Wefald Hall, the first residence hall built on the Kansas State campus in more than 50 years, was formally dedicated to Jon Wefald, former Kansas State president, who served from 1986-2009, on Saturday.
Pat Bosco, vice president of student life and dean of students, said nobody touched K-State in a more positive way than Wefald, and dedicating the newest residence hall to him was a way to honor his legacy.
“This is a historic moment,” Bosco said. “We’re honoring 23 years of the Wefald presidency. Our university will never be the same because of this gentleman — his work, his passion, his vision.”
Rylee Bergh, freshman in food science and industry and the first president of the Wefald Hall Governing Board, was one of 14 speakers included in the dedication ceremony.
“After deciding to attend K-State, I was faced with my first very big and very important decision,” Bergh said. “And it wasn’t choosing my major; it was choosing my residence hall. After carefully analyzing my choices, I quickly chose Wefald. Why? Because it’s new, and that means it would have new bathrooms.”
What Bergh didn’t realize, she said, was that Wefald Hall had more to offer than just new amenities and fancy features like microwaves in each room, a coffee shop in the lobby and a kitchen for residents to use. She also gained lifetime friends in a community-focused building.
“I can confirm yes, (Wefald Hall) is awesome, and it only continues to get better,” Bergh said.
K-State President Richard Myers also spoke during the dedication.
“It’s a great day for K-State and the Wefald family,” Myers said. “It’s really fitting for a president of a university who always put students first, that we’re now dedicating our latest, finest 540-something bed residence hall for Jon Wefald.”
Derek Jackson, director of the department of housing and dining services and assistant vice president for student life, said he is honored to be part of the team who built not just a new building, but a culture.
After talking to students, Jackson said the team knew students had a desire to be together in the residence halls.
“(Students) meet their lifelong friends here,” Jackson said. “And that’s an important part of the fabric of K-State.”
With tears in his eyes, Wefald said that every day for 23 years he asked himself what he could do to be better at making K-State better as the university president.
“I can’t tell you how thrilled I am,” Wefald said. “I thought it would be pretty nice, but not this nice.”