LAWRENCE — Capitol Federal Foundation of Topeka has committed a $20 million lead gift toward construction of a new School of Business building at the University of Kansas. The announcement of the gift—the largest in the business school's history—will be made at a celebration at 1:30 p.m. today at the Lied Center of Kansas.
The gift is part of Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university's $1.2 billion comprehensive campaign. KU Endowment is working with alumni and friends to complete private funding for the building, which is expected to cost about $60 million.
This is the largest single gift the Capitol Federal Foundation has made. "An outstanding School of Business is an integral part of every university," said John B. Dicus, chairman, president and CEO of Capitol Federal Savings. "We're proud to play a role in making this building a reality. With this gift, we are giving students at the University of Kansas the opportunities they need to be successful in the business world."
John B. Dicus earned bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration from KU in 1983 and 1985 respectively. His father, John C. Dicus, chairman emeritus of Capitol Federal Savings, earned a bachelor's degree in business from KU in 1955.
"A great school of business deserves a great place to do business," said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. "Thanks to the generosity of the Capitol Federal Foundation, the KU School of Business will be able to compete with any business school in the world when it comes to having a modern facility to educate the leaders and entrepreneurs our communities need to grow and prosper."
Neeli Bendapudi, dean of the KU School of Business, said business education must adapt to the rapid changes in the business landscape. "This gift will help create an environment that fosters innovation in business education and research and attracts top students and faculty," she said. "Capitol Federal Foundation's transformative gift is an investment in ensuring that our students and our state will be competitive in the global marketplace."
The six-story, 166,000-square-foot building will be located on the east side of Naismith Drive, across from Allen Fieldhouse at the south entrance of the campus. It will feature the newest technology, modern learning labs, auditoria and space for collaboration and research. A conceptual rendering has been submitted, and a completion date will be determined once additional funding is secured.
The new School of Business facility will be located south of Robinson Health and Physical Education Center, where tennis courts currently are located; the university will build new tennis courts at another location that has not been finalized.
Summerfield Hall, the current home of the School of Business, cannot accommodate future growth or meet the needs of the current business world. About 25 percent of incoming KU freshmen express an interest in majoring in business. The new facility is expected to boost annual KU business graduates from 500 to 750 in the undergraduate program, and from 280 to 350 in the graduate program.
The 95,000-square-foot Summerfield Hall, which opened in 1960, will house other units, which will be determined by the university at a future date.
The Dicus family has deep ties to KU. Other KU alumni include John B. Dicus' late grandfather, Henry A. Bubb; his mother, the late Betty Bubb Dicus; his sister, Debra Dicus Kennedy, and his wife, Brenda Roskens Dicus.
Henry A. Bubb and John C. Dicus received the Fred Ellsworth Medallion in 1977 and 1990 respectively, and the university honored Henry with a Distinguished Service Citation in 1965. Like his father and grandfather, John B. Dicus serves on the KU Endowment Board of Trustees. He also served as a member of the Far Above campaign organizing committee. John C. Dicus is a KU Endowment Life Trustee.
Capitol Federal Foundation was established to benefit the communities in which Capitol Federal operates. The foundation is committed to improving the quality of life in these communities by investing in the citizens of today and tomorrow. The foundation's previous gifts for the School of Business include establishment of the Capitol Federal Distinguished Professorship in Financial Markets. Moreover, they have supported The University of Kansas Cancer Center, scholarships for student athletes, the Lied Center of Kansas and Spencer Museum of Art, to name a few.
Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas seeks support to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future.
The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.