WSU professor receives first-time WSU Foundation fundraising award
Julie Bees, a professor in the Wichita State University School of Music, is the inaugural recipient of the WSU Foundation Faculty/Staff Fundraising Award. The award was established to recognize WSU faculty or staff members who have played a key role in cultivating and securing a major gift for Wichita State University.
“I am both honored and humbled to be recognized today for something that happened a couple of decades ago,” Bees said regarding the beginning of her relationship with Konrad and Ilse Bing Wolff. “It doesn’t feel like I did very much to deserve this award. What I did was listen to, appreciate and facilitate the donor’s wishes.”
WSU received a gift of $1.2 million culminating in June 2008 in major part because of Bees’ long-standing professional relationship with the Wolffs. The gift came from the estate of Bing Wolff for student support in chamber music.
“At the core of many significant charitable gifts are meaningful relationships,” said Michael Lamb, WSU Foundation vice president for planned and annual giving. “This was certainly the case in the relationships between Julie, Konrad and Ilse. Konrad was a teacher and mentor to Julie who was, in turn, a colleague and friend to Konrad and Ilse. The Wolffs chose to honor these relationships by including a gift in their estate plans to support the music program at WSU, where Julie has devoted much of her career.”
The Wolffs immigrated to the United States after being persecuted and interred as Jews during World War II. Part of their wealth, which eventually was directed to WSU, was reparation from the German government for the disruption of their lives.
As award recipient, Bees will receive $1,000, which will be used to help advance the good work she does for the university. She plans to use the money for her next international recital tour.