MANHATTAN – Two organizations teamed up recently to renew a community partnership.
First Infantry Division and Fort Riley leaders joined with Kansas State University officials Aug. 28 to renew a university-to-military community partnership. The partnership resolution signing was led by Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, commanding general, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley, and Kirk Schulz, K-State president.
Funk thanked Schulz for looking for new ways to integrate the “Big Red One” and Fort Riley into the university and community. This was the fourth partnership renewal since 2008, and Schulz said he looked forward to taking the relationship to new heights.
Before the signing, retired Lt. Col. Art DeGroat, K-State director of military affairs, talked about the relationship between the university and the post.
K-State is the fifth most strategically postured land-grant public university to serve active-military students, DeGroat said. About 27,000 service members live within a 90.3-mile radius of the main campus. That increases by more than 40,000 with Family members. The other top five colleges most strategically postured to serve military students include North Carolina State, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State University and Colorado State University.
More than 24,300 people from all 50 states and more than 100 countries attend school at K-State, and Schulz said 11 to 12 percent of them are connected in some way to Fort Riley.
“One of our goals within the K-State 2025 plan is to expand our recognition as a top military-inclusive university,” Schulz said.
“This latest renewal of our partnership with Fort Riley is a crucial part in becoming a Top-50 public research university by 2025. The partnership will help us continue providing services and programs to meet the needs of our students, Soldiers and community.”
Funk said the partnership also is one of the objectives of the division.
“Strengthening, building and nurturing our exclusive partnerships, with both our community and the university, are essential to meet the goal set forth in our 2020 Campaign Plan and what continues to make the 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley a great place to come home to,” Funk said.
A formal institutional partnership between K-State and the 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley was first established by Jon Wefald, former K-State president, and Maj. Gen. Robert E. Durbin, former commanding general, 1st Inf. Div. and Fort Riley, in April 2008. The agreement was designed to serve as a model university-to-military institutional partnership.
The latest partnership renewal sets the following objectives:
• Serve as a model university-to-military institutional partnership
• Leverage both organization’s diverse cultures to develop alternate ideas and improved approaches to challenges of mutual interest, focusing on the areas of professional development, quality of life, transition and Family well-being and resiliency
• Organize, support and participate in innovative opportunities and programs to serve the constituent communities and teams
• Improve the efficiency of each organization’s resource stewardship, management and sustainment through cooperation to the extent permitted by law and regulation.