Tonganoxie graduate gives $1 million to KU scholarships benefitting LGBTQ students

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March 1, 2018

A University of Kansas graduate with roots in Tonganoxie has donated in $1 million in scholarships that will support LGBTQ students at his alma mater.

Chad Leat, who now lives in New York City, announced the $1 million gift/commitment during a visit to KU this week, according to a story posted Thursday on the KU website.

“Being able to provide opportunities to diverse students, and LGBT students in particular, means so much to me,” Leat said in the story. “This gift will establish this scholarship as a much larger and more meaningful investment in the LGBT community here at KU for a long time.”

Leat is retired vice chairman of global banking at Citigroup and a KU graduate. He also is a 1974 Tonganoxie High School graduate.

Leat, 60, a native of Tonganoxie, established the Chad A. Leat Student Scholarship through KU Endowment in 2006, according to the KU website. The scholarship’s goal is to assist Kansas students who are committed to helping KU foster a multicultural, inclusive environment. The fund has made a KU education more affordable for more than a dozen students since it was first awarded in 2007. Leat’s new contribution to this scholarship, which he announced at a campus visit Monday, is one of the largest gifts in support of LGBTQ students in the university’s history, according to the story at

He became the first member of his family to graduate both from KU and from college, earning a bachelor’s in business.

As one of the first openly gay major financial leaders on Wall Street, Leat is especially committed to providing financial assistance to students who are dedicated to making KU a more diverse and inclusive campus.

“I credit my experience at KU with my ability to make my way in the business world and to find a successful and rewarding career in finance,” he said in the KU story. “When I decided to establish a scholarship to reward not only students with need, but also students that showed leadership and affiliation with the LGBT community on campus, I did it because I had a wonderful career here as a student at KU.”

According to the KU report, Leat currently serves on the boards of Norwegian Cruise Lines, MidCap Financial, J.Crew Operating Corp., TPG Pace Holdings Corp. and TPG Pace Energy Holdings Corp. He is dedicated to many civic and philanthropic organizations: He is a member of the Economic Club of New York and has served on the board of several charitable organizations. Currently he is a trustee of the Parrish Museum of Art. Find out more about Leat’s experience at

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