The Ferris Foundation has announced a $500,000 gift from Ken Janke Jr. and his wife, Kim, as part of Ferris State University’s campaign to construct a new PGA Golf Management Learning Center, which will also serve as the new home of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.
“This generous gift from Ken and Kim Janke Jr. means we have now raised over $3 million toward our goal of $4 million to establish a permanent home for the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame and create a year-round teaching and practice facility for our PGA Golf Management program,” Ferris President David Eisler said. “We look forward to honoring Ken Jr. and Kim Janke, during the June 3 Michigan Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Ferris.”
Ken, of Columbus, Ga., is currently the executive vice president, treasurer and head of corporate finance and development at Aflac Inc. He attended Michigan State University, earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and received a master’s degree from Oakland University’s School of Economics and Management.
“My father’s first love was always his wife, children and grandchildren,” Ken Jr. said. “But, his long-held passion for golf wasn’t far behind. Not only was he a talented golfer, he was a well-respected golf historian and teller of tales. There’s no doubt that the highlight of my father’s golfing life was his induction into the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2008. I can think of no better way to honor his memory and his many contributions to the game of golf than a donation to The Ferris Foundation to support the new PGA Golf Management Learning Center and the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. My wife, Kim, and I are grateful for our relationship with such a great institution as Ferris State University, and thankful for the opportunity to recognize such an incredible man: Ken Janke Sr.”
Ken Sr., who died in 2011 at age 77, was the retired chairman and CEO of the National Association of Investors Corporation, a former golf professional, and an author of four golf books and two investing books. Ken Sr. co-founded the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, in 1982, with Stan Aldridge, the owner of Indianwood Golf and Country Club, in Lake Orion, Mich., where the hall of fame was originally located.
Known as “the father of major charity golf events,” Ken Sr. is credited with establishing The Walter Hagen Invitational in 1967. It was the first golf benefit for the American Cancer Society. He also organized benefit golf tournaments for The March of Dimes, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and B’nai B’rith. Ken Sr.’s 1979 founding of the Detroit Lions Alumni Golf Outing, to benefit the NFL Dire Need Fund, was adopted by the National Football League for its teams.
Bob McMasters, past president of the Michigan Golf Foundation and a Class of 2002 hall of fame inductee, said, “Of all the people involved with the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, no one is more deserving to have this recognition than Ken Janke. Congratulations to all who made this happen, starting with Ken Jr. and his family.”
Ferris’ PGA Professional Golf Management program has graduated more than 1,800 PGA golf professionals since its founding as the original program sanctioned by the PGA in 1975. Students graduate with a degree from Ferris’ College of Business.
The Michigan Golf Hall of Fame is a program of The Michigan Golf Foundation, which includes all the major golf bodies in the state: Golf Association of Michigan, Michigan Section of the PGA, Michigan Golf Course Owners Association, Michigan Golf Course Superintendents Association, Michigan Publinx Golf Association, Michigan Women’s Golf Association, Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association, and members of the media. The induction of six new members in 2017 raises the total of hall of famers to 119. For more information, visit The Michigan Golf Foundation.
Ferris State University has more than 14,000 students at its campus in Big Rapids, at 21 off-campus sites throughout Michigan and at the Ferris Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids. Ferris State University offers more than 180 programs, ranging from associate to doctoral degrees, through eight degree-granting colleges: Arts, Sciences and Education, Business, Education and Human Services, Engineering Technology, Health Professions, Kendall College of Art and Design, Michigan College of Optometry and Pharmacy.
PHOTO CAPTIONS: Pictured at the top, Ken Janke Jr. and his wife, Kim, have made a $500,000 gift as part of Ferris State University's campaign to construct a new PGA Golf Management Learning Center, which will also serve as the new home of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. Pictured lower is Ken Janke Sr., co-founder of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, in 1982, with Stan Aldridge. Ken Sr. died in 2011 at the age of 77.