of pluripotency and self-renewal, the ability to divide indefinitely, that can result in a tumor.

24 |


Dawn set out to become a nuclear physicist and enrolled in an engineering school. His mother persuaded him to go to medical school, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and great-grandfather.

GREATER KU FUND brian goodman

We’re indoors, but that’s OK. Iffy weather drove graduates, friends and family off the chancellor’s lawn and into the Union Ballroom for a free box lunch before Commencement.

Lunch on the lawn in the ballroom Ah, Commencement — a day of hope, new beginnings and old traditions. Students began the walk down the Hill at Commencement in 1924. The traditional walk through the Memorial Campanile began in 1950. For the past several years, at the suggestion of Chancellor Robert Hemenway, students and families have been offered free box lunches on the lawn of the Outlook, the chancellor’s residence. On May 16, many of the 4,500 members of the Class of 2010 descended on campus to participate in

Commencement and the traditional walk through the Campanile and down the Hill. Threatening weather forced the Chancellor’s Luncheon to move to the Union Ballroom, where about 1,850 students, family and friends joined Chancellor Gray-Little for a free lunch. The weather held off, and ceremonies proceeded as planned. The Commencement day lunch is made possible through the Greater KU Fund, KU’s flagship unrestricted fund. Unrestricted funds, given by donors without defined use, allow the

university to meet greatest needs and respond to unforeseen opportunities. And, once or twice a year, to celebrate momentous occasions.

FOR THE GREATER GOOD Donors who contribute a minimum of $1,000 per year to the Greater KU Fund are recognized as members of the Chancellors Club. To support the Chancellors Club, contact Judy Wright, 785-832-7330, or visit KUENDOWMENT.ORG |


The faithful

This story inaugurates a new department in KU Giving: The Faithful. It features donors who have demonstrated unusual loyalty to the University of Kansas. As far as our records show, Wendell Holmes, Atlanta, is our oldest living donor, at 102. We spoke with him in May. Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Courtesy Wendell Holmes

Wendell Holmes, about 25 years ago and as he appeared in the KU yearbook at graduation; below, Rankin’s Drugstore, 1101 Massachusetts, where he attended Saturday dances on the second floor.

Co urtes y Virgin ia Beery an d Watk ins Co mm un ity Mu seu m of His to ry

Eleven chancellors and counting Wendell Holmes, business ’28, remembers walking down Jayhawk Boulevard and knowing almost everyone. He arrived at KU in 1925 from Humboldt High School. “I wanted to go to KU my first year,” he said, “but my parents thought I was too young, so I went to community college in Iola my first year.” As a business major — a member of just the second class to graduate from the School of Business — most of his classes were in the Ad Building, now called Strong Hall. His French and English classes met in Old Fraser. He took business classes from Frank Stockton, the first dean of business, banking from A.J. Boynton, and ethics from Olin Templin, who was KU Endowment president 1920–43. One of his professors is especially well remembered.

26 |


“In those days, first-year students were required to take one class in physical exercise,” he said. “My class was taught by Dr. James Naismith. He was great. It’s interesting to think, here’s the man who invented a sport that has become so very, very popular, and he’s teaching physical education to youngpup freshmen and sophomores.” As for student entertainment, the big thing was Saturday Night Varsity, a dance with a live orchestra at the Fraternal Aid Union Hall, above Rankin’s Drugstore, 1101 Massachusetts St. “You didn’t necessarily have to take a date,” Holmes said. “If you saw a girl you liked, you could walk out on the dance floor and tap her on the shoulder.” Construction of the Union, Hoch Auditorium and the stadium all

overlapped Holmes’ time on the campus. “When I got there, there was no Union building,” he said. “There was a drugstore, Bricks, on that corner. That was the hangout. If you had an hour, you could drop in and have a Coke. The Union wasn’t finished while I was there. “I worked on the stadium as a summer job assembling reinforcing rods. I was a skinny kid, and they had me climb down into those small spaces and wire the rods together. That work still stands.” After graduating from KU, Holmes earned a law degree from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He served in the Army for five years, then went to Hutchinson, Kan., and practiced law, principally corporate and real estate matters. He now resides in Atlanta.

Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

An aerial view of the KU campus in 1925, the year Wendell Holmes arrived, looking northwest. Strong Hall is above and left of center, and Memorial Stadium is in the upper right corner.

He met his wife, Alice, in 1933, while in law school. He had secured a job through Harry Woodring, a former Kansas governor who was serving as Assistant Secretary of War. “I would go up to his office every once in a while to chat. One day, there sat Alice Fontron. She had graduated from KU in ’32, and she was there to see the Secretary about getting a job in Washington. I called her for a date. We were married 11 months later.” He has returned to Lawrence numerous times, most recently a few years ago. His sense of change is immense. “One of my strongest memories is that you knew so many of the people,” he said. “There were only 3,500 students. Every day you would see people you knew rather personally. There were almost no cars on campus. It was a

