First ESU bell-ringing of 2014 celebrates $360,000 in donations, improvements

The "town and gown" relationship between Emporia State and the Emporia community had a visible boost Friday with ESU's first bell-ringing ceremony of the year.

The Trusler Foundation was involved in both overall goals, donating $25,000 to improvements at the Trusler Sports Complex and $100,000 to the ESU School of Business. Board of Trustees chair Mark Schreiber was pleased with the result.

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The School of Business gift matches $100,000 donated last fall by Dale and Carolyn Davis to set up a fund for marketing efforts. The Trusler Complex gifts will renovate a softball field dugout and help build a ticket booth.

The other gift being celebrated: $230,000 from the city of Emporia to pave the Trusler Complex parking lot. Mayor Rob Gilligan says there has always been talk of partnerships between the city and university. This, he says, is evidence of the partnership at work.

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ESU Athletics Senior Director for Development Shane Shively says this was a special day for Emporia and for ESU.

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School of Business Dean Dr. Kristie Ogilvie says the Trusler Foundation contributions will help promote the school and also celebrate the academic excellence it is known for.

All the gifts are part of the Now & Forever campaign, which is now at $24 million raised -- over halfway to the goal of $45 million. ESU has been ringing Silent Joe to signal major fundraising announcements since last spring.

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