Unique gift will honor academic perseverance

KSU Foundation

Joe Wood ’65 and his wife, Bev ’66, have created the Academic Comeback Award for architectural students at Kansas State University. (Courtesy photo)

When he started at Kansas State University in 1959, Joe Wood ’65 was not sure of his academic path. After a year in business accounting, he switched to the five-year architecture program. A couple years later, he had the good fortune of a blind date with Bev Abmeyer ’66, a freshman studying biological science and Spanish.

“She turned the tide,” he said. “My GPA saw dramatic improvement as I began to focus more on academics.”

“I showed him where the library was,” Bev added, jokingly.

The couple, who recently celebrated 50 years of marriage, have a daughter, Jennifer, and a son, Jonathan. They found it interesting to see their son take a similar path as Joe in college and ultimately earn a scholarship award for the most improved grade point average from the end of his freshman year to the start of his senior year.

“I kind of liked this idea of rewarding those who are not initially focused academically, but have the ability to get back on track,” Joe said. “It’s an award to inspire those students to finish their academics on a high note before graduating and beginning their careers.”

The Woods created the Academic Comeback Award for K-State architectural students by designating the KSU Foundation as the beneficiary of a portion of one of Joe’s retirement accounts. They also directed parts of the gift to support K-State Athletics’ Ahearn Fund in memory of Joe’s parents, former K-State professor Joe Nate Wood and Marceil Wood, and his sister, Martha Wood. All were loyal Wildcat sports fans. A portion was also designated to add to the Mary Lucille and Walter Abmeyer Scholarship in memory of Bev’s parents.

Read more about the Woods’ gifts and supporting the College of Architecture, Planning and Design. 

 Childhood influences inspire gifts to K-State 


Lyndon Boyer '52 and his wife, Jerri, are giving back to Kansas State University's music program and the Department of Chemical Engineering. (Courtesy photo)
Lyndon Boyer ’52 grew up near Kansas State University’s main campus, around chemical engineering students who rented rooms from his parents. His Boy Scout Master was a chemical engineering professor. 

“That probably had an influence,” he said of his decision to study chemical engineering at K-State. His musical family provided another influence on his life.

“Mother was musical; she played the piano and sang. My sister was musical; she played the organ for the First United Methodist Church in Manhattan. I grew up around music, singing in choirs and playing guitar and other instruments,” he said, adding he still sings in senior choirs 70 years later.

It’s little surprise, then, that Boyer and his wife, Jerri, recently decided to include gifts in their trusts to benefit K-State’s music program and the Department of Chemical Engineering. The Ponca City, Oklahoma, couple decided to fund an award to support chemical engineering faculty and an endowment so the music program can fund opportunities and needs as they emerge. 

Learn more about the Boyers and how you can support K-State through your estate plan.

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