Estate gift continues alumni’s lifelong support of K-State
By Hayli Morrison
Kansas State University athletics has been a strong tradition for the Koger family since 1946, when John Koger, Sr. first began purchasing football season tickets. The family also held season passes to K-State basketball games, and eventually paid $500 for lifelong rights to six seats at the football stadium’s 50-yard line.
“We went when nobody else was there,” daughter Barbara Keck said of her football memories. “Sometimes I felt sorry for the players in the second half.”
Though the family patriarch passed away in May 2014, his legacy will live on at K-State through a planned gift in his trust. Koger’s estate gift has established the John and Thurza Koger Business Administration Scholarship, the John and Thurza Koger Family Athletic Scholarship and supported construction of the Berney Family Welcome Center.
As products of the Great Depression who struggled to pay for their own schooling, John and Thurza Koger agreed on the importance of scholarship support for K-State students. The couple met at K-State and married quickly, with John working three jobs while attending school. In decades to come, multiple children and grandchildren would follow in their footsteps and become K-State alumni.
“We were told we could go to school somewhere else — he just wouldn’t pay for it,” Keck said, recalling her dad’s approach to negotiating college costs with his children.
The football program is a lot better these days and six stadium seats cost a bit more than $500, but there is one constant — the Koger name continues to support a better K-State.