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University Relations

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Oct. 24, 2008
Contact: Todd Cohen, University Relations, (785) 864-8866.

KU, Coca-Cola agree to contract that supports scholarships, student services

LAWRENCE — A new contract between Coca-Cola and the University of Kansas will pump $12 million over the next decade into scholarships, student services and other campus support.

KU and Coca-Cola recently agreed to a second 10-year contract that continues the soft drink company’s role as the exclusive beverage provider on KU’s Lawrence campus and its Edwards Campus in Overland Park. The agreement follows the initial 10-year contract between KU and Coke originally reached in 1997.

“The benefits of this partnership will be spread throughout the campuses and will help enhance both the student and staff experience at KU,” said KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway. “This contract with Coca-Cola enables us to offer many good programs, from campus recycling to the valued scholarships for the children of faculty and staff.”

In addition to the Coca-Cola merit scholarships for the dependents of KU benefits-eligible faculty and staff, the contract proceeds will fund National Merit, National Achievement and National Hispanic scholarships as well as university and student program support, said Theresa Gordzica, chief financial officer at KU. That includes support for the KU student union programming and Olympic sports programs in athletics. Funds from the first contract helped jump-start a new student recycling program that continues to operate today.

Under the new contract, the university receives $8 million for the exclusive pouring rights with the remainder coming from proceeds from sales on campus. KU established an endowment fund when the initial contract was signed and spends only the interest generated from the account so programs can be supported beyond the life of any contract.

Since 1998, the Coca-Cola Merit Scholarships have been awarded every semester to a total of 1,882 children or dependents of benefits-eligible KU staff or faculty members. Incoming freshmen who qualify receive $1,000 awards. Returning students receive $1,000 or lower amounts depending on grade-point averages. To be eligible, incoming freshmen must have a minimum composite ACT score of 24 and a 2.5 GPA or an ACT score of 21 and a 3.0 GPA. Scholarship winners must be full-time undergraduate students enrolled in at least 12 credit hours.

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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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