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University Relations

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Feb. 20, 2006
Contact: Jim Marchiony, Kansas Athletics, (785) 864-3359; Lynn Bretz, University Relations, (785) 864-8866.

Kansas Athletics commits $1 million to KU academic scholarships, cancer center

LAWRENCE — Kansas Athletics Inc. will announce an unprecedented $1 million donation over the next four years for University of Kansas academic scholarships and the KU Cancer Center at a presentation during the KU-Baylor men’s basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Athletics will commit $200,000 a year for academic scholarships on the Lawrence campus and $50,000 a year to support the cancer center. This is believed to be the first donation of this kind by athletics to the university.

“We tell our student athletes that we are part of a great public university and that athletics has a responsibility to support our university’s mission and aspirations,” said KU Athletics Director Lew Perkins.

“This contribution is our way of showing that commitment. We support KU’s mission to help deserving students get a first-rate education and to build a world-class cancer center for the Heartland. We hope our gift will encourage others to do the same.”

Perkins will be joined for the half-time presentation by Chancellor Robert Hemenway, Lawrence campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David Shulenburger, KU Medical Center Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara Atkinson and Roy Jensen, director of the KU Cancer Center.

Perkins said the $1 million will come from the new adidas and ESPN contracts that Kansas Athletics successfully negotiated during the past year.

In September, Hemenway announced that the university’s top priority is to provide the region with a world-class cancer center that will achieve designation as a National Cancer Institute cancer center. A combination of university, state and private funds are essential to support the initiative.

“The success of our academic enterprise and our cancer center initiative both require a strong institutional commitment,” said Hemenway. “I’m proud that our athletic department wants to step up to the plate, and that Lew and his staff recognize and support these important endeavors of the university.”

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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