Why I Give

“Giving back to KU in ways that thank those who gave so much of themselves during my education and also further medicine to help the lives of other kidney disease patients is incredibly rewarding!”

Heather R. Staudacher (Elliott) and Mark A. Staudacher, M.D., bachelor of arts 1990, M.D. 1995, anesthesiology residency 2004; Elburn, Ill.

Gifts through the David W. Elliott Foundation to the Grantham Endowed Fund for the Kidney Institute and the Anesthesiology Department

“I think people would be surprised at the impact they can have, creating just one scholarship, even a partial scholarship. It will continue to grow and keep on giving forever — and you’ll be helping a student enter into your field, a field you’re interested in, or a field that doesn’t have a lot of scholarships.”

John Eyler, bachelor’s in environmental design 1980, bachelor’s in architecture 1994, Kansas City, Mo.

Gift commitment through his trust and retirement plan establishing scholarships in visual art and art history and adding to scholarships in architecture and music

“While 2017 has been a challenging year (I lost my home in the Santa Rosa fires), I still wanted to support KU scholarships to honor my late husband, Karl, a 1959 business alumnus. I know how important KU was to him. My determination to help KU students is greater than the challenges I am facing due to the fires.”

Kathleen Wernett, Santa Rosa. Calif.

Gift to support student scholarships


“I’ve been involved with KU since I graduated. I loved my time here and always wanted to give back. While serving on the KU Engineering Advisory Board, I was introduced to the SELF Scholars Program and the leadership quality of these students. We wanted to help expand this effort at KU so we began the Vann Family Future Leaders Scholarship. It is awarded to SELF Scholarship finalists for their freshman and sophomore years. These students can then reapply and hopefully become SELF Scholars in their junior and senior years. Many of our scholarship students have later become SELF Scholars.”

Kyle D. Vann, bachelor’s in engineering 1969, and Barbara A. Vann, The Woodlands, Texas

Gifts to the Vann Family Future Leaders Scholarship in the School of Engineering

“Four generations of McGrews are KU graduates — my son Mike and I from the Business School. Our ‘Outside for a Better Inside’ initiative encourages time in nature, and the butterfly garden is an important teaching tool. The opportunity for a gift that would benefit all of KU but specifically feature the Business School made sense.”

John McGrew, bachelor’s in business 1960, and Rita McGrew, Lawrence, Kan.

Gift on behalf of the McGrew Family to establish and maintain the McGrew Family Butterfly Garden at Capitol Federal Hall

“Providing opportunities to others who needed help was important to my parents. They valued education and were forever grateful to KU for the scholarships they received that made their college educations possible. They never forgot the opportunity given to them and always planned to pay it forward.”

Jennifer Jones Rashleigh, Tiverton, R.I.

Estate gift from Perry L. Rashleigh, bachelor’s of pharmacy 1956, M.D. 1960, and Rosemary Rashleigh, bachelor’s of English and mathematics 1959, to establish scholarships for students in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, math and English 

“I’m a firm believer that one must give back to those who have given to them. When I was in the KU Law School, the professors were very generous with their time and experience, giving me an invaluable education. Even though I only practiced law for 10 years, my legal education has benefitted me throughout my career in finance.”

Douglas Wheat, bachelor’s in business 1972, law 1974, and Laura Wheat, Westlake, Texas

Gifts to the Wheat Law Opportunity Fund and the Professor Michael Davis Legal Study Abroad Fund

“I created the Kovac International Observership Award fund because I feel strongly about global health education for students and doctors to observe health care delivery in other parts of the world. After medical education trips to Peru and Ghana, I realized health professionals there need assistance to come to KU Medical Center. The ultimate goal is to aid doctors and students from Peru, Ghana and KUMC. The award has sponsored several trips for anesthesiology resident doctors from Peru and Ghana to observe at KUMC. I hope that it will eventually help KUMC anesthesiology residents and nurse anesthesia students go there.”

Anthony L. Kovac Jr., M.D. 1977, anesthesiology residency 1981, Kasumi Arakawa professor and vice-chair of research in anesthesiology, and Carolyn Kovac, Raytown, Mo.

Gift to the Kovac International Observership Award at KU Medical Center