Helping others the best honor of all
By Marisa Larson
He helped rebuild Kansas State University after a tornado destroyed many of the animal science department’s buildings in June 1966, and now the family and friends of Henry Gardiner are making sure his legacy continues. Gardiner’s sons, Mark, Greg and Garth, have established a scholarship and an excellence fund to bring guest speakers to K-State, in Henry’s name. Friends, family and customers of Gardiner’s are also contributing to these funds.
When Gardiner graduated from K-State in 1951, he brought home to the family beef cattle ranch in Ashland, Kan., the newest technology of the time — artificial insemination. That began a long and prosperous relationship between the Gardiner Angus Ranch and K-State. “The bottom line is, K-State has always been very important to our family,” Mark said. “We’ve done numerous research projects with them and when we’ve needed help, many of the folks in the Department of Animal Sciences and Industries were always there to help us. We appreciate all they’ve done for us.”
Henry Gardiner valued education and always thought it was important to help others, so that is why this scholarship fund and speaker series are such a fitting tribute.
“Dad was always a big proponent, as we are, of paying it forward. It’s nice to get an honor, but how can we give back?” Mark asked. “When we can pay it forward and help educate folks in the industry with the hope — and frankly the expectation — that they’ll help bring others along too, we can do a lot more good. It lives on forever that way.”
The Gardiner sons chose to honor their father, who is living with Alzheimer’s, through a Landon Lecture-type series for agriculture. Mark explained that they wanted to bring knowledge and exposure to K-State to benefit the students, the university and the greater agriculture community.
“It’s the K-State way to pay it forward, do it right, figure it out and get it done,” Mark said. “We’re proud to be K-State graduates. It’s not just another university, it’s a home away from home.”
If you would like to contribute to the scholarship fund, please click here.