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Greg's Willems January letter

Greetings from Manhattan and the KSU Foundation team,

We hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful holiday season and rang in the New Year safely. As we got ready to depart Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Christina and I had a great conversation recounting our exciting first year serving K-State. Just over a year ago, we were first introduced to the K-State family at the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. Since that time, we have settled into our new home community in Manhattan and have been blessed by the generosity and hospitality of thousands of K-Staters during this first year. We greatly appreciate all the K-State family has done to make us feel welcome and the support and advice along the way.

The KSU Foundation Board and Trustees, President Kirk Schulz and First Lady Noel Schulz, Provost April Mason, the president’s cabinet and academic deans, Alumni Association President Amy Button-Renz and Athletics Director John Currie have all been especially supportive of me professionally and my family. I want to recognize them for their commitment to the success of others and the way they lead with pride and great professional commitment to make K-State one of the greatest universities in our nation.

Interacting with students at K-State has been among our most memorable experiences. During our time at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis this past week, there were numerous occasions to witness the remarkable qualities of our K-State students as outstanding ambassadors of our university. The Pride of Wildcat Land’s 350-plus members and our student-athletes did an outstanding job of showcasing the values, class and character that exists at K-State. We are truly fortunate to have great leadership for these students from Dr. Frank Tracz and Coach Bill Snyder.

Reflecting further on this past year, there is no doubt that October 2015 will be considered a significant month in the history of Kansas State University. We publicly launched the $1 billion Innovation and Inspiration Campaign, which will advance K-State toward its goal of becoming a top 50 public research university by the year 2025. I am pleased to report that as of January 1, 2016 our campaign fundraising total has risen to over $800 million toward our $1 billion goal. If you were unable to attend the launch, I encourage you to watch some videos of these extraordinary events.

Also in October, we moved into the new KSU Foundation headquarters at the K-State Office Park at 1800 Kimball. We celebrated with a ribbon cutting and open house after our KSU Foundation Board of Directors meeting in December. This facility will greatly improve our capacity to serve K-State for decades to come and we look forward to welcoming more corporate and industry partners to the office park in 2016.

Exceptional acts of generosity have been so numerous this past year that I shared in my comments at the Liberty Bowl pep rally that I’m confident the KSU Foundation will continue to be successful because generosity is in the DNA of K-State alumni.

So, with deep gratitude to the thousands of alumni and friends whose gifts help to keep K-State strong, I want to say thank you all for a great first year, and especially for all you do to advance K-State through philanthropy.

Go Cats!

Greg Willems
President and CEO
KSU Foundation

P.S. To stay current on KSU Foundation news, including posts on my activities, I encourage you to follow the KSU Foundation on Facebook and Twitter, as well as the hashtag #KStateInspires.

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