Buoyed by a 2021 gift from Jeff Bieber ’71, Kansas Wesleyan has announced that it will break ground on a new dining facility Saturday, Oct. 22, as part of Homecoming & Family Weekend. The ceremony will begin at noon at the corner of Santa Fe and Kirwin, and the public is invited to attend.
Bieber’s $3 million gift, the second-largest in university history, helped launch the KWU Music campaign to renovate Sams Chapel. It also provided funding for the university’s Community Resilience Hub. The remainder of the gift will provide what is just the fourth on-campus dining facility in KWU’s 136-year history.
“I am pleased to contribute to the new dining facility at Kansas Wesleyan,” said Bieber. “This is an important asset for KWU, not just for the nutritional provision for students but also for the social activity that surrounds a meal. I remember that, as a student, meal breaks were something I always looked forward to. They enabled me to take a few moments to forget about class concerns, student requirements and other pressures, and simply to enjoy time with good friends. I am glad to help provide a new, exciting location where that will occur for generations to come.”
The Oct. 22 ceremony will be KWU’s second groundbreaking of the weekend, as the university will also open a project for new student housing. That is KWU’s first such housing project in more than five decades.
“At KWU, we pride ourselves on being a community and on providing the best experience possible for our students,” said Dr. Matt Thompson, KWU president. “This facility leans into both those objectives. Coming together over a meal is an important part of community, and this will provide the KWU family a first-class place to do this. It will also be just that, a first-class, top-notch facility, one that will improve the daily lives of our students. We thank Jeff Bieber for the generous gift that made this possible.”
“This year, Homecoming Weekend will truly be a landmark moment in KWU history,” said Ken Oliver, executive vice president of advancement and university operations. “To be able to break ground not only on new student housing but a new dining facility, as well, shows the direction our university is headed. This is thanks to our incredible supporters, led by dedicated alumni like Jeff.”
“This facility will allow us to continue to grow our residential student body, up to 1,000 students,” continued Oliver. “This type of dining location separates us from other institutions of our size.”