$2.8 million gift funds scholarships for KU Med students

photo by: Sara Shepherd/Journal-World File Photo

This file photo from June 11, 2017 shows the University of Kansas Medical Center campus in Kansas City, Kan., from 39th Street facing east.

The University of Kansas School of Medicine says a gift of more than $2.8 million will fund scholarships for medical students.

The school announced the gift from the estate of Alton and Helen Knechtel, of Chula Vista, California, on Thursday. The two were Kansas natives who graduated from Kansas universities.

Alton Knechtel was born in Larned and Helen was born in Alma. He died in 1984 and she died in 2018.

Dr. Mark Meyer, senior associate dean for student affairs at the School of Medicine, says the gift will help medical students whose average debt at graduation is more than over $180,000.

Helen Knechtel earned a music degree from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and studied music at the University of Kansas. Alton Knechtel earned an architectural engineering degree at Kansas State University.

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