Washburn University gifted $2 million from retiring president

Washburn University says on Thursday, Sept. 22, the Alumni Association and Foundation announced a $2 million gift from retiring President Jerry Farley.
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 12:55 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Retiring president of Washburn University Jerry Farley has gifted the school with a cool $2 million to go toward student scholarships.

Washburn University says on Thursday, Sept. 22, the Alumni Association and Foundation announced a $2 million gift from retiring President Jerry Farley and his wife, Susan.

“Our entire lives have revolved around Washburn for the last 25 years, and we are excited to continue serving the University in multiple capacities,” said Jerry Farley. “Throughout my time as president, we have worked on building a culture of giving back to the University, and Susan and I are proud to make this commitment.”

WU noted that the gift is the largest from a Washburn president and will support scholarships for students.

“From hosting student dinners to attending many award ceremonies, it has been a joy to get to know the students and all they have accomplished during their time on campus,” said Susan Farley. “We are excited this gift will go back to help provide students with the solid education Washburn provides.”

Farley announced his retirement in the spring of 2022 and will end his tenure on Friday, Sept. 30.

During his time as the longest-serving president in the university’s 158-year history, Washburn said Farley had a significant impact on campus. He returned it to a more traditional college experience with the addition of multiple residence halls. He also championed the Washburn University Institute of Technology in 2008.

Washburn also said Farley led the effort to add new and expanded spaces for teaching and attracted the Kansas Bureau of Investigation Forensic Center to the campus, which allowed it to add multiple world-class forensic programs to its academic portfolio.

“Scholarships make an important difference in students’ lives because they allow them to focus on their education, so it did not surprise me when the Farleys wanted to focus on students while making this generous gift,” said Marshall Meek, president, Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation. “We are grateful for the significant investment from them and their ongoing commitment to Washburn now and in the future.”

To celebrate Farley’s tenure at the university, Washburn has invited the public to attend a retirement reception in their honor from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, in the Washburn Room of the Memorial Union, 1820 SW Jewell Ave.