A $250,000 commitment from William R. and Avys Rae Hagman of Pittsburg is providing support for four areas at Kansas University.
The Hagmans' $250,000 gift has established the William R. and Avys Rae Hagman Fund at the KU Endowment Association to provide unrestricted resources for the university and to benefit the KU Alumni Association, the Williams Fund and the school of business.
Ed Meyen, Lawrence campus executive vice chancellor, said: "It is a special pleasure when longtime friends of the university demonstrate a further commitment to its programs and progress. Bill and Avys Rae have been generous supporters for many years, and they and their children are loyal and dedicated alumni."
Bob Frederick, KU's athletic director, said, "This generous gift from Bill and Avys Rae will continue their magnificent tradition of providing scholarship help for the young men and women who participate in intercollegiate athletics at Kansas. We are grateful for their help."
Fred B. Williams, president of the KU Alumni Association, said, "Bill and Avys Rae have helped KU and the Alumni Association in just about every way imaginable. This gift is one more example of their boundless generosity and concern for others. We deeply appreciate it."
William R. Hagman graduated from KU with a bachelor's degree in economics in 1932. While at KU, he was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha social fraternity.
He served two years in the U.S. Navy during World War II and then returned to Pittsburg, where he rejoined Hagman's Inc., a family-owned company that distributes confectionery, tobacco products and grocery items throughout Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas. He is chairman of the company.
He also is chairman of Pittsburg's First State Bank and Trust Co. and is a director of Bottenfields Inc., Pittsburg. He is a member of the KU Endowment Association's board of trustees and has served as president, vice president and board member of the KU Alumni Association; as co-chairman of the association's development committee; as president of the Crawford County KU Alumni Group; and as a member of the KU School of Business board of advisers. He received the Fred Ellsworth Medallion in 1978 for significant service to KU. He is on the board of the KU Surgery Assn.
In addition, he has been a member of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, Kansas Westminster Board, Small Business Administration Advisory Council and National Association of Tobacco Distributors.
Avys Rae Hagman, a native of McKinney, Tex., is a member of the class of 1932 of Pittsburg State University, formerly Kansas State College of Pittsburg. She is a career homemaker. After her children graduated from KU, she attended KU so she also could be a KU alumna.
The Hagmans are members of the KU Alumni Association, Williams Fund and the Chancellors Club, KU's major-donor organization.