Two of the most generous donors for Kansas Athletics Inc. in recent years did not fulfill their pledge for the past year, money that had been expected to help finance KU’s new football practice facility.
Tom Kivisto and his wife, Julie, of Tulsa, Okla., did not pay the $2 million they had pledged last year to Kansas Athletics, the department confirmed last week as part of an open-records request. The Kivistos had been current on previous donations, the department said.
“Tom still has the greatest affection for KU and the people at the university,” said John Tucker, an attorney for Tom Kivisto in Tulsa. “He wants to support it in any way he can. The economy’s in a bad position right now for people to do that sort of thing.”
Kivisto, who played basketball for the Jayhawks, had been CEO and president of Tulsa-based SemGroup, an energy trading, storage and transportation company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008 after suffering reported losses of $2.4 billion in the oil futures market.
Information about the pledge was included on a list of donor accounts distributed this past February to officials with the Williams Fund, seeking information about whether the accounts would be paid.
On the list were 50 accounts whose 2009 pledges had not been paid, and another 18 whose pledges had been paid only in part.
The Kivistos’ pledge — the largest on the list — showed that the couple had pledged $2 million in 2009 for the practice facility, adjacent to the Anderson Family Football Complex at Kivisto Field.
That pledge was not paid, although previous pledges were all up to date, the department said.
In September 2005, the Kivistos had pledged $10 million for athletics, of which the university already had received $2 million. By February 2006, KU had received another $2 million payment, plus a pledge for an additional $2 million.
At that time, KU announced that the field inside Memorial Stadium would be known as Kivisto Field.