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Alumni make gift commitment to create scholarship for KU’s School of Social Welfare

December 5, 2012

In celebration of the lives of her children, Vergie Anderson and her husband, Mark Anderson, of Kinsley, Kan., have committed $150,000 to establish an endowed scholarship for the University of Kansas School of Social Welfare.

“We wanted to do something to provide a long-term commemoration of the lives of my children,” said Vergie Anderson.

Vergie and Mark Anderson

“My children died in a car accident when they were young. It was important to us to have a lasting way to memorialize their lives.”

The Mark and Vergie Anderson Scholarship Fund in honor of Jason and Brooke Meckfessel will provide scholarships for graduate students in the School of Social Welfare with a preference for students who are planning a career in mental health.

“Vergie and Mark’s generosity will make a big difference for our graduate students studying mental health,” said Dean Mary Ellen Kondrat. “We in the School are grateful for this gift and for Vergie’s many contributions of time and effort over the years as she has been involved with our School’s Community Advisory Board.”

Vergie Anderson earned a master’s degree from KU in 1990, and her bachelor’s degree in 1988 from St. Mary of the Plains, Dodge City, Kan. She retired from working as clinical director for the Iroquois Center for Human Development in Greensburg, Kan. Mark is golf course superintendent at the Kinsley Country Club. Vergie is a longtime member of the School of Social Welfare’s community advisory board and former president. She also is a member of the school’s campaign committee for Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s comprehensive fundraising campaign.”

Mark Anderson, who had earlier attended KU, convinced Vergie to enroll in graduate school at KU. The experience changed her life, he said. “She just absolutely fell in love with the campus and Lawrence, she loved the School of Social Welfare, and she threw herself into the program wholeheartedly,” said Mark. “And through her career in social work, she was able to help a lot of people, some of whom who had experienced tragedies such as what she had been through.”

Vergie Anderson said the School of Social Welfare makes a positive difference in many ways. “And it’s not just helping people, but also the policy and research contributions that the school has made on the state, national, and even international communities,” she said. “I’m really proud of the school, and it’s important to us to try to support it. This gift provides something that we could do in the ongoing commemoration of my children’s lives and support the school at the same time.”

The gift is part of Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s comprehensive fundraising campaign.

The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

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December 5, 2012
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