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Riss family makes $1 million gift toward new University of Kansas School of Business building

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


LAWRENCE — The family of the late Robert B. Riss has made a $1 million gift toward construction of a new School of Business building at the University of Kansas. This brings contributions by KU alumni and friends for the new building to more than $33 million.

Robert B. Riss earned a bachelor’s degree in business from KU in 1949, and became a successful Kansas City-based businessman and civic leader with widespread interests in banking, transportation and real estate. He served as national president of the KU Alumni Association in 1969. Beginning in 1970, he was a member of the KU Endowment Board of Trustees and served on the executive committee from 1974 to 1991. Riss received the Distinguished Service Citation, KU’s highest honor, in 1976. He was awarded the Fred Ellsworth Medallion in 1979.

“Bob Riss believed that the University of Kansas and its School of Business should be top-tier institutions,” said his son, Edward S. “Ned” Riss, BS ’71, MS ‘72. “This gift, made in his honor, is consistent with that belief.”

KU School of Business Dean Neeli Bendapudi expressed appreciation for the gift. “The creation of a new building is critical to the advancement of the KU School of Business. I am excited to see the support for this project and grateful to donors such as the Riss family, who are changing this longtime dream into a reality,” she said. “Their gift has added significance in that it honors Robert Riss.”

KU Endowment is working with alumni and friends to complete private funding for the building, which is expected to cost approximately $60 million. 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.

The gifts count toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks 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.

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