The Kansas State University College of Engineering has received a $22 million gift, courtesy of three couples, it was announced Monday.
According to a news release from the university, the couples donating the funds were Jim and Laura Johnson, of Colorado Springs; Ike and Letty Evans, of Bluffton, S.C.; and Tim and Sharon Taylor, of The Woodlands, Texas.
University officials said the funds would help advance opportunities for students and faculty and provide “revolutionary, flexible funding” for the College of Engineering.
“The generosity, belief in our programs and commitment to engineering education expressed through these tremendous gifts cannot be overstated,” Darren Dawson, dean of the College of Engineering, said in a news release. “This level of investment is transformative and further establishes our goal of being the top engineering program in the state. These gifts will expand our platforms and fulfill the expectations of the University Engineering Initiative Act to increase the number of engineering graduates in Kansas.”
Jim and Laura Johnson’s gift will be used in the naming of the G.E. Johnson Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science in honor of Jim’s father, Gil E. Johnson.
According to the news release, Gil Johnson, a 1955 graduate of Kansas State, founded Colorado Springs-based GE Johnson Construction, a general contracting firm, in 1967.
Jim Johnson earned his degree in construction science in 1984 from Kansas State. He served on the Engineering Advisory Council; received the Professional Progress Award in 2003; is a member of the College of Engineering Hall of Fame; and currently serves on the College of Engineering’s Innovation and Inspiration Campaign steering committee.
Ike and Letty Evans contributed to name the Ike and Letty Evans Academic Success Center, which offers workshops on study skills, time management, engineering careers and internships. The center will allow students to provide peer-to-peer tutoring, test preparation, first-year instruction and diversity-support programs such as Women in Engineering and the Multicultural Engineering Program.
Ike Evans graduated in 1965 from Kansas State with a degree in electrical engineering. Ike Evans is a member of the College of Engineering Hall of Fame and served on the Engineering Advisory Council.
Tim and Sharon Taylor’s gift will be used in the naming of the Tim Taylor Department of Chemical Engineering. The gift will enable the department to recruit and retain top faculty and the best students, and provide flexible funding for department leaders to take advantage of emerging opportunities, according to the news release.
Tim Taylor received his degree in chemical engineering from Kansas State in 1975. He served on the Engineering Advisory Council; received the Engineering Distinguished Service Award; and was inducted into the College of Engineering Hall of Fame. He also serves on the College of Engineering’s Innovation and Inspiration Campaign steering committee.
“The Evanses, Johnsons and Taylors exemplify the generosity of the K-State family,” Richard Myers, Kansas State University president, said in the news release. “Their investment in the success of College of Engineering faculty, students and programs not only elevates the college; their gifts bring prestige to the university and help propel K-State toward being nationally recognized as a Top 50 public research university.”