KU’s new Center for Rural Health
To address health disparities in rural parts of the state, KU School of Medicine has created the Kansas Center for Rural Health. Housed on the Salina campus, the center will provide a central resource for programs, research and health care providers to find ways to collaborate, engage with communities and maximize opportunities to train the next generation of rural health care providers. Robert Moser, M.D., dean of KU School of Medicine-Salina and professor of population health, will serve as the center’s executive director.
KU experience leads to ideal career
John Sergent did not have the easiest childhood. The youngest of nine, he moved out at 17 without finishing high school. A friendship with KU alumni Bob and Ada McCracken changed everything. They encouraged Sergent to apply to KU where he found the support to achieve his academic goals and navigate personal challenges. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s in social welfare and enjoys a career as a licensed clinical social worker. Sergent and his husband, Francisco Garcia-Ferrer, M.D., have included an endowed scholarship in their trust, with a preference for students from the LGBTQ community. “The KU School of Social Welfare continues to be so special to me,” Sergent said.
Estate gift will fund $5.5 million in scholarships
A bequest from alumnus Richard “Dick” Smith will provide $5.5 million to the University of Kansas for scholarships. The scholarship fund will be divided equally, with half for undergraduate students university wide and half for students studying geology. “This remarkable gift will create opportunities for KU and its students for generations to come,” Chancellor Douglas Girod said. Smith earned a bachelor’s in geology and went on to found Range Oil Co. He died in 2021. The estate also donated $200,000 to the Spencer Museum of Art and $250,000 to KU School of Medicine-Wichita.
Robert Dole’s legacy of leadership
As a KU Endowment life trustee and KU alumnus, Sen. Robert Dole was a passionate advocate and supporter of the university, inspiring many to give to initiatives that were close to his heart, including veterans’ issues, support for people with disabilities, and medical research in cancer and spinal injuries. He and his wife, Elizabeth, also a former senator and head of the American Red Cross, devoted their lives to public service. Elizabeth is still active with the Dole Institute and her career papers are archived there. Since his death in December 2021, more than $97,000 has been donated in his memory to support programs at the Dole Institute of Politics.
School of Business expands insurance certificate program
The family of the late Jack Lockton has provided a $2 million gift for the expansion of the insurance and risk management certificate program at the KU School of Business. The gift offers a path for students to earn the school’s Jack Lockton Certificate in Insurance and Risk Management. Lockton started Lockton Companies, which is based in Kansas City, Mo., and is the world’s largest privately held insurance brokerage firm. The expansion will allow more students to gain exposure to insurance and risk management concepts, positioning them for career opportunities in underwriting, claims, agency and brokerage, risk management, consulting and more.
Celebrating Native American art
The University of Kansas community gathered in February to celebrate the inaugural opening of the Edgar Heap of Birds Family Gallery in Chalmers Hall. Internationally recognized artist and KU alumnus Edgar Heap of Birds and his family provided a generous donation which will sponsor annual exhibits and related programming showcasing Native American artists.
The number of hours of free counseling services provided by KU students to people across Kansas through the new Positive Psychotherapy Clinic using a HIPAA-compliant telehealth format.
KU graduate programs ranked in the top 50 among public schools by U.S. News & World Report.
Gift benefits engineering and law schools
A $2 million gift from the estate of alumnus Dean Frisbie provides $1 million each to the School of Engineering and School of Law. Frisbie, who died in 2021, earned a bachelor’s in civil engineering and a law degree from KU. A Mission, Kan., native, Frisbie served in the U.S. Army after graduating and before beginning his career as a land use attorney in California. He then went to work in real estate and commercial development before starting his own property development business in the San Francisco Bay area. Frisbie also founded Ledgewood Creek Winery, which he eventually sold to Gallo.
You Said It
“I’m giving back because I was once a recipient. I am finally in a place to donate and gladly do so.”
Kimberly Lowe, bachelor’s in English 2010
“My master’s program in classics at KU was an amazing experience. I want KU’s excellent graduate education to be available to more students.”
Cat Diebel-Wilson, master’s in classics 2009
“My mother and father have really benefited from the great work at the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center — Mom as a caregiver and Dad as a patient with Alzheimer’s. Dr. Ryan Townley and Arlin Bohn and the team associated with them are so great.”
“I’m giving in honor of all the leaders, administrators and staff who tirelessly work to facilitate the research enterprise of the School of Health Professions.”
Jacob Sosnoff, Ph.D.
Overland Park, Kan.