K-State Salina receives largest grant in university history

Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 11:37 AM CDT
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SALINA, Kan. (WIBW) - K-State Salina has received the largest corporate grant in the history of Kansas State University.

Kansas State University says the Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus will launch a revitalization plan for the aerospace teaching and research facilities thanks to a new grant from California-based company General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. It said the company’s $10 million gift also marks the largest corporate gift to an academic program in K-State history.

With the gift, K-State said the Salina campus will create the General Atomics Aerospace Innovation Ramp - a first in its aerospace history. It said the ramp will encompass the southernmost part of the campus and transform its footprint to revitalize land that was home to former Schilling Air Force Base.

K-State said the ramp will also enhance its learning environment to meet the needs of the ever-changing aerospace industry. Eventually, it said the ramp will make the campus one of the premier learning spaces in the country or aerospace education.

According to the university, the ramp will include the area west of Scanlan Ave. and north of Beechcraft Rd. It said the master plan calls for the space to also eventually house the Kansas Advanced Simulation Center, the K-State Salina Advanced Air Mobility Center of Excellence, Aviation Maintenance Training Center, Advanced Composites Lab and a state-of-the-art engineering teaching facility and model factory.

K-State noted that U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) was one of the many public representatives that played an integral role in the new space.

“K-State Salina is a leader in educating pilots, and this partnership with General Atomics will help the Aerospace and Technology Campus expand and grow its operations,” Sen. Moran said. “General Atomics’ investment in K-State is a testament to the university’s education program and an investment in the future of American aviation.”

K-State also indicated that General Atomics has been a trusted partner of the Salina campus. Since 2017, it said they have collaborated on projects to advance the industry.

CEO Linden Blue said he is excited about what the General Atomics Aerospace Ramp will provide to the current challenges the industry faces.

“We have been working with K-State Salina for several years and recognize that now is the time to invest in the Aerospace and Technology campus,” Blue said. “Their campus has a laser-focused vision to be a leader in aerospace and technology, and we are ready to support them in this vision. As General Atomics looks to the future of the aerospace industry, we are proud to have K-State Salina as our educational partner.”

K-State said it is focused on meeting the entire spectrum of career entry points and workforce needs for a niche industry. For the last three years, it said it has discussed with industry partners to find future workforce needs and has worked to adjust offerings for the needs of the future. It said the new campus master plan and planned developments will anchor the teaching and research for new programs in years to come.

“The General Atomics Innovation Ramp will set the Aerospace and Technology Campus apart from many other aerospace-focused institutions through the research and education it will provide,” said K-State President Richard Linton. “The new ramp will foster K-State Salina’s 2030 strategic initiatives and commitment to the residents of Kansas and this region. Not only will this space elevate how our Aerospace and Technology Campus trains future leaders, but it also is a testament to K-State’s mission to elevate the quality of education at this campus and the university as a whole.”

For more information about the Innovation Ramp, click HERE.