Jack Vanier and his family have been generous to Kansas State over the years, donating millions to the university and its athletic department, but their giving reached new levels Friday.
The family donated $60 million to K-State — the largest private donation in school history — with $20 million designated for enhancements to Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
“We are deeply grateful for this wonderful commitment, which will have a tremendous impact not just in our program, but for all student-athletes at Kansas State University,” said Snyder, K-State’s football coach.
The record donation will serve as a lead gift for a project that athletic director John Currie has been pushing hard for months. He has proposed upgrades carrying a projected cost of $62 million that will further change the look of K-State’s football stadium. Plans call for an overhaul of the north end zone, where the football team’s offices and training facilities are located.
The north wing of the stadium is named after Vanier.
K-State recently completed $125 million worth of facility upgrades, including the West Stadium Center. No timetable has been set for the new upgrades, but the Vanier family’s donation will likely speed up the process.
“Collectively, K-Staters are building tremendous momentum toward the vision of a Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program,” Currie said in a news release. “The support of the Vanier Family is perhaps the most consistent factor throughout the modern history of K-State Athletics, and this gift will have a transformative effect on our ability to expedite Bill Snyder Family Stadium Phase III.”
The other $40 million will be used on academics, including scholarships and fellowships at the main campus in Manhattan and the technology and aviation campus in Salina.
It will also go toward faculty fellowships and professorships, funding for the Biosecurity Research Institute and facility support for the Kansas State Welcome Center.The Associated Press contributed to this report