Dolph C. Simons Jr. on Friday announced his resignation after eight years as chairman of the board of trustees of the Kansas University Endowment Association.
Frank J. Becker of Lawrence, a board member since 1983 and one of the organization's two vice chairmen, was elected to succeed Simons. The board also elected John B. Dicus of Topeka as a new member.
The announcements came at the 111th annual meeting of the Endowment Association's trustees in Lawrence.
Simons, who joined the board in 1977, will remain a member of the board and its executive committee.
The board includes as many as 75 trustees who represent and support Kansas University around the country.
Their duties include reviewing reports on fund raising and asset management, and serving on committees that provide advice and recommendations for Endowment Association programs and activities.
Simons said he felt the time was right to step down.
"I have served as chairman for the past eight years, and it is time to step aside," he said. "It was a pleasure serving with former president Jim Martin, and I would have enjoyed working with our new president, Dale Seuferling. I know the association is in excellent hands with Seuferling's enthusiasm, leadership and vision.
"Serving as chairman of the association has had an added meaning for me as my father, Dolph Simons, became an Endowment Association trustee in 1939 and served as chairman from 1966 to 1972.
"KU is a wonderful university and, although there are sure to be many challenges in many forms, the opportunities are great."
Becker and Simons have worked together on the board's executive committee since 1996, and both are members of the steering committee for KU First: Invest in Excellence, the association's current fund-raising campaign. Becker also has been chairman of the finance committee since 1992.
He said he was proud to succeed Simons as chairman.
"KU Endowment has a great tradition of providing significant support for the university because of leaders like Dolph Simons Jr.," he said. "I look forward to continuing that tradition and to working with KU Endowment President Dale Seuferling in moving the association forward."
Chancellor Robert E. Hemenway credited Simons for his contribution to the Endowment Association's strong support for the university.
"KU Endowment's recent success in its fund-raising efforts through KU First has come about in part because of the excellent leadership of Dolph Simons," Hemenway said. "I've enjoyed working with him in his capacity as chairman and with Frank Becker in his capacity as vice chairman. The three of us will continue to work together as members of the KU First Steering Committee. I have great confidence that the Endowment Association will continue to be successful under Frank's leadership."
Simons, of Lawrence, served as chairman since 1994. He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from KU in 1951. He is editor and publisher of the Lawrence Journal-World and president of The World Company. He is a recipient of KU's Distinguished Service Citation for service to humanity and its Fred Ellsworth Medallion for service to the university. He is a life member of the Kansas Alumni Association and has served on numerous Alumni Association committees, including serving as president of its national board of directors.
For KU Endowment, Simons has served on the executive committee and the educational fund-raising committee. During Campaign Kansas, KU Endowment's second comprehensive fund-raising campaign from 1987 through 1992, he served as a member of the executive board. He also was a member of the Council for Progress during the Program for Progress, KU Endowment's first comprehensive fund-raising campaign from 1966 through 1969. He is a charter member of The Chancellors Club, KU's major-donor organization, and a member of the Club's Outlook Society. He also is a charter member of the Elizabeth M. Watkins Society, which honors donors who have developed estate plans or other deferred gift arrangements to benefit KU.
Becker, of Lawrence, graduated from KU in 1958 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. He is the owner and president of Becker Investments Inc. He is a recipient of KU's Distinguished Service Citation and its Fred Ellsworth Medallion. He is a life member of the Kansas Alumni Association and has served on numerous Alumni Association committees, including service as president of its national board of directors.
In addition to service as a KU Endowment vice chairman and as chairman of the board's finance committee, Becker also serves on the executive committee. During Campaign Kansas, he was a member of the national council. He is a life member of The Chancellors Club and a member of the Club's Hill Society. Becker is a former member of the Kansas Board of Regents. He also serves on the board of directors of Westar Inc., and is a former chairman of the Kansas Turnpike Authority.
Dicus graduated from KU in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in business administration and in 1985 with an M.B.A. He is president and chief operating officer of Capitol Federal Savings Bank, Topeka. He is a life member of the Kansas Alumni Association and has served on many of its committees, including its national board of directors. For KU Endowment, he has served on the national development council and the Greater University Fund Advisory Board. During Campaign Kansas, he was a member of the northeast regional committee. He is a member of the Chancellors Club.
The Endowment Association is an independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fund-raising and fund-management organization for KU. Through 2004, KU Endowment is conducting KU First: Invest in Excellence, the largest fund-raising campaign in KU history, with a goal of $500 million in funds for scholarships, faculty support, programs and capital projects.