Spirit of the Gift Biography Project

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

Zenda & Frank Carney Endowed Scholarship in Entrepreneurship

While attending the University of Wichita in 1958, brothers Frank and Dan Carney founded the very first Pizza Hut. For nearly 20 years, they rapidly grew the business to a culmination of 4,000 stores, which, in 1977, they sold to PepsiCo for $300 million. Subsequently, Frank Carney pursued a career with Papa John's Pizza and became president of Papa John's Wichita. While developing his franchise into one of the largest, internationally, Mr. Carney remained committed to his university of study as president of the former Endowment Association's board of governors, a member of the National Advisory Committee and as national co-chairman of the university's "Commitment to Excellence" campaign. Mr. Carney has been a highly regarded guest speaker for many workshops and classes and has provided support for several different areas of the university. In 1980, he received the Alumni Association's Achievement Award and was presented the Board of Trustees' Award in 1998.

"Lifelong learning is important, whether or not you're getting a degree," Mr. Carney once commented. In addition to establishing this endowed scholarship with his former wife, Zenda, he returned to WSU to complete his Bachelor of General Studies and mathematics in 2000. Zenda Carney also is a WSU graduate with a Bachelor of General Studies.