MANHATTAN, Kan. – As construction continues on schedule for completion this summer of the latest enhancement of Bill Snyder Family Stadium, K-State President Kirk Schulz and Athletics Director John Currie today announced a major $2.9 million gift from longtime supporters Steve and Kay Theede benefitting both Phase IIIB of the BSFS Master Plan and the Ahearn Fund.
In recognition of the gift, which is the 26th seven-figure donation to the department since 2009, K-State Athletics will name the West Stadium Club Level the Steve and Kay Theede Club. A ceremony to honor the family and dedicate the newly-named Theede Club, in addition to a special on-field presentation, will take place surrounding a home football game this fall.
“Steve and Kay Theede’s longtime support of the entire Kansas State University family, including athletics and the College of Engineering, truly exemplifies the Wildcat spirit and will assist us in reaching the K-State 2025 goals,” said Schulz. “We are grateful and honored they have once again chosen to support the university in such a meaningful way.”
Steve said, “Kansas State means even more to me today than it did while I was in attendance. Kay and I both have great respect and confidence in the university’s leadership and are so proud of the successful trajectory we see in all areas. While Kay didn’t graduate from K-State, she said ‘I feel as though I’ve been adopted into the K-State family and am so grateful we are able to support the university and our great friends who lead it in a meaningful way.’”
They both agreed that they are proud to be counted alongside the other donors to the university, many of whom they have grown to know and respect as outstanding individuals.
The Theedes consider their main home to be Houston, Texas. They are Diamond members of the department’s Ahearn Fund and National Leadership Circle as well as strong benefactors of Kansas State’s College of Engineering including a recent $2 million gift to establish the Steven M. and Kay L. Theede Chair in Engineering, currently held by William Dunn, the department head for Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering. The couple also established the Theede Leadership Scholarship in the College of Engineering and are also serving as Co-Chairs of the College of Engineering Innovation and Inspiration Campaign Committee. Steve is a current member of the KSU Foundation Board of Directors and an Emeritus member of the K-State Engineering Advisory Council.
Steve is a 1974 graduate of Kansas State’s College of Engineering and has enjoyed a successful executive career in the international petroleum industry for more than 40 years including 30 years with Conoco, later ConocoPhillips. After retiring from ConocoPhillips he became CEO of Yukos – which at the time was Russia’s largest oil company.
“Since my arrival here at K-State Steve and Kay have become close friends, and even though they have spent their professional career outside the state of Kansas, they care deeply about the academic and athletic trajectory of Kansas State University,” said Currie. “Their gift and the fulfillment of our longtime goal of a 360-degree concourse and full stadium bowl will directly impact our students, fans and student-athletes and further testifies to K-State’s leadership position in the Big 12 Conference and full commitment to academic and athletic success at the highest level.”
The Theede gift now brings philanthropic support to almost 90 percent of the $15 million Phase IIIB goal, the latest component of what is now $210 million in athletics facility improvements at K-State during Currie’s tenure, all of which have been funded in a fiscally responsible manner through private support and without any university tuition, student fee or state tax dollars.
“We are all so very appreciative of Steve and Kay for their involvement in not only our football program but also the entire Kansas State University community,” added head coach Bill Snyder. “I have said so many times that Kansas State is about people who genuinely care and that certainly applies to the Theedes. They are wonderful friends and K-State family members.”
Kansas State University, the nation’s first operational land-grant institution and a Carnegie Foundation Tier One university, is recognized as one of America’s best colleges with world-class research and academic excellence. Philanthropic contributions to K-State are coordinated by the Kansas State University Foundation. The foundation staff works with university partners to build lifelong relationships with alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students through involvement and investment in the university.
Associate A.D. for Communications | K-State Athletics