$3 million gift from J. Robert Young dedicated to WSU student success


Wichita State alumnus J. Robert Young has pledged a gift of $3 million to provide resources that will help students build successful careers. Of that total, $2 million will endow the J. Robert Young Executive-in-Residence Program in the W. Frank Barton School of Business. The remaining $1 million will support the Shocker Success Center project, which will consolidate 17 student services in Clinton Hall.

Young founded Alpine Bank, a Colorado financial institution, just 12 years after graduating from Wichita State and has grown the company to 39 locations throughout the state with about $6.2 billion in assets. In 2023, the bank will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

“The connections I made during my time at Wichita State inspired and motivated me to think boldly,” said Young. “I’m grateful for the experiences and opportunities I had throughout my college career to learn from industry executives, whose advice set me up for success in my own business.”

J. Robert Young

J. Robert Young

The Executive-in-Residence program in the W. Frank Barton School of Business brings in industry executives to mentor students, exchange ideas with faculty and help shape business education to reflect today’s work environments.

“What a privilege for the Barton School to place Bob Young’s name on its Executive-in-Residence program,” says Larisa Genin, dean of the W. Frank Barton School of Business. “In making this gift, Mr. Young is impacting today’s students in much the same way he was inspired and influenced as a WSU student by industry executives and business leaders.”

Young’s decision to dedicate $1 million of his gift to the Shocker Success Center reflects his long-held passion for helping individuals acquire the education they need to be successful in life. The J. Robert Young Learning Center in the Shocker Success Center will be home to WSU’s Writing Center, Math Lab, Physics Lab and Supplemental Instruction Services.

The 2015 recipient of the WSU Alumni Association’s Achievement Award, Young has earned many accolades for his business and philanthropic accomplishments.

“Bob Young has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to philanthropy throughout his life,” says Darin Kater, WSU Foundation vice president. “Wichita State is fortunate to be among the recipients of his generosity. We are deeply grateful for a gift that has the power to transform lives.”

Read more stories like this