Dana Anderson, the namesake to the training home of Kansas Football – the Anderson Family Football Complex – has reaffirmed his passion for Kansas Athletics with a new $10 million gift to support the Gateway District.
Anderson, a longtime supporter of Kansas Athletics, has given more than $40 million in his lifetime. A graduate of the KU School of Business, he began his giving with gifts to the KU Alumni Association while he was fulfilling his military obligation before even completing his coursework.
Because of his special relationship with his alma mater, Anderson has played an integral role in fundraising for the university in a variety of different ways that have made a remarkable impact. Anderson was a member of the Steering Committee for the Kansas First Capital Campaign, which raised more than $550 million to provide funds for all aspects of the University of Kansas.
The KU Alumni Association honored Anderson with the Fred Ellsworth Medallion in 1998 for his lifelong numerous contributions to the university. With his wife, Sue, and son Justin, the Andersons established the Anderson Family Business Opportunity Fund, KU School of Business Faculty Professorship funds and have made more than 150 gifts to various KU projects, including the Spencer Research Library African American Kansas Collections, Wagnon Student Center, the Anderson Family Strength and Conditioning Center, the Anderson Family Football Complex, Marching Band, Women’s Rowing and more recently, the new School of Business building.
“Dana Anderson has been an incredible supporter of the University of Kansas for many years, and we are grateful that he has once again stepped up to help us pursue this transformational project,” said Chancellor Douglas A. Girod.
“The Gateway District is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape our campus and drive economic development through the creation of exciting new amenities for students, employees and visitors while providing Kansas Football the facilities it needs to compete at the highest level. We are humbled by Dana’s generosity in support of this exciting project and deeply appreciative of his commitment to KU.”
First announced in October 2022 by Chancellor Douglas Girod and Goff, the Gateway District project will forever alter David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium and the intersection of 11th and Mississippi streets at the north entrance to KU’s campus. The new district will include a re-imagined football stadium, a state-of-the-art conference center and additional mixed-use development. Construction on the project is expected to begin shortly after the upcoming 2023 football season.
“There are very few relationships anywhere that are more special and meaningful than the one between Dana Anderson and the University of Kansas,” Director of Athletics Travis Goff said. “Dana’s support of his alma mater is incredibly inspiring and motivates others to give back to this amazing university. Every football student-athlete who comes through this program knows ‘Mr. Anderson’ and the impact he has had and continues to have. We are so grateful and humbled by his continued giving and we could not be prouder that he is a Jayhawk.”
As his support of the Gateway District will do, Anderson’s giving has extended past the University of Kansas and has benefited the entire Lawrence community in several ways.
In 2017 the Andersons received the Dorothy Flannery Honor for their leadership as honorary chairs and partnership in the building and the growth of the Corpus Christi School in Lawrence. Dana served on the Futures Team of the parish to help direct the strategic planning of the parish and Sue served as a volunteer in the parish and the school.
Dana and Sue Anderson were also 2018 recipients of the Elizabeth Watkins Community Caring Award for their positive influence and generosity to Lawrence Memorial Hospital. They previously supported the hospital’s capital campaign for the fourth-floor renovation and the new LMH West Project. The Andersons headed a $3 million capital campaign for a second Cardiac Catheterization Lab and the purchase of new Robotics equipment. Recently, Anderson pledged $10 million to LMH in honor of his wife Sue.
“Whenever I have the opportunity to support an important cause at the University of Kansas, I am eager to do so,” Anderson said. “I have incredible pride being a Jayhawk and I am so encouraged about the current direction of Kansas Football under Travis Goff and Coach Lance Leipold. Supporting something such as the Gateway Project that will impact generations and generations of Jayhawks is an honor, and I am excited to be a part of such a bold project.”