K-State Mourns the Passing of Mark Chapman

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Mark A. Chapman, a longtime supporter of K-State Athletics and namesake of the department’s annual Powercat Choice Awards, passed away on Friday at the age of 70 at his home in Cat Spring, Texas.

A KSU Foundation President’s Club member and 2012 Alumni Fellow, Chapman was generous in his support of many causes at Kansas State University, including K-State Athletics. He provided funding for the Coaches’ Workroom in the new Basketball Training Facility and was principle benefactor for the annual Powercat Choice Awards, which showcases student-athlete achievement both on the field and in the classroom.

“Mark had a true desire to see student-athletes succeed academically,” said Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student Services and Senior Women’s Administrator Jill Shields. “He was passionate about assisting our Academic Learning Center and took great pride in all our student-athletes’ academic success.”

Chapman grew up near Broughton, Kan., and attended Clay Center High School, where he held the school’s shot put record for 47 years. He moved onto Kansas State University, where he participated in football and track before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history and political science in 1965.  

Upon graduating from K-State, Chapman attended the University of Texas, where he earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence. He spent two years as a U.S. Army Signal Core officer in Thailand before returning to the U.S. to begin a career in real estate and then onto the oil and gas industry.

“Mark was truly an exceptional person in many ways,” said Executive Associate Athletics Director Laird Veatch. “The same intelligence, creativity and competitive drive that led to his professional success provided him a special perspective on life. Mark was a poet, painter and philanthropist who had a passion for K-State that he demonstrated through his generosity across our entire campus. I will miss Mark and the unique perspective and friendship he provided to me and many others. Our thoughts and prayers are with Cheryl and his entire family.”   

In addition to his support of the athletics department, his gifts established the Chapman Center for Rural Studies in History, an art gallery in Willard Hall and the Chapman-Mellenthin Plaza at the College of Veterinary Medicine on the K-State campus. He was also instrumental in helping the School of Music, Theatre and Dance into becoming an All-Steinway School. He helped develop the Chapman Scholars program in the College of Arts and Sciences and supported two full-ride Presidential Scholarships. The Mark A. Chapman Foundation funds approximately 100 scholarships annually in Kansas and Texas.

Chapman is survived by his wife, Cheryl Mellenthin, and his son, Carter.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, April 21 at St. John Lutheran Church in Cat Spring with visitation immediately preceding the service from 1-3 p.m. A second visitation will be held on Friday, April 25 from 5-8 p.m. in Clay Center with a service to follow on Saturday, April 26 at 10 a.m. Burial will be at the Broughton Cemetery in Clay Center on April 26.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to PUPS (Prevent Unwanted Pets), 1884 Bostik Road, Cat Spring, TX 78933; ARTS (Arts for Rural Texas), P.O. Box 33, Fayetteville, TX  78940; the Sealy YMCA, 1000 Main Street, Sealy, TX 77474; or the charity of your choice.