A graduate's story

Former student body president reflects on the power of a study abroad scholarship, made possible by a planned gift.

"When you get immersed in the culture, you have to fend for yourself a bit. I gained a lot of independence doing that. I'm grateful for the generosity of the K-State family in helping make that possible for me." — Reagan Kays

Innovation and Inspiration Launch: Reagan Kays from KSU Foundation on Vimeo.


As Reagan Kays approached graduation last May, he noticed something.

More than his experience as Kansas State University’s student body president and even more than his internship with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, prospective employers wanted to know about his time spent studying in Brazil and the Czech Republic.

“The first thing employers talk to me about is study abroad,” he said. “It helps set me apart from other students.”

For a student from Weir, Kansas, who only used his passport once for a cruise vacation, it was quite an opportunity to study Brazilian agricultural economics and learn about agricultural research at the Czech University of Life Sciences.

Kays’ experiences were possible through charitable gifts created by university alumni and friends years before he arrived on campus. Endowed gifts like the Wolfe International Study Program Award have helped Kays and other students enrich their education by studying internationally year after year. Ruth Wolfe and her late husband, Roger, of Hiawatha, have supported the award for 20 years through annual gifts and supplemented it with a gift to K-State in their estate plans.

Now a law student at Georgetown University, Kays credits his study abroad experience with preparing him for the next step in life.

“When you get immersed in the culture, you have to fend for yourself a little bit,” he said. “I gained a lot of independence doing that. I’m grateful for the generosity of the K-State family in helping make that possible for me.”

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