MANHATTAN, Kan.--()--Koch Industries, Inc., and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation have announced a commitment totaling $814,000 to the Kansas State University Office of Diversity. The commitment includes a combined gift of $514,000 to increase enrollment of multicultural students in K-State’s College of Business Administration and College of Engineering and help them succeed in college and beyond. In addition, the company made a $300,000 commitment for future diversity scholarship support.
“I will be forever grateful for the calculated risk Koch Industries and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation took with us when they made their initial funding decision”
Koch Industries’ funding will continue its support of K-State’s College of Business Administration’s efforts to promote recruitment, retention, graduation and placement of greater numbers of historically under-represented students. In addition, the company’s commitment will also extend scholarship funding to students in the College of Engineering.
“Koch Industries and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation’s support is essential to the success of so many students,” said Myra Gordon, K-State associate provost for diversity. “Not all students have the awareness, support and financial means to make college a reality. This is particularly true among many multicultural groups. However, with special partnerships like this one, we have created a sustained effort — called Project IMPACT — that nurtures the talents of multicultural students that will be needed to invigorate the domestic and global workplace.”
Project IMPACT is a multi-program, interdisciplinary effort that is supported by several of K-State’s premier corporate partners.
The commitments by Koch Industries and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation include:
* Koch IMPACT Scholarships. Support includes multi-year scholarships for up to four years for multicultural students enrolled in the university’s College of Business Administration or College of Engineering.
* Koch Diversity Faculty Fellow. Support for a faculty member to assist with advising and monitoring the academic performance of multicultural students in the College of Business Administration. The gift also includes support for a part-time graduate teaching assistant to support the Koch Diversity Faculty Fellow.
* Project IMPACT Relationship Recruiting. A program of enhanced, personalized connections, including scholarship support, to recruit multicultural students with an interest in obtaining accounting or finance degrees at K-State.
* Fred and Mary Koch Foundation College for a Day Institutes. One-day, on-campus programs for high school and community college students to immerse them in the fields of business and engineering and show how those disciplines connect to careers. Five annual institute sessions will serve 75 students each.
"Diversity is one of the common elements central to the K-State 2025 visionary plan, and is essential to K-State becoming a Top 50 public research institution,” said Kirk Schulz, K-State president. “We are deeply grateful to Koch Industries and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation for their continued and generous support for student scholarships, faculty fellowships and programs that advance diversity."
“The success of K-State’s diversity program speaks for itself with real-life examples of students for whom these efforts have made a difference,” said Susan Addington, community relations manager for Koch Industries, Inc. “K-State has shown leadership and vision and the university’s success in attracting and retaining multicultural students in disciplines such as accounting, finance and engineering is to be commended.” Koch Industries partners with a number of organizations that mentor minority youth, such as Boys and Girls Clubs, Communities in Schools, Urban League, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Youth Entrepreneurs Kansas. The company will work with these and other groups to foster statewide participation in Project IMPACT.
Established in 1953, the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation focuses on non-profit organizations that enhance the quality of life in Kansas. The Foundation directs its support toward organizations involved with the arts and art education, environmental stewardship, human services, and enabling at-risk youth. Fred and Mary Koch, the donors for whom the foundation is named, shared a passion for education and a love of the outdoors. Mary Koch (1907-1990), a 1929 graduate of Wellesley College, was widely recognized and known for her contributions to the arts. Fred Koch (1900-1967), graduated from MIT in 1922 and co-founded what is now Koch Industries, Inc. in 1940. More information is available at www.fmkfoundation.org.
Based in Wichita, Kan., Koch Industries, Inc. owns a diverse group of companies involved in refining, chemicals and biofuels; process and pollution control equipment and technologies; minerals; fertilizers; polymers and fibers; commodity trading and services; forest and consumer products; and ranching. Koch companies have a presence in nearly 60 countries and employ about 60,000 people. With more than $115 billion in revenues, Koch Industries is one of the largest private companies in America according to Forbes magazine. More information is available at www.kochind.com.
Sidebar: A history of support
The relationship between Koch Industries, Inc., and Kansas State University has been a multifaceted public-private partnership focused on educating the workforce of the future. In 2007, Koch Industries and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation made pivotal gifts to the K-State Office of Diversity that not only allowed the university to be proactive in diversifying the student body, but also provided the catalyst for other corporate investments and grants. The results of their previous gifts, both direct and indirect, have been a true success story.
“I will be forever grateful for the calculated risk Koch Industries and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation took with us when they made their initial funding decision,” said Myra Gordon, K-State associate provost for diversity. “The impact of their initial investment has been most noteworthy as the following metrics clearly show. We are truly blessed by their subsequent and larger gifts.”
With this recent commitment, Koch Industries’ and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation’s giving to the Office of Diversity now tops more than $1.2 million. The following successes can be linked to Koch Industries’ and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation’s initial commitments in 2007:
- Koch Project IMPACT Scholarships have allowed 27 students in the College of Business Administration to focus more on their academics and less on working to pay tuition. The 27 Koch Scholars have earned a GPA of 3.45.
- As of the 2011 academic year, K-State enjoyed a 43 percent increase in enrollment of students from under-served groups in the Kansas State University College of Business Administration.
- Enrollment for students from under-served populations in accounting has increased 144 percent, from 9 students in 2007 to 22 students in 2011. Finance majors have increased 89 percent, from 17 to 25 in the same period.
- Koch Industries and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation, as well as many Koch employees, have made a very positive impression on almost 1,000 participants. In fact, some students have gone on to work for the company. (See related story, “What K-Staters are saying.”)
- Koch’s support is part of a larger success story of increased multicultural enrollment at K-State. In the 2011 academic year, 3,218 students at K-State described themselves as Black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander or multiracial, a number that has nearly doubled in the last 10 years.
What K-Staters are saying
The past and future support of Koch Industries, Inc. and the Fred and Mary Koch Foundation makes a difference on campus. Here, four K-Staters describe how:
Former Koch IMPACT Scholar and student athlete, and May 2012 graduate of K-State College of Business Administration. Now an accountant with Koch Industries in Wichita.
“Scholarships like the Koch scholarship help students with the financial burden of college, but the lessons of the scholarship aren’t strictly financial. They really allow you to build a relationship with professionals, and it can be a starting point for students.”
Koch IMPACT Scholarship recipient and fifth-year senior in K-State’s College of Business Administration from Wichita, Kan. Majoring in accounting, management information systems with a minor in statistics.
“The Koch scholarship has helped to take the financial pressure off my parents and me. I’m the first person in my family to go to college, and I am so grateful for the scholarship and what it has allowed me to do at K-State. It’s given me the opportunity to get involved in the college and mentor others through the College for a Day Program. It’s really allowed me to focus on my education and help other students like me.”
Dr. Dawne Martin
Assistant Dean for Diversity in the College of Business Administration and Koch Diversity Faculty Fellow.
“Since 2007, the college has seen a 43 percent increase in the enrollment of students from under-served groups. This kind of success doesn’t happen by accident. It’s the result of partners like Koch Industries coming forward and supporting these students and the faculty who teach them in a meaningful way.”
Director of Multicultural Engineering Program in K-State College of Engineering
“The Koch IMPACT Scholarships are an integral part of retention for multicultural students. The opportunities beyond the finances that are offered to the scholars are the connections they make to a group of students with similar goals; to corporate contacts; and to supportive staff who monitor their academic progress and professional development. Koch IMPACT Scholars will be assisting in the Koch College for a Day programs that bring large groups of students to the KSU campus to find out about college and a possible career in engineering or business. I am pleased to be connected to a talented pool of students who will represent Koch Industries on the KSU campus.”