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Archive for Saturday, August 11, 2007

Scholarship hall’s completion slated for fall 2008

August 11, 2007

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The ground already has been broken, and students are waiting for the newest scholarship hall to be finished on the campus of Kansas University.

The "schol halls," as they are traditionally called, currently house about 550 students every year who excel in academics and leadership. That number will increase by 50 when the Krehbiel Scholarship Hall opens in fall 2008.

The new housing unit will mirror Rieger Hall, an all-female scholarship house at 1323 Ohio. The only difference will be a large slab of concrete in the back of Krehbiel Hall for a basketball or volleyball court. It will be the sixth male scholarship hall on campus.

"There is a tremendous need at KU for scholarship halls because it helps recruit top-quality students," said Rosita Elizalde-McCoy, senior vice president for communications and marketing for the KU Endowment Association.

Carl Krehbiel, who donated $4 million to build the house for the KU men, said he did it to honor his parents and because the schol halls were his passion while attending the university. He was housed in the Stephenson Scholarship Hall, and he described it as a great living environment for students.

"It's a great academic situation because people help each other out," he said.

Elizalde-McCoy explained that the scholarship halls help recruit students because of the way they are built. Students cook their own meals; each house has various traditions, and there are several social areas.

"They have a very stimulating kind of environment," she said. "When you are at a big state university, it offers more of a community."

Krehbiel came up with the idea to give the money when he read about Rieger Hall's construction, and the article mentioned there was space next to it to build another scholarship house. After meeting with the Endowment Association, the student housing department and Chancellor Robert Hemenway, Krehbiel decided it was the best decision to give the money.

"I'm delighted to make that opportunity available," Krehbiel said. "It's just like the gift that keeps on giving because men can continue to use it year after year."

Krehbiel praised the help from the administration and others in the process of giving the donation and deciding how the hall should be built.

"This is not a top-down deal; rather, they have consulted with students, me and the architect, and I think it will be a wonderful place for students to live," Krehbiel said.

When it comes to bringing in more donations like those from alumni, Endowment Association staff said they do a lot of work to make sure they fit the needs of the university and the person giving the donation. Elizalde-McCoy said every gift is different.

"Most gifts come from alumni to KU, who want to do something to make an impact," she said. "Many donors are volunteers on advisory boards. They feel a commitment to their alma mater."

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