The foresight and generosity of former Kansas University Endowment Association officers, trustees and contributors continue to pay off in so many positive ways for the university.
Few state universities are as fortunate as KU to have a totally independent organization such as the Endowment Association which has been so generous through the years. As former KU Chancellor Franklin Murphy used to explain, the KU Endowment Association has provided the "frosting on the cake," which has allowed KU to be a far finer university than if it had to rely only on state funding.
This private support has provided buildings, equipment, scholarship funds, travel funds, art acquisitions, faculty enrichment programs, books and many other valuable parts of the university. One of the most valuable assets of the university acquired by private money, through the Endowment Association, is land.
Of the approximate 1,000 acres of the Lawrence university campus, about 900 of these acres have been acquired by private funds.
Several days ago, university officials announced plans to build a 1,500-vehicle parking lot on Endowment Association-owned land, west of Iowa Street and north of Clinton Parkway.
Other facilities located on the "west campus" include the Lied Center; the Bales Organ Recital Hall; the Dole Institute of Politics; a large parking lot to meet the needs of those living in the "Daisy Field" scholarship halls; the Kansas Geological Survey; Nichols Hall; Youngberg Hall Center for Research Inc.; Parker Hall and Moore Hall; the Higuchi complex, which includes the Smissman Research Laboratories; Pharmaceutical Chemistry Laboratories; Simons Biosciences Research Laboratories; Bridwell Botany Research Laboratory; Foley Hall; Kurata Thermodynamics Laboratories; the Facilities Operations complex; and the intramural fields.
All the land on which these buildings and services are located was provided by private money through the Endowment Association. No tax dollars are involved in the west campus acreage.
Few universities in the country have the luxury of such a large space of adjacent, vacant, available land as does KU with the west campus. Unfortunately, this unique and valuable asset is not sufficiently appreciated and is taken for granted by too many at KU and in Topeka.
If not for the Endowment Association and its contributors, how could KU grow and expand and where would the dollars come from to buy that acreage?
The large parking lot site is just the latest facility KU officials have requested from the Endowment Association and there are sure to be others in the years to come.
Again, what an asset ... thanks to the Association and generous alumni and friends.