RCW: Donor Spotlight 4.19
Dr. Richard and Cathy Werling of Ft. Scott, Kansas, have been members of the Williams Education Fund for the past 28 years. A former superintendent of the Ft. Scott school district, Richard received his Doctorate in Education from the University of Kansas in 1983. While his wife Cathy did not attend KU, they have both proven themselves as true Jayhawks by serving as Board members of the Tri-State Chapter of the Kansas University Alumni Association (KUAA).
The Werlings are a family of Jayhawks that began with Richard Werling Sr., who received a bachelor’s degree from KU in bacteriology. Both of Richard and Cathy’s children are also KU graduates. Rob has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting while Brett has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer engineering. Rob’s wife also attended KU, as did Brett’s wife, who earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering. In addition, three nieces and one nephew have also either attended or graduated from KU.
Dr. Werling stated, “The University of Kansas holds a treasured place in my heart. The education and experiences I gained while at the university prepared me for a fulfilling career for which I will always be grateful. It means sharing the name ‘Jayhawk’ with thousands of others who are, or were, fortunate enough to make that beautiful campus a part of our lives.”
When asked why they continue to support Kansas Athletics, they explained how, “In many ways, our student-athletes are the public face of our great university. The time and effort these students give to both their studies and their sport can best be described as admirable.”
Dr. Werling continued by saying that, “They give so much to our university. We feel it is important that we help support them, their coaches, and the athletic facilities that reflect our pride in our great university.”
Their pride is put on full display during their favorite KU tradition: “Swaying, while singing the Alma Mater with thousands of other Jayhawks.”
The Werlings decided to join the Williams Education Fund in 1991 due to it being, “One way for us to stay connected to KU. We want the best for our university, and that only happens when we all join together to support the university that we love. Athletics have the potential for bringing very positive attention to any university. We want our university to shine—not just for our top-notch academic reputation, but also for top-notch athletics.”
While they spread their support throughout a wide range of KU athletic programs, the Werlings are currently season-ticketholders in men’s basketball, baseball, football, softball, soccer and women’s basketball. With all of their support, it was exciting to learn that their favorite KU athlete is still former men’s basketball player, Frank Mason III. Having such a wide variety of games that they have attended throughout the years, the 2008 Orange Bowl held in Miami, Florida, was the most memorable for them. Having the opportunity to watch KU beat Virginia Tech was an “incredible experience!” Dr. Werling said.
When the Werlings were asked if they had the opportunity to see any five KU basketball players, from either the past or present, on the court playing together, who would it be? To make the scenario even more interesting, the Werlings were told they would be coaching that team and they also got to select the opponent they would face. They responded: “Danny Manning, Joel Embiid, Josh Jackson, Devonte’ Graham and Frank Mason III. We would play – and defeat – the University of Kentucky!”
To conclude, Dr. Werling left a fun fact about himself in regards to being a KU fan. He explained that, “I’ve been told by others that I love KU too much. My reply is always the same, ‘That’s not possible!'”
Rock Chalk, Dr. Werling and Cathy, and thank you for being featured in this edition of Rock Chalk Weekly’s Donor Spotlight!
For more information on the Williams Education Fund, including tickets, parking, premium seating, facility projects and special events, visit WilliamsFund.com.