KU School of Business receives its largest gift ever: $50 million from an anonymous donor

photo by: Nick Krug

The KU School of Business, Capitol Federal Hall, is pictured Tuesday, May 10, 2016.

The University of Kansas has received an anonymous $50 million gift to improve everything from entrepreneurship programs to scholarly research at the KU School of Business.

University leaders announced the gift, which is the largest in the business school’s history, on Tuesday, saying that the funding comes on the heels of new enrollment highs for the business school.

“This transformative gift supports the School of Business’ ongoing commitment to excellence in research and student success,” said Paige Fields, KU business dean. “It will allow our school to further invest in our current mission-driven initiatives, to pursue aspirational objectives and to identify future opportunities, ensuring we continue delivering relevant, innovative business education.”

The donation will create a new endowed fund that is expected to provide ongoing funding for faculty professorships and fellowships, which will be geared at “improving the quality and quantity of scholarly output.”

Other initiatives expected to be funded by the donation include a “revamped” entrepreneurship program; the school’s EY professionalism program that provides specific instruction and outside classroom experiences related to professionalism and career management and planning; enhancements to the school’s study abroad program; and new scholarships and retention initiatives, with a particular emphasis on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging goals.

KU did not release any details about the donor — such as whether they are a graduate of a school or whether they currently are in a particular business field or industry — but school officials said the donor did make the gift “in honor of the school’s accomplishments both throughout its history and in recent years.”

“The impact of such a sizable gift will have a ripple effect that extends well beyond this current moment in time,” Dan Martin, president of KU Endowment, said in a statement. “We are honored and humbled by the donor’s choice to invest in the School of Business and look forward to sharing future success stories that will be written because of their generosity.”


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