Couple donates $800,000 for KU Law School
David and Debbi Elkouri, of Wichita and Houston, have longtime connections with the University of Kansas School of Law. And, they are making sure their family’s ties to KU will last in perpetuity by donating $800,000 to the school.
Of that amount, $500,000 is in the form of a gift commitment to establish the Elkouri Family Scholarship Fund through KU Endowment.
In addition, the Elkouris have provided $300,000 for expendable scholarship support for law students. During each of the next 12 years, their gift will provide $25,000, including:
— $16,000 for a full-ride renewable scholarship for a student from Kansas; and
— $9,000 in additional scholarship support to be determined by the dean.
“The area of biggest need at the law school is for scholarships to enhance the quality of the student body and keep in-state Kansas kids at the University of Kansas,” said David Elkouri. “We are losing very qualified Kansas applicants to other law schools, many of which are out of state. We need to do what we can to get them to enroll at KU Law.”
Dean Stephen Mazza expressed gratitude for the gift. “The Elkouris exemplify the kind of loyal alumni we depend on to help us attract the very best students to KU Law. Armed with an exceptional legal education — not excessive student debt — Elkouri Scholarship recipients will be equipped to be outstanding lawyers and leaders in their communities,” he said. “I sincerely appreciate the Elkouri family’s commitment to funding the law school’s greatest need.”
David Elkouri earned two degrees from KU — a bachelor’s in accounting and business administration in 1975, and a juris doctorate in 1978. Debbi, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, has become “an adopted Jayhawk” through her family. Their three children — Justin, Jessica and Juliana — earned bachelor’s degrees at KU, where Justin also graduated from law school.
David Elkouri serves on the KU Law Alumni Board of Governors and is chairman of the law school’s Resources Committee.
“The KU Law School has lagged behind its peer institutions in charitable donations for scholarship support,” said David Elkouri. “And that has an effect on everything. The better the students you get, the better the job placement you’re going to have. And then, of course, as you place people in higher numbers, you’re going to attract more and even better students.”
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.