A winding route to K-State and philanthropy

Dr. Mike Esau and family use matching funds to create a K-State Family Scholarship for veterinary medicine students.

Campaign Themes:

“My K-State experience positively influenced my entire life … I received a quality education that has afforded me a rewarding career, which at this point is long from being over.” — Mike Esau, D.V.M.


Mike Esau never planned to become a veterinarian. While growing up on an Inman, Kansas, farm, he dreamed about becoming a photographer. But his custom harvest crew boss noticed how curious Mike was of the animals on the harvest tour and suggested he apply to Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Mike did apply and following hard work and graduation, practiced in Wetmore, Kansas, and later in Topeka.

With two sons now K-State alumni, Mike has found his way back to the university. Mike and his wife, Beth, created a scholarship for students in the College of Veterinary Medicine via the Vanier K-State Family Scholarship matching fund.

“My K-State experience positively influenced my entire life … I received a quality education that has afforded me a rewarding career, which at this point is long from being over,” Mike said.

Though the Esaus had long planned to give to K-State, the availability of the matching funds led them to invest in K-State family now.

“We appreciate Mary Vanier's generosity, which enables our dollars to go further toward the benefit of veterinary students,” Mike said. “We hope our scholarship will free students from working so many hours outside of class in order to graduate, get a job, pay off their debts and not be saddled with a lifetime of debt in order to get a college education.”

New gifts of $30,000 are matched with $30,000 from the seed fund, for a total gift of $60,000. $10,000 goes into an expendable fund, making $2,000 scholarships available to be awarded to students immediately. The remaining $50,000 goes into the endowment, ensuring future generations of Wildcats will receive scholarships as well.

Learn more about how you can take advantage of matching opportunities through the K-State Family Scholarship Program at ksufoundation.org/family, or contact John Morris, senior vice president of development via email or 785-532-7587.

This gift supports Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas State University to raise $1.4 billion to propel Kansas State University toward becoming a top 50 public research university by 2025.

 Mike and Beth Esau with friend in the Flint Hills