“My class was taught by Dr. James Naismith. He was great. It’s interesting to think, here’s the man who invented a sport that has become so very, very popular...” — Wendell Holmes walking deal, that and the streetcar.” Holmes began giving back to KU many years ago and has made well over 100 gifts to the university. Three stand out: the Holmes Fund, which supports the School of Business; the Wendell Holmes Kansas Honors Program Endowment; and the Alice F. Holmes Summer Institute for Literature Fund, which benefits the Department of English. He and his daughters established

the annual literature institute as a memorial to his wife, who died in 1990. He also served on several committees and boards of KU Endowment and the Alumni Association. He was national president of the association in 1961 – 62 and received its highest award, the Ellsworth Medallion, in 1983. “I have had the pleasure to be personally acquainted with every chancellor from Lindley on, except for the new one,” he said.* “They’ve all been good. I think KU is a fine university. It gave me a great life. “I’ve been fortunate to get a little older than most. If you can grow old and still keep your marbles, it’s great.” — Charles Higginson

*Ernest H. Lindley, Deane Malott, Franklin Murphy, W. Clarke Wescoe, E. Laurence Chalmers, Raymond Nichols, Archie Dykes, Gene Budig, Del Shankel, Robert Hemenway.



among friends lisa scheller


Spring 2010 events


At a luncheon on the stage of the Lied Center April 8, KU Endowment named Christina Hixson a Life Trustee in honor of her years of support for KU as trustee of the Ernst Lied Foundation. Several recipients of the Hixson Opportunity Scholarship attended. From left: Kim Self, Joel Besser, Hixson, Taylor Liebbrandt and Kim Moore.


Earl Merkel, M.D., and his wife, Kathleen, visited with Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Atkinson (center) at an event to promote the planning of a four-year KU Medical School site in Salina.


elissa monroe

lisa scheller



Medical Center faculty and staff donors gathered April 1 for a reception in their honor. Rita Clifford, R.N., Ph.D., associate dean for student affairs, talked with Lillian GonzalezPardo, M.D., and Manuel Pardo, M.D.

4 5

elissa monroe

lisa scheller


Debbie McCord, KU Endowment, Judy Nolly and Susan White joined other members of the Elizabeth Watkins Society April 9 at the Lied Center for the society’s annual luncheon. The Watkins Society recognizes individuals who have established planned gifts for the University of Kansas.


The School of Medicine Deans Club celebrated April 13 at the Boulevard Brewery, in Kansas City, Mo. Jack Schroll, M.D., and Ruth Schroll enjoyed the view from the observation deck. The reception honored Deans Club Scholars.


28 ||

lisa scheller



Show off those WP4KU scarves! Women Philanthropists for KU met April 23 at the Beller Conference Center at the Medical Center. Retiring board members received scarves to recognize their service. From left: Kay Brada, Bev Billings, Sally Hoglund, Cathy Curless and Sheri Hauck. Linda Ellis Sims, who arrived later, also retired from the board.

PAST AND PRESENT brian goodman

Jenna Mittelmeier and Carolyn Haller received support from the Claudia Pendleton Johnson Scholarship this year. They’re “studying” in the Spencer Research Library’s William Savage Johnson Room, another gift to KU from Mrs. Johnson. Mittelmeier is a junior from Iola, Kan., majoring in elementary education; Haller is a junior from Alma, Kan., majoring in social welfare.

No greater confidence Claudia Pendleton Johnson died in 1971, but she’s helping KU students today. She was a 1908 KU graduate and lifelong Lawrence resident. Her husband, William Savage Johnson, was a longtime professor and chair of the Department of English. She established the Claudia Pendleton Johnson Scholarship fund in 1961 with a gift of five shares of IBM stock, book value about $2,700. She requested that the scholarship not be announced or awarded until after her death. She made numerous additional contributions before her death, by which time the fund’s book value had grown to $15,664. She designated the scholarship for “deserving female students.” The first recipients, in 1971, were Sharon Kepner, BA English ’86, and Linda B. Eberspacher, BA English and French ’72. Both were outstanding students in English.

Mrs. Johnson gave several other significant gifts, including her husband’s book collection and a room in the Spencer Research Library to honor him, as well as dozens of smaller gifts in memory of friends and colleagues. In 1971, KU Endowment Executive Secretary Irvin Youngberg wrote to her that his records showed she had made 109 gifts since 1948. On the occasion of her commitment to establish the scholarship, Chancellor W. Clarke Wescoe wrote: “I am especially gratified when an individual, as close to the university and as well informed about it as you are, gives generous support to it, for no greater confidence could be expressed in the work of our staff.” — Charles Higginson



Scholarships awarded since 1971


Value of scholarships awarded


Current value, 2010




P.O. Box 928 Lawrence, KS 66044-0928

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Lawrence, Kansas Permit No. 72

See giving opportunities at KU Endowment: David F. McKinney / KU University Relations

A proud moment. The University of Kansas formally inaugurated Bernadette Gray-Little as its 17th chancellor April 11, 2010, at the Lied Center of Kansas. About 1,000 people attended. Expenses for the ceremony were met by the Greater KU Fund, KU Endowment’s foremost unrestricted fund.

Profile for KU Endowment

KU Giving Issue 10  

KU Giving is published three times a year by KU Endowment, the private fundraising foundation for the University of Kansas. We welcome your...

KU Giving Issue 10  

KU Giving is published three times a year by KU Endowment, the private fundraising foundation for the University of Kansas. We welcome your...

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded