Honors college receives landmark donation

Long-time Wichita State supporters Dorothy and Bill Cohen have made a landmark donation: $5 million, one of the largest gifts made to the WSU foundation by individuals.

On Wednesday, the Honors College was renamed “Dorothy and Bill Honors College” due to the generosity from the Cohens. President John Bardo was not able to attend the event but did not miss the opportunity to say thank you via video conference.

“Dorothy and Bill have an acute knowledge of the complex issues facing our world,” Bardo said at the announcement Wednesday. “They realize the need for programs and educators who will help inspire and shape a new generation of thinkers and leaders for Kansas.”

“It’s truly a pleasure to work with visionary donors like Dorothy and Bill Cohen,” said Elizabeth King, president and CEO of the WSU Foundation. “They have the insight and the forethought to know what kind of impact their support can make on our broader society.”

The $5 million gift will be targeted toward faculty and students in the following way:

$2.25 million – Will endow the Dorothy and Bill Cohen Honors College enhancement scholarship.

$1.5 million – Will endow the Dorothy and Bill Cohen honors college faculty fellows.

$1 million – Will endow the Dorothy and Bill Cohen honors college leadership academy.

$275,000 is dedicated to the libraries fund which will help cover the cost of digitization, e-books and hiring graduate assistants.

The Cohens thought in-depth about their gift and how it would impact not just our community, but the world.

“The Honors College is providing students the opportunity to dig deeper, learn higher, experiment further and experience more,” Dorothy said. “They are teaching students to think critically, creatively and independently. We believe this opportunity will create smarter, more ambitious people who will support our society through their efforts in education, science, business and more.”

“I believe the Honors College will provide students the opportunity to gain knowledge and be innovative,” Bill said. “With that as their basis, these students will provide a service to themselves, the university and the nation.”