The Dolese Bros. Co. publicly announced this month that they will be donating $70 million to the K-State’s College of Engineering. The donation is the largest that K-State has ever received in the university’s history. Though the donation has been in the works for several years, the excitement has not been drained.
“The best word I can say to describe it when I was receiving responses to my emails announcing the news was ‘wow,’“ Fred Cholick, president of the KSU Foundation said.
The Dolese Bros. Co. is a construction material provider based in Oklahoma City. The company’s founder, Roger Dolese, who died in 2002, was a great supporter of engineering programs both during his lifetime, and now after his death. Gary Clark, interim dean of engineering, said Dolese wanted to accomplish two things: give the company to his employees and graduate engineers.
Dolese transferred $70 million of the company’s stock to K-State. The company will annually buy back $500,000 worth of stock from the university for the next 140 years. This yearly contribution does not include appreciation in the value of stock, which may increase, meaning that it could turn out to be even more money for K-State.
The same donation was also given to two other universities in the region: the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.
“This gift is going to schools that are deep-rooted in engineering and giving all kinds of opportunities to get that education,” Clark said.
The funding will be used for scholarships, tutoring and student retention. This directly identifies with the statewide University Engineering Initiative Act, a piece of legislation that was created to increase the number of engineering graduates in the state of Kansas by 60 percent over a 10 year period.
“The goal is to graduate more engineers and as soon as possible,” said Clark.
The importance of the donation is not lost on the students in the college. The tutoring service offered in the college of engineering is not just for show. The program Scholars Assisting Scholars employs engineering students to serve as tutors for other students who might be struggling in core science and math classes to help them succeed in the program.
“As a student who routinely takes advantage of the tutoring service, this donation is really exciting,” Megan Walden, senior in industrial engineering, said. “I think it will really make a huge impact.”