Sterling College Receives Largest Estate Gift in School History

Carl Dudrey - Sterling College
Friday, June 1, 2018

Sterling College is pleased to announce the estate of Carl Dudrey, St. John, Kansas, will provide a $7.7 million bequest to Sterling College, delivering the largest estate gift in the College's 130-year history.

“This gift is transformational and we are so honored and grateful for the generosity of Carl and his wife, Bonnie. Carl was a true servant leader who believed in the work of Sterling College and would often hand-deliver his gifts to the College. The quiet manner in which he gave this gift shows his generous nature is another reason for my admiration of the type of man he was,” said President Scott Rich.

A U.S. Army veteran, Dudrey was a farmer, rancher and entrepreneur. He owned Dudrey Cattle Company, was member of the board for Kansas Ethanol and served First Bank as chairman of the board from 1993-2018. He passed away March 17, 2018. Bonnie Dudrey preceded him in death on March 20, 2014.

Roughly $6.7 million of the gift is to be allocated to the College’s endowment to benefit student scholarships; and $1 million is to be used for construction projects.

“To receive news of this unprecedented gift as we are in the midst of the SterlingNOW Capital Campaign further bolsters momentum and excitement around campus for the future of Sterling College. This gift significantly grows our endowment and provides student scholarship support that aligns with the College’s commitment to keep private, Christian higher education affordable for students and families,” said Scott Carter, vice president for institutional advancement.

SterlingNOW is the College’s largest capital campaign to date with a goal to raise $25 million. Projects within the campaign include construction of a new science and research center, expansion of the Gleason Physical Education Center and the renovation of Thompson Hall and growing the College’s endowment.

The building projects for SterlingNOW total $22 million, of which the college has raised $17.7 million. The College needs to raise an additional $2.3 million by Oct. 10, 2018, to meet the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation challenge grant. If this goal is met, the Mabee Foundation will provide the final $2 million to complete the building projects.

For more information on SterlingNOW, including ways to give to the campaign and progress towards the Mabee Challenge, visit

Sterling College is a Christ-centered, four-year college located in Sterling, Kansas, with a mission to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith. For more information, visit