Velma Wallace leaves $6 million to Wichita State University Foundation

07/02/2013 12:40 PM

07/02/2013 7:23 PM

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Dwane Wallace's name

Velma Wallace, who with her husband, Dwane, was a longtime giver to a myriad of Wichita institutions, left $6 million to the university’s foundation after her death, the university said in a statement Tuesday.

Wallace, widow of Cessna Aircraft leader Dwane Wallace and longtime supporter of Wichita arts, culture and education, died last year. She was 95. Dwane Wallace died in 1989.

With her husband, she created the Wallace Scholar program at WSU. At least 39 students received scholarships during the 2012-13 academic year, the university said.

“She was an icon in our community because she supported so many worthwhile nonprofit organizations and special initiatives,” said Elizabeth King, president and CEO of the WSU Foundation, in the university statement. “But dearest to her heart was the Wallace Scholar program and the emotional investment she made in her students, in addition to the financial commitment to their futures.”

Most of the estate gift will be added to the Dwane L. and Velma L. Wallace Endowment Fund for engineering students and the College of Engineering.

One of her last acts before she died was to insist that the Engineering Research Building at WSU be renamed Donald L. Beggs Hall on July 1, the date Beggs’ successor at WSU, John Bardo, took over as university president. Velma Wallace was a close friend of Beggs and his wife, Shirley.

Wallace had committed $3 million to the WSU Foundation for the $6 million building King said at the time.

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