KU Endowment

Alumni couple create scholarship for Hutchinson students

Wed, 08/13/2014

LAWRENCE — University of Kansas alumni Charles and Sharon Kimbell like their hawks, including not only KU Jayhawks, but also Hutchinson High School Salthawks.

The Kimbells, of Hutchinson, have made a $435,000 gift to establish a renewable scholarship for graduates of Hutchinson High School who are inbound KU freshmen. One new recipient will be selected each year, and the scholarship, which will provide $5,000 per student per year, eventually will support four students concurrently.

Charles Kimbell earned a bachelor’s degree in business in 1954. He owned a fire and casualty insurance company in Hutchinson and retired in 1990. Sharon Lynch Kimbell earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1958 and is a former teacher. Both are second-generation Jayhawks.

“We have fond memories of KU, and we hope that this scholarship will help some really good young people from Hutchinson be able to attend KU,” said Sharon Kimbell. “We have all been so proud of Hutchinson High School, and we very much love our KU. It is our privilege to be able to do this.”

Sharon Kimbell grew up in Salina; her husband and their two children in Hutchinson. Their son, Michael Kimbell, earned a bachelor’s degree in business in 1987 and an MBA in 1991; and their daughter, Katherine Kimbell Almanza, earned a bachelor’s degree in theatre and media arts in 1988. Their son-in-law, Dan Almanza, also graduated from Hutchinson High School and from KU, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in art history.

“With so many KU degrees among them, they are a true Jayhawk family, and their generous gift will help Salthawks continue their academic careers as Jayhawks,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “It’s a great example of giving back to the community, and I want to thank Charles and Sharon for enabling more Hutchinson students to become leaders by attending the University of Kansas.”

Dayton LaMunyon, a 2014 graduate of Hutchinson High School, is the first recipient of the  Charles and Sharon Kimbell Family Scholarship.

The Kimbells have extended their generosity to other areas of KU, including KU Athletics, the Lied Center of Kansas and the University Theatre. They are life members of the Chancellors Club at the Mount Oread Society level. The Chancellors Club is KU Endowment’s premier giving organization. They also are members of the Elizabeth M. Watkins Society, which recognizes individuals who have developed an estate plan or other deferred gift arrangement with KU Endowment to benefit the university.

The gift counts toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. Far Above seeks support to educate future leaders, advance medicine, accelerate discovery and drive economic growth to seize the opportunities of the future.

The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

Without a Wounded Warrior scholarship, Timothy Hornik probably wouldn’t be at KU pursuing a doctoral degree in therapeutic sciences. And he definitely wouldn’t have led the Pledge of Allegiance during President Barack Obama’s visit to the university in January — a moment he will never forget. Hornik, a retired Army officer, lost his sight while serving as an air defense artillery platoon leader in Iraq. The Wounded Warrior Educational Initiative, launched at KU in 2008, provides financial support and specialized training to help injured veterans and their family members pursue advanced degrees. With his education, Hornik plans to counsel soldiers through trauma. “All of the opportunities and services I’ve received originated from the efforts of someone else paying it forward or back,” he says. “I simply hope to continue this cycle and change the lives of others.” Learn more about the Wounded Warrior Scholarship:

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