Jeff Bieber, Kansas Wesleyan University Class of ’71, spent much of his professional life owning and operating John Deere farm equipment dealerships. Last week, he gave back to his alma mater, Kansas Wesleyan University, with a $3 million gift — the second-largest in its history
Some $500,000 will help fuel the Community Resilience Hub, KWU’s curriculum surrounding climate change, while $1 million will support the music program. The balance will fund a third project, to be announced in coming months.
Bieber double-majored in English and Economics at KWU before investing in his parent’s John Deere dealership — Kay Jan Inc. — with his now late wife, Martha. Kay Jan, headquartered in Fort Morgan, Colo., merged with 21st Century Equipment, Bridgeport, Neb., in 2011. Bieber had served as the chief operations officer after the merger, which now includes 16 21st Century Equipment dealerships across eastern Colorado, western Nebraska and Wyoming.
For the past 8 years, Bieber served on the KWU trustees board and chaired it 2019-21. He previously donated to KWU’s Nursing Education Center in memory of his wife, who died in 2015. She was a graduate of Marymount College. A small memorial gift was also left there to the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Concordia, Kan., following her death at age 65.