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Couple's estate gift gives $3.5 million to athletics, law

November 12, 2019

For KU alumni Nancy and Wint Winter Sr., the only thing as satisfying as giving was seeing the good a gift could do.

That satisfaction motivated Nancy Winter to give an outright gift of $1.7 million as part of an estate gift she and her late husband committed to the University of Kansas in 2016.

Nancy and Wint Winter, Sr.

The gift through KU Endowment will provide $775,000 to the Winter Family Scholarship for law students and $775,000 to Kansas Athletics to support the football program and the Legends statue project. The remaining $175,000 will support students in the KU chapter of Pi Beta Phi sorority.

The Winters have also made recent gifts to other areas of KU and local nonprofit organizations, including:

  • Beta Theta Pi, KU Alpha Nu chapter
  • St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center at KU
  • Willow Domestic Violence Center, Lawrence, Kansas
  • Lecompton (Kansas) Historical Society for Winter School House No. 70
  • Alzheimer’s Association, Heart of America Chapter, Prairie Village, Kansas

The Winters were longtime Ottawa, Kansas, residents. After Wint’s death in 2013, Nancy moved to Olathe, Kansas.

KU was an important part of Wint and Nancy’s lives — it’s where they met — and giving philanthropically to the university was something they both considered a priority.

“Wint and I talked often about the many wonderful professors who broadened our world view and gave us confidence to overcome life’s challenges,” Nancy Winter said. “And of course, the many cherished friendships we made while at KU have enriched our lives.”

Wint, a Lawrence, Kansas, native, played football at KU and was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He graduated with a business degree in 1952, served in the Marine Corps, and returned to Lawrence to earn a law degree in 1956.

Nancy, originally from Chicago, moved with her family to Wichita, Kansas, as a child. She studied theater at KU, where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority; she started a small community theater in Ottawa soon after she and Wint settled there.

All five of Nancy and Wint’s children went to KU: Wint Winter, Jr., Lawrence; Mary Winter Stingley, Denver; Dan Winter, Portland, Oregon; Cece Winter, Leesburg, Virginia; and Adam Winter, Denver.

Wint Winter Jr.’s KU experience mirrored his father’s, as they both played football and went to KU Law.

“My father had a lot of admiration for KU Law School,” Wint Winter Jr. said. “His best buddies came from his law classes.”

Stephen Mazza, dean and professor at the KU School of Law, expressed his appreciation for the law school’s portion of the gift.

“The Winter family has been incredibly generous in their support of KU Law over the years,” Mazza said. “This latest gift will open the door to a quality legal education for more students.”

KU Athletic Director Jeff Long recognized the powerful pull of tradition among Jayhawks and noted the Winter family in particular held athletics close to their hearts.

“The Winters have made athletics a tradition in their family, and their generous gift will help a new generation of KU student-athletes grow, succeed and create traditions of their own,” Long said. “We are very thankful for the contributions of former student-athletes, such as the Winters, who have consistently stayed involved in Kansas Athletics and willingly choose to give back to a place that helped shape them.”

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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November 12, 2019
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