Kemper Foundation provides gift to expand the Lied Center
A $300,000 Kemper Foundation gift to KU Endowment will benefit the Lied Center at the University of Kansas. The gift, from the William T. Kemper Foundation — Commerce Bank Trustee, will expand the foyer, which will enable the center to host a wider variety of public events.
“The Lied Center is a vital community resource, serving not only faculty and students, but also the residents of the region,” said Michael Fields, executive director Kemper Foundation.
“Under the leadership of the University of Kansas, the center convenes outstanding cultural experiences and promotes intellectual discourse. We are proud to support the university in its mission.”
Fields added that he is grateful that the generosity and planning of William T. Kemper, Jr. enabled the foundation to make this gift.
Tim Van Leer, the Lied Center’s executive director, expressed his appreciation for the Kemper Foundation’s gift, which will add 1,800 square feet. “Besides creating people-friendly space for all of the performances that take place in the Lied Center,” Van Leer said, “this expansion will provide additional capabilities for receptions and small meetings.”
A groundbreaking for the expansion will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 8 at the Lied Center. The public is invited.
Since opening in 1993, the Lied Center has drawn more than 1 million people from all walks of life to enjoy a wide range of performing arts experiences. The Lied Center was made possible by a $10 million gift by the Lied Foundation Trust, which is directed by Christina Hixson. In 2009, Hixson announced an additional $2.5 million gift for expansion of the Lied Center’s lobby, construction of an education pavilion and creation of additional office space.
The Kemper Foundation’s gift will be managed by KU Endowment, the official fundraising and fund-management foundation for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.