Welcome Center receives $1 million donation

Jeff Williams

The Washburn Foundation received a generous $1 million gift last week from Mike and Belinda McPherson to go toward the renovations at the Welcome Center.

As local Topekans, the McPhersons are highly involved in projects and advancement at Washburn, and have aided in multiple projects including the renovation of Lee Arena in 2000. They are also involved members of the Washburn community and strive to better the experiences students receive.

The donation helps fund various elements of the Welcome Center, such as the Student One-Stop. This center provides services that allow students to apply for admission, meet with advisors to discuss their academic and professional careers, and learn more about and apply for scholarships and financial aid.

It also assisted in the funding of the Ichabod Plaza, outside the front doors of Morgan Hall, laid with bricks with the names of supporters of the construction and renovations.

Mike McPherson is the co-owner of McPherson’s Contractors, Inc., founded in Topeka in 1972 by himself and his brother, Bruce. McPherson’s manages construction projects throughout Kansas and neighboring states.

Belinda McPherson taught and coached at Washburn in the 1970s. In 2007, Washburn created the Belinda McPherson scholarship fund to help future students attend Washburn.

With their donation, the McPhersons are pleased to aid such a large project that will help students attending a university that provides so much to the community. They believe in the strength and dedication of Washburn, and hope that their donation will help and inspire students.

Washburn relies on generous donations from individuals like the McPhersons to improve the foundations of learning and provide students with a welcoming environment.

The Morgan Hall and Welcome Center dedication is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 23, during Washburn’s 150th Grand Homecoming celebration.