Spirit of the Gift Biography Project

Histories of the men and women behind WSU's endowed funds

C. Howard Wilkins, Sr. Women's Softball Scholarship

A 1929 graduate of Yale University, C. Howard Wilkins Sr. was a dedicated sportsman and a major supporter of athletics. In addition to running a mile nearly every morning, he was an excellent squash player, competing worldwide and winning numerous national championships. Throughout life, he maintained admiration for the extra effort and mental toughness required for women to achieve excellence in sports. Many daughters of his family's friends participated in softball, basketball and crew at Wichita State University and Mr. Wilkins greatly enjoyed watching them compete.

In 1994, his three children, C. Howard Wilkins Jr., Robert Wilkins and Jane Gifford, established two scholarships in his name. Regarding their decision to create them at WSU, Rob Wilkins said, "Wichita State is an incredible asset to this community, and it consistently graduates students of great caliber. We are very glad to support WSU's efforts to assist students and to reward excellence in dad's honor." Rob Wilkins worked alongside his father at Prudential Securities where he is now senior vice president. C. Howard Wilkins Jr. has had several careers in politics, stockbrokerage and as an entrepreneur. Their father passed away in April 2003.