A $4 million lead gift from the Regnier family foundation is helping Kansas State University's College of Architecture, Planning & Design with the momentum needed to embark on a major expansion and renovation of its current facility. The $75 million, two-phase project will demolish, renovate, expand and preserve portions of the east wing of Seaton Hall and Seaton Court.
"We are making this gift to the college because they are worth investing in," said Victor Regnier, Los Angeles. He cited the fact that all three degree programs are consistently ranked in the top 10 nationally by industry practitioners.
"This new building will be a wonderful enhanced environment for learning," he said. "The college has always represented quality, and they do extraordinary things with the financial support that's provided to them. This gift is about supporting an excellent organization that will excel even further with additional funding."
Excited by plans for the college's project and programs, the Dean's Student Advisory Council considerably increased student investment through technology fees in the hopes of spurring significant increases in state and private support.
Regnier, a 1971 graduate of the college, is an ACSA Distinguished Professor of Architecture at the University of Southern California's School of Architecture, Los Angeles, and a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. His brother, Bob Regnier, Leawood, is a 1970 graduate of Kansas State University's economics department and president and CEO of the Bank of Blue Valley. His sister, Cathy Regnier, Mission, is involved in the family business. The siblings established the V+H Charitable Foundation to honor their late parents, Victor L. and Helen Regnier.
"I feel this would have been viewed as an excellent investment by our father," Cathy Regnier said. "Dad would have been extremely excited by the prospect of combining education with practical design and hands-on learning in a new building elevating the already outstanding reputation of the K-State College of Architecture, Planning & Design."
Bob Regnier said that his father always admired Kansas State University and even seemed to be planning to attend at one point, before work and family obligations intervened.
"He did value education significantly, and really encouraged both my brother and I to go to K-State," he said. "His perception was that the people who went to K-State worked hard, got a good education and were well-prepared for the future."
In addition to the renovation and expansion, the Regniers also support other endeavors within the College of Architecture, Planning & Design. Victor Regnier serves on the Dean's Advisory Council and the family foundation is a member of the Founders Guild, a group of the college's philanthropic leaders devoted to promoting renovation and expansion of the Seaton Complex. Through their family foundation, the Regniers have previously established the Victor L. Regnier Architecture Chair to recognize outstanding faculty and the Victor L. Regnier Distinguished Visiting Professorship to welcome a globally renowned architect as a studio teacher each year.
To further introduce the college's students to a more global perspective, the Regniers are using a portion of their $4 million gift to establish the annual Victor L. Regnier Distinguished International Lecture.
"I can't even begin to express how thankful I am for the Regniers setting an example of belief in what our students and faculty are doing for the future," said Tim de Noble, dean of the College of Architecture, Planning & Design. "As the leading proponent of finally bringing our facilities in line with our national reputation, they are very clearly indicating that they appreciate the stewardship of their support in building the quality of our programs over the years. We hope their generosity will inspire others."