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Vanier family gift to K-State includes $20 million for football stadium

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, at 1:26 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, March 26, 2014, at 1:28 p.m.

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MANHATTAN — Jack Vanier and his family have been generous to Kansas State over the years, donating millions to the university and its athletic department, but their giving reached new levels on Friday.

The family donated $60 million to K-State — the largest private donation in school history — with $20 million designated for enhancements at Snyder Family Stadium.

“We are deeply grateful for this wonderful commitment,” K-State football coach Bill Snyder said, “which will have a tremendous impact not just in our program, but for all student-athletes at Kansas State University.”

The record donation will serve as a lead gift for a project that athletic director John Currie has been pushing hard for months. He has proposed upgrades, which have been approved by the Kansas Board of Regents and carry a projected cost of $62 million, that will further change the look of K-State’s football stadium. Plans call for an overhaul of the north end zone, where the football team’s offices and training facilities are located.

The current north wing of the stadium is named after Vanier.

K-State recently completed $125 million worth of facility upgrades, including the new West Stadium Center. No timetable has been set for a new phase of upgrades, but the Vanier family’s donation will likely speed up the process.

“Collectively, K-Staters are building tremendous momentum toward the vision of a ‘Model Intercollegiate Athletics Program,’” Currie said in a statement released by K-State. “The support of the Vanier Family is perhaps the most consistent factor throughout the modern history of K-State Athletics, and this gift will have a transformative effect on our ability to expedite Bill Snyder Family Stadium Phase III.”

Reach Kellis Robinett at krobinett@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @kellisrobinett.

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