R. Lee and Barbara Harris see teachers as the unsung heroes of our society and were concerned by the limited scholarship choices available at K-State for prospective teachers.
In 1999, Lee and Barb founded the Tomorrow’s Teacher Scholarship Program in an effort to help young people of Kansas realize their desire to pursue careers in teaching. While neither were teachers, their philanthropy stems from a desire to touch as many lives as possible in a positive way. A single Tomorrow’s Teacher recipient might teach as many as 500 to 1,000 young people over the course of a career. Multiply this by the number of Tomorrow’s Teacher graduates and thousands of lives have been beneficially impacted.
Between 1999 and 2019,
students have graduated as Tomorrow’s Teacher scholars from K-State.
Barbara C. Blatz
Barbara C Blatz and her husband John were dedicated to promoting educational initiatives in the communities where they lived including Kansas City, Topeka and Colorado Springs. Barbara worked closely with Lee and Barb Harris in support of the Tomorrow's Teacher Scholarship Program. Barbara Blatz was stricken with brain cancer and passed away on March 19, 2003.
The Barbara C. Blatz Award will serve as a legacy for Mrs. Blatz to promote the education of Kansans who wish to become teachers and ultimately the education of scores of young people taught by these teachers.
Elvon & Lydia Skeen
Lydia and Elvon Skeen's dedication to teaching and providing educational opportunities to students was evident in their actions throughout their lives. Always loyal to Kansas State University, and having no children of their own, the Skeens felt a gift to K-State would allow a large number of students to continue to benefit from their life's work.
Working with KSU Foundation staff, the Skeens established the single largest commitment ever provided to K-State's College of Education. The Elvon G. and Lydia E. Skeen Education Fund, which will accrue over $1 million in endowed funds, is used to provide scholarships for outstanding College of Education students.