Land donation could provide millions for scholarships at KU, K-State

KU Endowment is marking its 125th anniversary this year. Since its organization in 1891, the association has provided KU with money for land, buildings and financial support for students, faculty and other initiatives.

? A Jefferson County man left more than 1,300 acres of land to the University of Kansas and Kansas State University, with the stipulation that income from the land’s sale go toward scholarships.

James F. Lindley of Grantville died in 2015 at age 88, according to his obituary. Lindley, a KU alumnus, was a World War II Army veteran and an engineer, and he also farmed and raised cattle.

Lindley left 10 tracts of land in Shawnee and Jefferson counties totaling approximately 1,352 acres to KU and K-State, according to the Kansas Board of Regents, which on Wednesday approved transferring the land to charitable arms of each university, KU Endowment and the KSU Charitable Real Estate Foundation. According to the Regents, the property’s total appraised value is $4.3 million.

Lindley’s trust specifies that profits from his land be shared equally between the two universities and used for scholarships — specifically, for School of Engineering students at KU and College of Agriculture students at K-State.

Lindley was a 1949 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, said Michelle Tevis of KU Endowment.

Lindley made annual donations to the KU School of Engineering from 1982 to 2014, Tevis said. KU Endowment staff began working with him in 1998 on his estate plans to support engineering scholarships.

Once income from the donated land becomes available, she said, it will establish a new scholarship fund for engineering students at KU.