Archive for Thursday, January 20, 2011

Basehor educators provide for KU scholarships as part of estate gift

January 20, 2011

Two longtime Basehor educators have provided for three Kansas University scholarships as part of a $780,000 estate gift.

Ward L. and Irene Neis Kiester lived in Basehor, where Ward was a longtime school administrator and Irene taught high school for 25 years. Ward was inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame in 1978.

Ward died in 1983 and Irene died in 2008. He received two degrees from KU, a bachelor’s degree in 1930 and a master’s in European history in 1932. Irene received a bachelor’s degree in education from KU in 1941.

Two of the three scholarships will be named for Ward and Irene, and a third will be named for the couple’s son, Ward L. Kiester II, a 1972 KU alumnus who died in a 1972 car accident.

“This is an incredibly important gift for students at the University of Kansas,” KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little said in a news release. “Endowed scholarships such as these help KU students in perpetuity. This particular gift is even more meaningful, as it reflects Ward and Irene Kiester’s lifelong and steadfast devotion to education.”

Using funds from their estate, the two educators also provided $75,000 to the Basehor United Methodist Church and $75,000 to the Basehor-Linwood school district to endow two scholarship funds.

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