A letter from Amy Button Renz: Thank you to the Schulz family   


Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz, pictured with first lady Noel, is bidding farewell to Manhattan, Kansas, and has accepted an offer to serve as the next president of Washington State University. (Photo: Alexander's Fine Portrait Design)

On March 25, President Kirk Schulz announced to the Kansas State University campus that he accepted an offer to serve as the next president of Washington State University.

I want to take a moment to publicly express sincere appreciation to both Kirk and first lady Noel for the support they have given to the Alumni Association and all members of our Wildcat community since their arrival in 2009.

Kirk and Noel have both fully supported our Alumni Association initiatives. They have traveled and tweeted from around the world while attending hundreds of our events to meet with members of the Wildcat family. Through their leadership and personal involvement, they were able to help us strengthen the scholarship programs coordinated through our Alumni Clubs and Wabash CannonBall events. It was through their encouragement that we expanded our Kansas City Wabash CannonBall to now include events in Denver and Houston. Through all of these efforts, the Alumni Association is able to award more than $400,000 in student scholarships annually. This would not have been possible without their support.  

With Kirk’s assistance, we were able to work with state officials to streamline the process for purchasing affinity license plates in Kansas. The change helped us see growth in the license plate program coordinated by the Alumni Association. Currently, we have more than 7,500 K-State license plates on vehicles in Kansas, making it the No. 1 affinity plate in the state. Since the license plate program began in 1997, we have raised more than $3 million for student scholarships and recognition.  

The Schulzes have been tremendous advocates of alumni relations, and we deeply appreciate their immediate commitment to expanding alumni engagement worldwide. The impact felt through their enthusiastic commitment to our programs was impressive as event attendance grew from approximately 60,000 to more than 100,000 these past seven years! 

Kirk and Noel made a significant impact on our K-State family by helping alumni and friends feel even more connected to the university, and they leave a legacy of success university-wide. I often share with alumni colleagues what a privilege it has been to work with a university president who truly understands the value of the relationships created through alumni programming. 

Of course, their reach went well beyond Alumni Association programs. Through Kirk’s visionary leadership, we have watched our multi-campus university grow in many ways. Enrollment at K-State continued to increase, reaching a record level of 24,766 in fall 2014, and the most diverse student body in university history in fall 2015.  

In planning for the future, he encouraged K-Staters to set the bar high with a goal to be recognized as one of the nation’s Top 50 public research universities by 2025. The plan, K-State 2025, is a roadmap to help us get there and has become a rallying point for all to support.

A significant recognition of K-State’s research capability came in February when it was announced that K-State achieved the “highest research activity” and high undergraduate enrollment profile classification by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.     

On behalf of the K-State Alumni Association, I would like to wish Kirk, Noel, Tim, Tricia and Andrew all the best and say thank you for all they have done for us. We will always have many great memories of the Schulz family at K-State!

In searching for the next president, the Kansas Board of Regents named Regent Dennis Mullin of Manhattan as chair of the Kansas State University Presidential Search Committee. The committee’s membership and charge for the closed search will be finalized in the coming weeks, and the Regents will review candidates and name an interim president in the near future.    

We will keep you posted through our newsletter, emails and social media.  

Go ’Cats.


President and CEO
K-State Alumni Association
 

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