The Kansas Masonic Foundation Classic Car Raffle is now open. Purchase tickets for your chance to win a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS!
A Tradition of Service
In the 1950s, the Grand Master of Kansas recommended the formation of a Foundation to ensure the permanence of Masonic charities throughout the State. As a social and philanthropic organization, Masonry was designed to help its members have more virtuous lives. It was with the intention to help the less fortunate, improve one’s life, and be remembered for the lasting legacies created on behalf of mankind.
The Kansas Masonic Foundation was created in the 1960s through the deliberate efforts of visionary Kansas Masons statewide. Pledging a lifetime commitment would be codified through organizational and initial philanthropic efforts.
The Kansas Masonic Foundation was created during the 110th session of the Grand Lodge of Kansas. The Foundation was officially chartered for educational, charitable, and scientific purposes. By-laws were adopted, and the inaugural Board of Directors and Trustees was appointed.
Multiple academic endeavors began in support of educational purposes.
- Seminars on American Studies were established at several Kansas college campuses.
- Honorariums were provided to university professors whose teachings embodied free enterprise.
- The establishment of student college grants and scholarships emerged as a key tenet in promoting the American way of life.
The 1970s marked a decade of expanding upon the fundamental objectives of the Foundation, committing to the charity of all mankind and not simply Masons.
Discussion emerged to work in partnership with Kansas University’s Cancer Center through the establishment of a position dedicated to chairing the research arm.
- An agreement was reached with the Kansas University Endowment, and a $25,000 financial commitment was forged.
- $5,000 was earmarked specifically for cancer research.
- The Foundation endowed a full-time Chair for a professor of oncology.
Funds were apportioned by the Foundation to refurbish the Cancer Clinic because of its role in cancer research, further funding the Center’s oncology nursing care program.
A landmark event of dedicating the KU Cancer Oncology Center in the monument to Kansas Masons occurred.
- Nearly $250,000 of assets had been donated by Masonic funds and memorials from endowment earnings.
The Kansas Masonic Foundation student scholarship program was expanded to support young adults participating in out-of-state collegiate programs.
The 1980s represented a time of growing Masonic charitable commitment, further highlighting the good work and endeavors done through the Fraternity’s early vision and resources.
Through the generosity of Kansas Masons, an elite cancer research program was emerging in Kansas City at Kansas University’s Medical Center, joining 40 cities nationwide in a comprehensive approach.
- Individual Masons were formally recognized publicly for their charitable giving in the fight against cancer.
Sponsorship of high school students in the All-Star High School Marching Band at the Annual Shrine Football Game was initiated, recognizing the unique talents of high school youth. Participation enhanced awareness of Masonic principles and charitable giving.
The 1990s were recognized as a period of stability, supporting college educational endeavors, scientific cancer research, and heightened charitable gifting, as seen through the monumental endorsement of identified programs and initiatives.
The Foundation shifted grant funding to cancer research, paving the way for a twenty-year effort to include a Chair in cancer research, Dole Prostate Cancer Research Fund, Morris Family Cancer Prevention and Psychosocial Oncology Endowment.
The Partnership for Life Campaign became an integral part of the Foundation’s work during the early 2000s, bookmarking a new millennium’s work of life-long, sustainable, charitable giving.
An additional $15 million was pledged to KU Cancer Research, highlighting 30 years of support by the Foundation.
- The “Partnership for Life” Campaign was initiated, raising $15 million to fund innovative research pilot projects, the Masonic Foundation Nurse Navigator Program and multiple professorships.
- The KU Cancer Research Center was renamed the Kansas Masonic Cancer Research Institute.
- Local Lodges began hosting cancer screening outreach clinics, and their charitable efforts received wider recognition for the good works and generosity of the Masonic Brotherhood.
Student collegiate scholarships began in the early ‘70s and had reached $2 million since program inception. The notion of advancing education had taken a foothold in our State, resulting in broader knowledge and collaborations.
- Overall, donor recognition programs like the 1980s “C Club” had grown significantly.
- Heritage Club awards were frequently named through planned gifting contained in the wills and trusts of Kansas Masons.
The 2010s marked a decade of expanded partnerships with local lodges, crucial in sustaining community initiatives while expanding the Foundation’s statewide charitable presence. A renewed focus was instilled in the Kansans and Kansas communities.
Within its first seven years, Lodges had held more than 50 cancer screening clinics in 47 Kansas towns, impacting 3,000 Kansans through this service.
The creation of the Kansas Masonic Foundation Charities Program occurred, strengthening the Fraternity’s ability to provide care and key services to Masons, their families, and the community during critical times of need.
- A Lodge Matching Funds Program was created for worthy community initiatives at a 100 percent match rate in an effort to bolster crucial local charitable commitments.
- The creation of a Fulfilling Our Obligation Campaign enabled a funding source to help Kansas Brother Masons and their widows in times of financial need.
We launched the 50th Anniversary Program, raising over $20 million to support key initiatives, working in collaboration with statewide universities.
- Funded the first Kansas State University (KSU) Kansas Masonic Entrepreneurial Challenge, acknowledging the business and public service creativity in our State’s future business leaders.
- Partnered with KSU’s Military Affairs Innovation Center, serving as a one-stop shop in directing our Veterans to critical support services during times of need.
- Joined KSU in delivering the Kansas Community Empowerment (PRIDE) Program, catalyzing community empowerment. Education offered to local jurisdictions showcasing ways their communities can be better places to work and live.
- Collaborated with Emporia State University (ESU) by establishing the Masonic Literacy Center, reinforcing the value of early childhood learning and development as pivotal in future success.
- Partnered with Fort Hays State University’s (FHSU) Statewide Hearing Clinic to address the needs of those with unique communication disorders.
Establishment of the Masonic Cancer Alliance at the KU Cancer Research Center. Pledged $500,000 to Shriners St. Louis Hospital for Children, demonstrating ongoing support for children (and their families) with catastrophic disabilities.
This decade further embodies the pioneer spirit of Kansas, highlighting the innovative nature of its citizens while recognizing the power of leadership in accomplishing acts of significance on behalf of the broader good.
Creation of the Masonic Cancer Alliance Mobile Screening “Van” fostering local service access in communities where crucial services were otherwise non-existent.
Decades-long commitment to KU Cancer research has now exceeded $35 million.
Creation of the Masonic Cancer Alliance Financial Navigator Endowment aimed at connecting Kansans to complex resources upon being met with a cancer diagnosis.
Title Sponsorship of the NextGenUnder30 Program, promoting leadership and development of young professionals destined to make their mark on the future of Kansas’ business and public service.
2023 and Beyond
In the spirit of collaboration and innovation, the Kansas Masonic Foundation seeks to forge strong statewide partnerships, allowing continued growth and advancement within our State.More than half a century later, the Foundation stands tall in its lifelong commitment to the citizens of Kansas. Through innovations in education, scientific discoveries, and charitable gifting, many individuals have been positively impacted within their communities and across the State. The good work does not stop there. The accomplishments throughout our State have continued to propel others to action, capitalizing on our early discoveries and growth. Whether utilizing the Kansas University Medical Center’s world-class cancer treatment center or being touched at a personal level during a time of need, Kansas Masons are poised to build on their legacy seeded in the 1950s.
Support the Foundation
Help to expand Masonic philanthropy within our state by donating to the Kansas Masonic Foundation.Donate