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Grant to help form network of cancer care providers

A new professorship funded through a $1 million gift will help KU coordinate a statewide network of cancer care providers that will reach out to patients battling cancer.

Capitol Federal Foundation of Topeka made the contribution to KU Endowment to create the Capitol Federal Masonic Distinguished Professorship in Cancer. The person named to the position will be the statewide medical director for the KU Cancer Center.

The Capitol Federal Foundation, KU Endowment and the Kansas Masonic Foundation announced the creation of the professorship at a ceremony in Topeka. The professorship counts toward the $15 million goal of the Kansas Masonic Foundation's Partnership for Life fundraising campaign. The campaign, which has raised more than $8.5 million, supports cancer research at KU and will assist the KU Cancer Center in its goal to achieve designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.

The interest earned on the professorship fund will be eligible for matching support by the state of Kansas through the Kansas Partnership for Faculty of Distinction program, which was created by the Kansas Legislature in the 1999-2000 legislative session.

Jeff Sowder, president of Kansas Masonic Foundation, said the gift is an important show of statewide support for the KU Cancer Center.

"This is a significant demonstration of Capitol Federal's commitment to Kansas," he said. "In addition, this speaks to how important the KU Cancer Center is to the care of Kansas residents.

"An overriding tenet of Masonry is performing 'Service to All Mankind.' There is no better way to serve than to help in the fight against cancer. Capitol Federal Foundation's gift will make a tremendous and immediate impact to Kansans with cancer."

The statewide medical director will report to the KU Cancer Center director, Roy Jensen, and will be responsible for defining and stimulating the comprehensive cancer strategy statewide. The director will extend oncology expertise to physicians and patients across the heartland.

"This gift fits a long tradition of supporting cancer research, the Masonic mission and KU's educational outreach," said John C. "Jack" Dicus, chairman of Capitol Federal Savings and Capitol Federal Foundation. "Capitol Federal Foundation stepped up when this opportunity arose to provide a gift that will support research to rid our state and nation of this disease. Our gift for the creation of this professorship is a perfect fit to Capitol Federal's tradition of serving its communities. We thank KU Endowment and the Kansas Masonic Foundation for their leadership in this effort to improve the lives of families to be served in the KU Cancer Center."

The gift will be managed by KU Endowment.

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February 5, 2007 : Vol. 31, No. 10

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