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KU alumnus leaves $2.4 million for scholarship support

George A. Daniels
George A. Daniels

A $2.4 million gift to KU Endowment from the estate of University of Kansas alumnus George A. Daniels has created an endowed scholarship for KU undergraduates. The renewable, unrestricted scholarship fund will benefit students with academic merit and financial need. It will cover the cost of in-state tuition, fees, books, and room and board.

Daniels, who lived in Baton Rouge, La., died in July 2011. As a teenager growing up on a farm near Smith Center, he dreamed of attending KU. When he received a letter saying he qualified for the Summerfield Scholarship, he knew his dream could come true. In 1955, he graduated from KU with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a job offer at a corporation where he would work until he retired at age 75. 

After graduating from KU, Daniels earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering at Louisiana State University. He became known as an expert in thermodynamics and reaction kinetics, and he held four patents dealing with chemical processes. Daniels, who taught thermodynamics courses at LSU, divided the bulk of his estate between KU and LSU. 

Daniels’ sister, Marian Montee, of Shawnee, said her brother always appreciated the scholarship support he received at KU. “Because he was a Summerfield Scholar, he was able to go to college, get an education and do all of this,” she said. 

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little expressed gratitude for the gift. “This is an outstanding example of how the generosity of one generation has inspired the next,” she said. “Solon Summerfield established the Summerfield Scholarship in 1929, and George Daniels followed this tradition by creating his own scholarship. We continue to celebrate a rich tradition of giving at this university, thanks to generations of appreciative and generous KU alumni and friends.”

The gift counts toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the comprehensive fundraising campaign scheduled for a public kickoff April 28.

KU Endowment is 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.

Michelle Keller

Assistant Vice President, Communications and Donor Relations 785-832-7336

Michelle Strickland

Media Relations 785-832-7363