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Kia of Albany donates $20K to ASU

Kia of Albany presents a $20,000 check to Albany State University during homecoming on Saturday. It’s a contribution that Kia of Albany general manager Elton Wetteland says will support athletics and scholarships. (Reginald Christian/Albany State University)

Kia of Albany presents a $20,000 check to Albany State University during homecoming on Saturday. It’s a contribution that Kia of Albany general manager Elton Wetteland says will support athletics and scholarships. (Reginald Christian/Albany State University)

ALBANY — Even before the Golden Rams took the field Saturday for a homecoming rout of Morehouse, Albany State University had reason to celebrate.

As the teams waited in their locker rooms for opening kickoff, Rams athletic director Richard Williams and the university accepted two sizable donations to the athletics department.

Kia of Albany donated $20,000, which will go to support athletics and scholarships, and the ASU National Alumni Association donated $12,000, which will go toward athletics, the band and scholarships.

The check written by Kia of Albany, which is located just down the street from ASU’s campus, was the biggest donation of any kind from the dealership in the two years since Elton Wetteland and his partners bought the business, which is entering a multi-year partnership with ASU and plans to have more presentations and donations in the coming years.

“We feel thankful that (ASU) invited us to partner with them,” Wetteland said. “The economic foundation that a college presents to a town is huge. We are proud to be partners with Albany State, and we hope it’s a relationship that lasts for a long, long time.”

Clifford Porter, ASU vice president of institutional advancement, said it was the largest donation from a car dealership that the university has ever received.

“They see the value of the institution and the opportunities that this provides for so many people in the community,” Porter said. “They have shown themselves as a great corporate citizen and are really taking the lead for what we hope will be car dealerships and businesses who benefit from the huge economic impact that Albany State has throughout the year. I’m glad that Kia has stepped up to the plate.”