Kansas Masons give $2.5 million to Kansas State programs

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW/AP) — Masons from 220 lodges in Kansas have donated a total of $2.5 million to three Kansas State University programs.

"This gift is on behalf of Kansas Masons to benefit programs that are good for Kansans and Kansas communities," said Darren Kellerman, grand master of Kansas Masons.

The Kansas Masonic Foundation's gifts will support the Kansas PRIDE program, the Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship and the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Kansas PRIDE encourages volunteers to work with local governments to improve their communities. The Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship works to improve entrepreneurial opportunities at Kansas State and throughout Kansas. The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs focuses on military-related institutional policies, education, research and outreach.

"We are grateful for this significant partnership with Kansas Masons," said Kirk Schulz, president of Kansas State University. "Their generous investment will support K-State's outreach and service mission, which is part of our land-grant heritage and is key to becoming a Top 50 public research university by 2025."
Foundation president Michael Tavares says the organization wants to expand its partnership with the university through the three programs.

"Last year, we awarded 78 scholarships to Kansas State University students. Now we are excited to expand our partnership with K-State through three truly unique initiatives," he said.

The foundation also is celebrating its 50th anniversary by launching a $20 million fundraising campaign for community improvements.