Obituary: Former Kansas State President Jon Wefald dies at 84

Jon Wefald, who engineered a turnaround as president of Kansas State University, died of a heart attack Saturday, according to his wife, Ruth Ann. He was 84.

Mr. Wefald came to Manhattan in 1986 as the 12th president of K-State. He took over at a time of declining enrollment, faculty departures, and a disastrously bad football program. He is widely credited with turning around the fortunes of all those things. His presidency lasted from July 1986, through June 2009, the second-longest tenure in the 159-year history of the university. Only James McCain, president for 25 years, lasted longer.

He was at his home at Bay Lake, Minnesota, with Ruth Ann, but was taken to a hospital in St. Cloud, where he died. Other survivors include son Andy Wefald of Manhattan and Skipp Wefald of Miami Beach, Florida

 After the news broke out, The K-State Family is deeply saddened to learn of former K-State President Jon Wefald’s passing,” current K-State president Richard Linton said. “Dr. Wefald’s legacy is one of transformation, growth, and true passion for our great university. Our condolences and thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.

The Early life of Jon Wefald

Jon Michael Wefald was an American educator who served as the twelfth president of Kansas State University. Wefald was born in Minneapolis and moved, at age six, with his family to Minot, North Dakota. After high school, he attended Pacific Lutheran University where he earned a B.A. in history in 1959. Wefald then earned his M.A. in history and political science from Washington State University in 1961, and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan in 1965.

jon wefald family

In 1965, Wefald returned to Minnesota, taking his first faculty position at Gustavo’s Adolph us College, where he taught history for five years. From 1971 to 1977, he served as Minnesota’s Commissioner of Agriculture, and guest lectured. In 1977, he became President of Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota. In 1982, he became a Chancellor of the six state university system of Minnesota.

Jon Wefald Net Worth

Jon has had a very successful career as a renowned educator. He was estimated to be worth $ 1.5 million at the time of his death.

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 Jon Wefald Family, Wife, Children, Parents, Siblings

Talking about his relationship, He was married to Ruth Ann Joynt. Together, the couple had two children “Skipp” and Andy”.

jon wefald wife

Aside from their names, there are not many details about his wife and children on the internet that you can refer to.

There are no details of his parents and siblings on the internet, as our efforts to find out details about them came to no available just yet.

Career of Wefald

Wefald then earned his Master of Arts Early career In 1965, Wefald returned to Minnesota, taking his first faculty position at Gustavus Adolphus College, where he taught history for five years. From 1971 to 1977, he served as Minnesota’s Commissioner of Agriculture, and guest lectured. In 1977, he became President of Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota.

In 1982, he became a Chancellor of the six state university system of Minnesota.

Kansas State University In July 1986, Wefald began his service as president of Kansas State University. Wefald held the second-longest term of any Kansas State President, trailing only the 25-year tenure of James McCain. Post-retirement Wefald announced on May 12, 2008, that he would retire at the end of the 2008-2009 academic years. Subsequently, a routine audit performed by the Kansas Board of Regents determined that during Wefald’s tenure a total of 13 undocumented payments had been made to former head football coach Bill Snyder, former athletic director Tim Weiser and Bob Krause, a former vice president, and athletic director at the university.

Combined, these payments amounted to $845,000.

Additionally, a plan was uncovered during the audit to “funnel more than $3 million in deferred compensation to former football coach Ron Prince.” On May 20, 2009, Kansas State University and its athletic corporation filed suit to have a secret agreement between Prince and Krause declared invalid. Prince filed a lawsuit against the university which included the claim that Wefald and other high-ranking university officials had “actual or constructive knowledge” of the transaction. In May 2011, the lawsuit was settled and Prince received $1.65 million.

Wefald denied any knowledge of this secret transaction, attributed the discrepancies to Krause, and immediately called for Krause to resign as director of economic development for the K-State Olathe Innovation Campus, which he did effectively on May 20, 2009.

Wefald’s Honor

Hence, in June 2014, the Kansas Board of Regents approved Kansas State University’s request to name its new residence hall in Wefald’s honor. Construction of the hall is scheduled to start in fall 2014.

In approving the university’s request, Regents Chair Fred Logan said, “I think if you look at higher education Kansas, he (Wefald) was, it’s fair to say, a historic figure. He was a historic president”.

After all, the wonderful career struggles and hard work comes a well-defined accomplishment/achievement:

In 2002, Jon Wefald was honored by inclusion in the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame at the Norsk Host-fest. Jon Wefald was honored as a distinguished Kansan by the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas. In 2009, Jon Wefald was named Kansan of the Year by the Kansas Society of Washington, District of Columbia.

Officials at Fort Leavenworth honored Jon Wefald with the Department of the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Media. On April 17, 2015, Jon Wefald was initiated into the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity by an Initiation Team of the National Board of Directors and undergraduates from Delta Theta Chapter at Kansas State University at the National Board Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri.

Jon Wefald Education

Wefald graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in the year 1959, Washington State University in 1961, and the University of Michigan in 1961.

Social Media

Our sources could not examine the social media status of former president Wefald. It is rumored he is active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, we will update you all if some news breaks out.

Reports are such that no Wikipedia’s ability to know about the social status of sir Wefald till now.

Body Appearance of Sir Jon Wefald

WeightNot Known
Chest SizeNot Known
Waist SizeBeing Updated
Shoe SizeBeing Updated
Hair ColorBeing Updated
Eye ColorBeing Updated
Body TypeBeing Updated
Sexual OrientationBeing Updated

Some interesting facts about Jon Wefald

NameJon Wefald
Date of BirthNovember 24, 1937
Birth DayNovember 24
Birth Years1937
Birth PlaceMinneapolis, Minnesota
Birth CityMinneapolis
Birth CountryUnited States of America
RaceBeing Updated
EthnicityBeing Updated
Sun sign, Horoscope, Zodiac SignPisces
Famous AsEducator
Also Known forEducator
SpouseRuth Ann
ParentSirisena Weerasinghe, Allen Weerasinghe
FatherWee Kheng Chiang
MotherN / A
SiblingsN / A
SisterBeing Updated
BrotherBeing Updated

1 thought on “Obituary: Former Kansas State President Jon Wefald dies at 84”

  1. Jon was an Iconic leader at Kansas State University. He was instrumental in the founding of the Big 12 Athletic Conference. He saved KSU as a member of the Big 8 conference and also the NCAA by understanding the importance of college athletics as a major part of the perception for any University by the general public. His ability to converse with anyone from young children to accomplished leaders at any level was outstanding. May God be with his family and the entire KSU family in this time of sorrow.
    Jerry Wilbeck


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