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College of Human Ecology

Topeka home economics leader establishes scholarship at K-State

Friday, November 11, 2005

MANHATTAN , KAN. - The estate of Anita K. Laurent, founding member of the Topeka ( Kan. ) Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, has made a gift of $200,000 to the Kansas State University Foundation Changing Lives Campaign to establish the Anita K. Laurent Scholarship in Human Ecology.

The purpose of the scholarship at K-State is to provide financial assistance to deserving full-time students enrolled in the College of Human Ecology . To be eligible to apply for the scholarship, students must have earned academic standing of sophomore or above and maintained a B or better grade average.

Beginning in fall 1974, and continuing through spring 2005, the Topeka Association of Family and Consumer Sciences had administered the scholarship trust and awarded more than $400,000 to students at Kansas State University and Pittsburg State University . In 2004, members in the association voted to divide the remaining assets - which had grown to more than $400,000 - to honor Anita K. Laurent's legacy with an endowed scholarship in her name at each university.

Laurent was a long-time resident of Topeka . In 1909, she began teaching at the Harrison School in Topeka . In 1911, she took a leave of absence to study home economics at Kansas State College at Pittsburg , Kan. In 1912, she returned to Topeka to teach at the Lafayette School and continued teaching home economics in the Topeka school system for 34 years, retiring in 1944.

Laurent was highly respected in the Topeka community and a consummate home economist. She died April 5, 1973 in Topeka . A friend remembered her by saying, "Anita was always extremely proud of her heritage and well known for being outspoken and standing up for her principles, which were generally right."

"The Anita K. Laurent Scholarship in Human Ecology will provide important financial support for deserving students," said Carol Kellett, dean of the College of Human Ecology . "We are proud to honor the legacy of Anita Laurent as an outstanding professional and pay tribute to her leadership by awarding this scholarship to students who are fulfilling their goal of a college degree."

The KSU Foundation's Changing Lives Campaign for Kansas State University is a comprehensive $500 million campaign that will infuse new funds into virtually every dimension of the university. The KSU Foundation coordinates fundraising efforts with alumni, friends, corporations and foundations to secure private support for Kansas State University.

This article was posted on Friday, November 11, 2005, and is filed under College News.