LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Business received a $50 million commitment from an anonymous donor that will transform business education and research at the school. The gift, the largest in KU School of Business history, will also provide funds to advance key initiatives supporting undergraduate student success.
“This transformative gift supports the School of Business' ongoing commitment to excellence in research and student success,” said Paige Fields, KU School of 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 newly endowed fund will provide critical resources for several of the school’s priorities, including improving the quality and quantity of scholarly output by providing support for faculty professorships and fellowships.
As the school experiences record growth in student enrollment, this gift also will bolster student success priorities including the school’s recently revamped entrepreneurship programs; career-focused opportunities within the school’s EY Professionalism Program; and scholarship, retention and programmatic efforts among diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB), study abroad and academic enrichment programs.
The donor made the gift in honor of the school’s accomplishments both throughout its history and in recent years following its strategic planning process, which began during the 2017-18 academic year. Under the plan, the School of Business has launched certificate programs; reviewed and updated its undergraduate curriculum; created more flexible undergraduate admissions policies; introduced a master’s degree in business analytics; enhanced research incentives for tenure-track faculty; and built out previously unfinished spaces in Capitol Federal Hall to accommodate growth in the school, among other initiatives. By making this gift, the donor expressed a strong belief in the school’s future and a desire to help propel its stature.
“While a gift of this size is certainly newsworthy, it’s what this gift will enable that is truly worth noting,” said Dan Martin, president, KU Endowment. “The impact of such a sizable gift will have a ripple effect that extends well beyond this current moment in time. 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.”