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Rhea and Pat Serpan

Changing lives: By supporting faculty, students and facilities at K-State.

K-State connection: Pat earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1959 before earning a physical therapy certificate through studies at the University of Kansas and the KU School of Medicine. Rhea finished his degree in electrical engineering mid-semester in 1960 at K-State.

Lifetime givers: The Serpans have made gifts in part to enhance the university’s ability to hire the best faculty, improve facilities in the College of Engineering and establish scholarships for pre-health and engineering majors. Their gifts have created or enhanced the G. Rhea Serpan Engineering Faculty of Distinction Chair, the Patricia Smith Serpan Pre-Physical Therapy Scholarship, the Serpan Family Engineering Lobby in Durland Hall, the Serpan Family Scholarship in engineering, the Engineering Dean’s Enhancement Fund, the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Discretionary Fund, Tradition Founders Fund and the KSU Alumni Association and Alumni Center.

Active Involvement: The Serpans continue to be actively involved in supporting their alma mater, returning four or five times a year. Rhea and Pat are trustees of the KSU Foundation and Rhea serves on the K-State Alumni Association Board of Directors. Rhea also serves on the College of Engineering Advisory Council and is recognized as one of the founders in the College of Engineering Seaton Society. They enjoy meeting other K-Staters who live in the California area and sharing success stories from Manhattan.

Why they gave: “We wanted to figure out a way to target our gifts in areas that are important to us and also useful to K-State,” Rhea said. “The giving-back phase of our life started in the early 1980s when our son, Mike, attended K-State. Our involvement as K-State alumni really started at that time.”

Inspiring others: “K-State does so much with the resources it has, but it really requires K-Staters and Kansans to step up and drive the resources necessary to help continue to produce the types of graduates that K-State is known for,” Rhea said.