Kansas Wesleyan University has received a $1M gift from Sunflower Bank for a comprehensive campus-wide technology infrastructure upgrade. The university has awarded the project to Nex-Tech, a Lenora, Kansas-based technology company.
The gift will cover the majority of a $1.2M contract with Nex-Tech that will include installation and maintenance of a one-gigabit fiber network, linking residence halls, administrative and academic buildings with an advanced, secure, managed IP infrastructure. The robust high-speed network will accommodate advanced data and voice services campus wide, including a state-of-the-art wireless network accessible to students, faculty and staff.
“This is an exciting day for Kansas Wesleyan University,” said President and CEO Matt Thompson, Ph.D. “This is a perfect collaboration between two institutions that have been integral to the Salina community for more than a century and a regional company with tremendous capabilities to move our campus forward. This initiative will open new doors to expand our online and distance education opportunities as well as enhance the student experience.”
The gift will also allow the university to expand its KWU Everywhere initiative. KWU Everywhere, the university’s unit that encompasses global experiential learning through the Center for Global Service Learning, as well as KWU Online and distance education opportunities, opens educational access to students across the state, the country and the world.
Mollie Hale Carter, president and CEO of Sunflower Bank, and Jimmy Todd, CEO and general manager of Nex-Tech, joined Dr. Thompson at a press conference on Wednesday, April 8, on the Kansas Wesleyan University campus to share the news.
“We are thrilled to sponsor this technology upgrade for KWU,” said Ms. Carter, “This partnership perfectly fits our company mission of Bringing out the best in the lives we touch… Creating Possibility. Strengthening our communities through educational access is a possibility that is nearing reality, and together with Kansas Wesleyan we look forward to seeing the difference this will make for students in the communities we serve across Kansas and Colorado.”
Sunflower Bank and its parent Sunflower Financial, Inc., a $1.7-billion community bank based in Salina, KS, supports 34 branch locations throughout Kansas, Colorado and Missouri.
As part of the agreement, Nex-Tech is making a $150,000 in-kind donation to KWU in support of the Graves Family Sports Complex construction project.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with KWU on this exciting technology project,” stated Mr. Todd. “With this layered network technology investment, Kansas Wesleyan will be providing its students and faculty the very best broadband experience possible.”
Nex-Tech construction and upgrade activities on the campus are scheduled to begin this spring, with completion expected in the fourth quarter.
“This gift will change the infrastructure of our campus,” said Dr. Thompson. “We are grateful to Sunflower Bank for providing us the opportunity to make critical upgrades that will help us better support our students, faculty and staff. The generous support Nex-Tech is providing for the new Graves Family Sports Complex not only enhances our student experience, it enriches the experience of our visitors and neighbors who utilize the facility.”