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KU Endowment celebrates 125th anniversary

October 31, 2016

The fundraising foundation for the University of Kansas, KU Endowment, is celebrating a banner anniversary: 125 years since its inception as the first foundation for a public university in the country.

It was founded on Oct. 31, 1891 by 12 KU friends to receive and manage gifts apart from the state of Kansas treasury.

The first gift was the land where Memorial Stadium currently sits, which was donated by Charles Robinson, the first governor of Kansas. Foundations at state universities across the country have recognized the vision behind that gift and used KU Endowment as a model for their own philanthropic endeavors.

“We’re proud serve as an essential partner to KU by providing enduring, stable support throughout multiple generations,” KU Endowment President Dale Seuferling said. “The gifts we receive from generous donors serve as a link between the past, the present and the future of KU.”

Since its founding, KU Endowment has provided $2.3 billion in direct support to KU, including 86 percent of the land, close to 200 professorships and about 2,300 scholarship funds.

Through the generosity of its donors, KU Endowment strives to manifest its motto: to build a “Greater University than the State Alone Can Build.” Its core values are: Passion for KU, Partnership with Donors, Perpetual Support and People-centered Approach.

“It is with a great sense of gratitude that we celebrate a long history of support, promoting new ideas for giving while staying rooted in the time-tested generosity of our friends and alumni,” Seuferling said. “Philanthropy will always be tied to developing meaningful relationships with people and matching their passion with the university’s goals.”

KU Endowment is 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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October 31, 2016
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Michelle Keller
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