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Team Spirit

Partnerships between advisors and donors create a winning plan for giving




PRIDE. GRATITUDE. TRUST. These are some of the words donors consistently use to express why they are moved to give to the University of Kansas.

Pride in the university and what it means to be a Jayhawk. Gratitude for an education that changed the course of a life or sincere appreciation for life-saving medical expertise that makes tomorrow possible. Trust that the gifts bestowed to KU Endowment to benefit the university will build on the donor’s passion and enhance the institution’s legacy. 

As you are well aware, the world has experienced unprecedented change and difficulties. Even so, KU alumni and friends continue to reach out to us asking how they can help the university community. Because you asked, KU Endowment set up the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to make resources available for the chancellor to use in meeting the most pressing institutional needs. 

The university remains committed to its mission of educating students, and we stand ready to provide support where needed. You can learn more about how the University of Kansas and KU Endowment are putting people first in our response to the pandemic here

Over the years, I have had the honor to get to know many Jayhawks. It is always inspiring to be part of the team who connects donors and their interests with philanthropic opportunities. Many of these donors plan gifts far in advance to ensure their objectives are documented. The Team Spirit story shares more details about the gift planning process and how KU professor emerita of English Elizabeth Schultz worked closely with advisors and the university to plan meaningful gifts. We also share information about some lesser known aspects of giving farmland, mineral rights and property in KU Endowment 101.

Individuals who have developed an estate plan or other deferred gift arrangement are recognized through the Watkins Society. Elizabeth M. Watkins, the society’s namesake, donated generously to KU through her will. She provided her home that is now the chancellor’s residence, two scholarship halls, funding for the original Watkins Health Center (now Twente Hall) and thousands of acres of farmland that still supports students today. 

Every donor brings a story of inspiration, and every gift helps ensure KU’s lasting success. These days, we are finding new ways to connect and stay in touch. We look forward to the day when we can gather in person and listen to your story. In the meantime, I wish you and your family continued safety and good health.