Wichita State News
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Thanks to a $3 million commitment from Velma Wallace, the Engineering Research Building at Wichita State will be renamed Donald L. Beggs Hall after WSU's outgoing president.

WSU building renamed in honor of Donald Beggs

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Kansas Board of Regents has unanimously approved renaming the Engineering Research Building at Wichita State University to Donald L. Beggs Hall. The action was taken during the Regents monthly meeting Wednesday, June 20, and will be effective July 1.

Donald L. Beggs
Donald L. Beggs
The building is being renamed, thanks to a $3 million commitment from Velma Wallace, widow of Dwane Wallace, who built Cessna Aircraft into a powerful aerospace company. Her gift will help pay for the bonds, which were used to construct the building.

“Dr. Beggs is most deserving for the tremendous impact he and Shirley have had, not only on our university, but also on our community,” said Velma Wallace. “Naming the engineering research building after Dr. Beggs is a testimony to his many contributions.”

“This is a wonderful gift from Velma in honor of her husband, Dwane,” said Ed McKechnie, chair of the Board of Regents. “The board appreciates the outstanding contributions that President Beggs and Cessna Aircraft have made to Wichita State. We really appreciate and notice the personal connection that President Beggs has had with students over the years, and this is a great way to honor that legacy.”

According to Elizabeth King, CEO and president of the WSU Foundation, Wallace wanted to recognize President Beggs in a special way.

Elizabeth King
Elizabeth King
“Her primary motivation was her respect for President Beggs and appreciation for his leadership at Wichita State,” said King. “Due to their long-term friendship, it is especially meaningful that Beggs Hall is adjacent to Wallace Hall.”

Wallace Hall’s namesake, Dwane Wallace, was one of the founding members and first president of the WSU Endowment Association, which has since been renamed the WSU Foundation.

“I have profound admiration for Velma’s generosity and her acknowledgement of President Beggs’ impact on WSU,” said King. “This gift will benefit the university for many years to come.”

Incoming WSU president John Bardo said: “Don made a lasting difference in this university during his tenure. The quality of academic programs increased, the campus physical plant improved, and the university’s mission was developed and implemented with care.

John Bardo
John Bardo
“Don has been a great ambassador for the university, both in the state and nationally. He is highly respected among his peers and I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to follow him in this role.

“The action of the Board of Regents and the wonderful gift by Velma Wallace are a fitting tribute to one of the best leaders in the history of this university,” said Bardo.

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Created on Monday, June 25, 2012; Last modified on Tuesday, July 24, 2012