Kansas Wesleyan University has recently been enriched by a substantial $700,000 contribution from the late Gretchen Morgenstern's estate, a distinguished former member of the KWU Board of Trustees. This noteworthy donation stands among the top ten largest single gifts from an individual in the school's history.
Expressing deep gratitude for this generous gesture, Ken Oliver, KWU's Executive Vice President of Advancement and University Operations, acknowledged Morgenstern's profound impact on the community. Oliver stated, "KWU was just a small part of what Gretchen Morgenstern gave to the community, and we are truly grateful to have been a recipient of her service. She clearly was an individual dedicated to serving her community, and that is worthy of enduring respect."
Gretchen Morgenstern, who passed away in 2022, was widely recognized for her extensive community service. Her obituary highlights her role as a foster parent to 75 children over a 12-year period and her leadership as both vice president and treasurer of the Saline County Foster Parent Association. In addition to her contributions to KWU, Morgenstern served as the board chair of Youthville, a Kansas nonprofit, and held leadership positions in the Salina YWCA and the Salina chapter of the American Association of University Women. She was also a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church of Salina.
The $700,000 gift will be integrated into KWU's endowment, furthering the university's commitment to supporting students through additional scholarships. This substantial contribution elevates the total funds raised by the university's Power of AND Campaign to nearly $34 million.