"Have you ever seen the movie Fried Green Tomatoes?" Dr. Dale Kesl asks. "That was the kind of general store my grandparents owned and ran while I was growing up."
Dale grew up in Vineyard, Arkansas—"a bustling town of 56 people," as he explains it. Raised by his grandparents, he worked in their general store that had one gas pump and a lunch counter.
When his career as a paramedic inspired him to take his love of emergency medicine further, he entered medical school in Arkansas. It was the dean of that school who referred him to Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.
"I stayed at Kansas City University and completed my postgraduate work at the hospital that used to be next door," Dale shares. "After that, I had positions in Missouri, Kentucky and Illinois before coming back to Kansas City."
Dale and his wife, Peggy, have five children who he said were "scattered up and down I-70 at the time," prompting their return to northwest Missouri.
He currently serves as a board certified medical director at Lafayette Regional Health Center in Lexington, Missouri. He is also board certified in family practice and has offices in the Odessa Medical Group. In 2015, Dale and Peggy made a very generous planned gift to Kansas City University.
"The school has given me everything," he says. "I wouldn't have been able to pursue medicine and have the life I have without it. It just makes sense to me."
Dale and Peggy made a gift of 10 percent of their estate. "I figure you give 10 percent to your church and faith, you should do the same thing for your school," he says.
In addition to this generous planned gift, he also supports student scholarships and welcomes medical students in his practice.
"I believe in giving back," Dale says. "And I always tell the students who come to my practice the same five things: be a good alumni, never tell a student 'no', be a good colleague, give of your time and give back financially.
"It's simple, but that's the way I see it."
You Can Make a Difference
To discuss planned giving options available to you and other ways you can support the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, please contact KCU Office of Institutional Advancement at 816-654-7280 or firstname.lastname@example.org.