Havertys Bringing U.S. History to Campus with $4 Million Gift for Library Project

One proud Raven who brought hundreds of young people to Benedictine College to learn about their history hopes to bring hundreds more.

Benedictine College is honored to announce the receipt of a generous gift of $4 million from Mick and Marlys Haverty.

The gift is one of the largest received in the history of the college and will serve as a lead gift for the renovation of the Benedictine College library as a part of the Transforming Culture in America strategic vision. The library renovation would transform the facility inside to include more, and more inviting, study space.

Haverty, past CEO and chairman of the Kansas City Southern Railway and past president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, grew up watching railroads run through his hometown of Atchison, Kansas, where the Benedictines educated him in the American dream.

The finished library will be inspired in design by Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The library will feature a replica of the Assembly Room, in which the founders of America issued the Declaration of Independence and held the Constitutional Convention to create the structure of government for the new nation. It will serve as an educational opportunity for Benedictine students, as well as an attraction for high school and elementary students to learn crucial facts about the history of the country.

Mick and Marlys Haverty

The Havertys’ commitment to the library renovation follows in their many-decades support of the mission of Benedictine College. In a special way, the project continues in the spirit of the 2014 Wisdom of the Ages “We the People” visiting exhibit, made possible by the Havertys’ generosity.

That initiative brought significant historic documents to Benedictine’s campus, including a copy of the Magna Carta, a 1776 printing of the Declaration of Independence, and a first edition copy of Thomas Payne’s Common Sense.

“The ‘We the People’ event brought so many people to Benedictine College,” said Mick. “We believe the library and Assembly Room will be a destination for learners of history and bring a large number of visitors to experience Benedictine College and Atchison.”

A key component of the Transforming Culture in America vision is a return to appreciation and understanding of constitutional principles as intended by the country’s founders and properly interpreted throughout the years. The Havertys are elated to be a part of such an important initiative.

“Benedictine will be teaching American history, and more students will have a chance to learn that history than ever before with the library,” said Marlys.

“Our country hasn’t been perfect,” said Mick. “But we think it is so important for young people to hear about American history and learn from it.”

Mick and Marlys were recently named Ingram’s Magazine’s 2021 “Philanthropists of the Year.”

“Mick and Marlys are among the longest and most loyal supporters of Benedictine College,” said President Stephen D. Minnis ’82. “This lead gift launches our new strategic vision in a big way, and we can’t thank them enough for their devotion to our students, our community, and everyone who will benefit from this incredible landmark on our campus.”

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.