Jon Wefald is being remembered as “a human dynamo,” a Kansas State University president for more than two decades who increased its enrollment, improved academic programs and boosted research funding – while finally finding a coach who could win football games.
Wefald, also a former Minnesota State university system chancellor and Minnesota state agriculture commissioner, died Saturday at age 84.
Wefald suffered a heart attack at his home on Bay Lake in Minnesota, the Manhattan Mercury reported.
Wefald was president of Kansas State University from 1986 until the end of the 2008-09 school year.
The university said that during Wefald’s tenure, enrollment grew to 23,000 students from 16,000, the campus added 2.2 million square feet of new building space, and annual research funding increased to $134 million from $18 million.
“He was just a human dynamo,” said former U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, a Kansas State graduate and friend of Wefald’s who worked with him to secure a national biosecurity lab on the university’s main campus in Manhattan.