Chamberlain leaves $650,000 to Kansas

By Doyle Murphy, The Capital-Journal, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2003

LAWRENCE Wilt Chamberlain gave Kansas 29.9 points and 18.9 rebounds per game during his playing career. Four years after his death, he has given KU something else $650,000.

Dale Seurferling, president of the KU Endowment Association, announced Thursday night through a press release that the gift from Chamberlain's estate would create four funds in his name for scholarships, KU men's and women's athletics and a Special Olympics clinic.

The largest portion of the gift, $300, 000, will establish a fund for KU men's basketball, the interest paying for one scholarship per year. Another $100,000 will pay for a scholarship to be given in to a senior volleyball or women's basketball player. alternating each year. Chamberlain's donation will also include $150,000 to finance the annual basketball clinic at KU for the Special Olympics. There will also be a need-based scholarship, created by a $100,000 gift from Chamberlain's estate.

Chamberlain played at KU from 1957-58, leading the Jayhawks to Big Seven championships. He scored a school-record 52 points in his first game at KU, and is widely regarded as one the best basketball players ever.

After a 30-year absence, Chamberlain returned to KU in 1998 to have his No. 13 jersey retired. KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway sat next to Chamberlain when he returned and said it was emotional event for the 7-footer.

"It was clear to me in talking to him," Hemenway said after displaying an over-sized, $650,000 check at halftime, "That he had a special place in his heart for KU."