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Kansas Wesleyan University

Kansas Wesleyan has received a $700,000 gift from the estate of Gretchen Morgenstern, a former member of the KWU Board of Trustees. The gift is believed to be one of the ten largest single gifts from an individual in school history.

“We are extremely appreciative of this generous gift,” said Ken Oliver, KWU’s executive vice president of advancement and university operations. “KWU was just a small part of what Gretchen Morgenstern gave to the community, and we are truly grateful to have been a recipient of her service. She clearly was an individual dedicated to serving her community, and that is worthy of enduring respect.”

Morgenstern was well-known for her service work in the community prior to her 2022 passing. Her obituary notes that she was a foster parent to 75 children during a 12-year period ,and she served as both vice president and treasurer of the Saline County Foster Parent Association. In addition to that and her work at KWU, she was board chair of Youthville, a Kansas nonprofit, board president of the Salina YWCA and president of the Salina chapter of the American Association of University women. She was a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church of Salina.

The gift will become a part of KWU’s endowment and be used to fund additional student scholarships. It boosts the total raised by the university’s Power of AND Campaign to nearly $34 million.