Wichita State University gets largest cash gift

Wichita State announced the largest cash gift in the university’s history on Wednesday.

Wichita oil producer Wayne Woolsey and his wife, Kay, are giving $10 million to help build a new home for the W. Frank Barton School of Business.

Another $2 million is being donated to Wichita State’s department of geology to support its petroleum geology program and field camp experiences for students.

In recognition of the gift, the 136,000-square-foot building that will be in the heart of WSU’s Innovation Campus will be named in honor of the couple.

A native of Texas, Wayne Woolsey, 87, came to Wichita in 1968 while working for Texaco. He left Texaco a year later and started his own company in 1970.

“I have been fortunate to find success in a field that I enjoy a great deal, and I view this gift as something that will help develop other successful entrepreneurs and business leaders,” Woolsey said in a prepared statement. “A great business school facility at Wichita State will strengthen our work force and our economy, and that is worth investing in.”

The new hall is a top priority in the WSU Foundation’s $250 million Shock the World campaign. The Woolsey gift brings the total campaign contributions to more than $230 million, said Elizabeth King president of the WSU Foundation.

It also elevates the amount raised for the business school project to $21.5 million. The hall is expected to cost about $50 million and university officials want to raise at least half that total through private contributions.

WSU hopes to break ground by the end of 2019.