Photo montage of Shockers

Priorities and plans are taking shape as the consolidation of the Wichita State University Alumni Association into the WSU Foundation enters its next phase. Earlier this month, members of task force, who are charged with setting guiding principles and key initiatives for future alumni engagement efforts, met for the final time.

Among the task force’s top subjects of discussion was how the combined organization would offer the most effective network for ongoing alumni engagement, including evaluating its current membership and benefits structure.

With the formation of the new alumni engagement office, there are still several actions that need to be taken before a comprehensive and strategic plan can be implemented. For example, a national search to fill the new position of vice president of Alumni Engagement (VPAE) will need to be conducted. The goal is to have the VPAE on the job by late summer or early fall.

As of July 1, Wichita State University faculty and staff will no longer have access to parking lot 34, which is located at the University United Methodist Church at the corner of 21st Street and Yale.

The university had been leasing the parking lot from the church, but very few members of the university community had been using the lot, so the decision has been made not to renew the contract going forward.

Power in Numbers: How individual donations make a lasting impact .

The WSU Foundation has an average of 12,000 individual donors each year, and together they show just how quickly small gifts make a large impact.

People support WSU for many reasons, whether it’s their own passion for education or a desire to continue the legacy of the university. Regardless of why they give, their participation led to more than $2.9 million in gifts of $1,000 or less in just one fiscal year. This generosity has a huge impact on the students of WSU.

“I don’t think of what I do as philanthropy,” said one donor. “I just look at things that support the world I want to live in and support those things.”

Image of Ivan Castillo outside.

Scholarship recipients carry a special mission to help those who come after them, and social work graduate Ivan Castillo is doing just that.

“Having someone invested in my education and success when they don’t even know me personally was so impactful,” said Ivan Castillo social work graduate. “These are people who give and say, ‘I may not know who you are, but I know your mission and I can support it.’ I want to walk alongside people in the same way.”

Headshot of Nikki Epley.

Nikki Epley’s time as a student-athlete at Wichita State launched her on a career that has taken her all over the country, and WSU has always held a special place in her heart.

“This university is my roots,” she said. “I’ve worked in a lot of different places and roles, and it’s always special to me to tell people that I’m a Shocker – I’m just so proud of my alma mater.”

Epley knew she wanted to give to the university and worked with the planned giving team at the WSU Foundation to set up an estate gift to benefit the softball program.

The parking lots along Hillside and 21st street will have increased traffic on May 27-28 due to the Kansas State High School Athletics weekend track meet, baseball tournament, and softball tournament. During this time Lots 5, 22, 3N, 3S, 11, 10, 8, 2N, 2E, and 2K will either be closed or reserved for faculty and staff.

In addition to the parking lot closures, Perimeter Road between Alumni Drive and Yale will be a one-way, allowing for only eastbound traffic.

Due to the Girls on the Run 5K Saturday, May 7 parking lots Lot 3 South, Lot 3 North, and Lot 11 will close Friday evening beginning at 5 p.m. until Saturday morning after the run at 10:30 a.m.

Once a year, the campus that is usually home to college students is instead filled with excited middle school girls. The Expanding Your Horizon’s program at WSU provides girls with the opportunity to explore the many possibilities of a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) career. With the help of sponsorships from UnitedHealthcare and Boeing, the program allows these young women to learn about careers they are often not exposed to.

Gracie Haile has been determined to succeed despite the challenges she has faced. While working full-time and taking a full course load, she began to struggle to balance it all just a few semesters away from graduation.

Thanks to WSU’s support system, Gracie was able to get back on her feet with help from financial aid and Wichita State’s CARE team.

Mark and Stacy Parkinson go above and beyond for the recipients of their scholarship for first-generation immigrant students. During spring break 2022, the two funded a trip for the students to visit Washington, D.C.