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U.S. Senator Jerry Moran with School of Engineering faculty and staff after announcing a $1 million allocation for engineering lab equipment.

U.S. Fiscal 2024 Budget Funds Benedictine/Atchison Projects

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, Atchison Mayor La Rochelle Young, and Benedictine President Stephen D. Minnis at the announcement of CDS items.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, Atchison Mayor La Rochelle Young, and Benedictine President Stephen D. Minnis at the announcement of CDS items.

U. S. Senator Jerry Moran (R, Kansas) stopped by Benedictine College on Monday, April 29, 2024, to announce several Congressionally Directed Spending appropriations within the new budget that benefit the city of Atchison as well as Benedictine College. More than $8 million has been approved in the fiscal 2024 Federal Budget for projects at Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport, upgrades to the city’s water treatment system, and to purchase laboratory equipment for the School of Engineering at Benedictine College.

Generally, Congressionally Directed Spending items can promote economic development, education, health care initiatives, and other worthy investments in communities across the country.

“Today I have the opportunity to announce some very good news for the community and the college,” said Sen. Moran. “I would like to announce three items that have been passed in the FY 24 appropriation bill. In two instances, the money is directed to the city of Atchison. We were successful in acquiring $3 million for Amelia Earhart Memorial Airport to lengthen the runway.”

“Last year, we designated about a half million dollars to get the wastewater project underway,” he continued. “This year, I’m pleased to announce an appropriation of $4.5 million for a sewer separation project to eliminate sewer discharge into the Missouri River during heavy rainfalls.”

Atchison Mayor La Rochelle Young was in attendance along with many city and county officials. She thanked the senator and noted that the money will continue to make the airport an economic driver for the city and the allocation for the wastewater treatment substantially funded the entire project.

“This is the only community in which I have made a Congressionally Designated Spending announcement in which there are three Congressionally Designated Spending items,” Sen. Moran said. “And the third item is here on the campus of Benedictine College. To purchase equipment for engineering programs and compliment facility upgrades that are taking place, I have secured $1 million for that equipment.”

The proposed lab equipment for the Benedictine College School of Engineering will allow the program to expand and enhance certain areas of learning, in particular materials processing and testing, energy and thermal systems, robotics, and machining and fabrication. It will also support research and innovation and create opportunities for interdisciplinary projects and collaboration.

“This lab equipment will allow us to recruit, retain, and train more engineers and guarantee that our graduates enter the workforce ready to build a better Kansas and a better America,” said Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis. “Thank you, Senator Moran, for your dedication to Kansas and for having the vision to be out front in supporting future engineers.”

Minnis noted that all ABET-accredited degrees in chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering at Benedictine College also require courses in Ethics from the Philosophy Department and Christian Moral Life from the Theology Department. He said it makes Benedictine the only engineering program in the country to require Philosophy and Theology classes as part of its engineering degrees.

“We are educating the next great ethical engineers for Kansas and for America,” he said.


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.