Donation of $1 million to preserve WSU's outdoor art collection

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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) More than $1 million is given to Wichita State University for the university's outdoor art collection.

Joan Beren, a longtime supporter of WSU in the areas of arts, athletics and student aid, donated the gift to start the Joan S. Beren outdoor sculpture fund. Beren died in January, according to a news release from the university.

The gift will provide resources for the ongoing cleaning and maintenance of the 76 works spread throughout the WSU main campus.

"Our mother was an ardent admirer of the outdoor sculpture collection," said Adam Beren, one of Beren's children, in a statement. "It was important to her to see it maintained at a level equal to its prominence so that students and visitors to campus could enjoy it for many years to come."

According to the news release, Beren served two terms on the WSU Board of Trustees, including one as its chairwoman. She also served on the WSU Foundation National Advisory Council and the advisory boards for the Ulrich Museum of Art and the College of Fine Arts.

"Joan was proud of Wichita State for many reasons, but she especially treasured its magnificent art collection," said Elizabeth King, president and CEO of the WSU foundation in a statement. "This gift to help preserve the quality and integrity of our outdoor sculptures is one that came from her heart and soul."