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Grateful alumnus gives $370,000 to KU

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

LAWRENCE — In 1950, the prestigious Solon Summerfield Scholarship paved the way for Frank Newby to enroll at the University of Kansas. Newby would go on to earn two chemistry degrees from KU — a bachelor’s degree in 1954 and a doctorate in 1964. In a show of appreciation for his education, Newby has given more than $370,000 to KU Endowment.

A native of Columbus, Kansas, Newby lives in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he taught chemistry at East Tennessee State University from 1959 until his retirement in 1993. His gift includes $105,000 to establish the endowed Dr. Frank A. Newby, Jr., Physical Science award for undergraduate students in the Department of Chemistry; $160,000 for the Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum; and $105,000 for Summerfield scholarships.

“I went to KU on a Summerfield Scholarship,” Newby said. “If it wasn’t for that, I couldn’t have gone there.”

The benefits he derived from attending KU were lasting, he said. Newby appreciated his chemistry courses, his professors, the cultural knowledge he gained from courses in German, the scenic campus, the museums and the people he met.

“I especially enjoyed the beauty of the campus, particularly the grove of trees behind the student union and along Memorial Drive, all the way over to Potter’s Lake,” said Newby. “Another important thing for me at KU was meeting people not only from all over Kansas and the U.S., but also from all over the world. That was a real eye-opener for me.”

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little expressed gratitude for the gift. “Frank Newby’s experience at KU, where he took advantage of the wide range of courses and experiences available here, is a model for all of our students to follow,” Gray-Little said. “And thanks to Frank’s generosity, more of our students will now receive scholarships that will help them do just that.”

The gift counts toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s

$1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks support to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future.

The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.