Foundation celebrates 70 years of serving Fort Hays State University and its students

FHSU University Relations and Marketing

HAYS, Kan. — The FHSU Foundation was established in 1945, and since that time, it has worked determinedly to ensure students an excellent education at Fort Hays State University.

Over those 70 years, the Foundation has helped alumni and friends of Fort Hays State invest in the university according to their individual wishes. From providing scholarships for students to funding a program or initiative that meets their individual interests, people are leaving a lasting legacy.

In a news conference today commemorating seven decades of making the dreams of higher education a reality for many, the fundraising arm of the university took a moment to express sincere gratitude to FHSU donors for making an impact on all facets of university life. Representing different perspectives of the university, several individuals spoke of the importance of this milestone of giving.

The Foundation has certainly created a legacy, and, Tim Chapman, president and CEO of the FHSU Foundation, shared the incredible strides that have been made more recently.

“This past year was a record-breaking year for Fort Hays State,” he said. “Not only did we break records in the number of students served, but we also broke records in our number of receipted gifts.”

The assets of the Foundation have exceeded $72 million. In the past year, $10.3 million was receipted in cash, and $1.6 million was raised in gifts. “The alumni and friends of this institution continue to step to the plate and knock it out of the park for the benefit of all here at the university,” said Chapman.

Dr. Mirta M. Martin, FHSU president, joined Chapman in emphasizing what a critical difference the private financial support makes in the lives of students. “We have people of excellence on our faculty who offer academic programs of distinction, but many prospective students would not be able to make Fort Hays State their destination of choice if not for the generosity of the alumni and friends who want to share their Tiger experience with a new generation,” she said.

“We are determined not only to welcome more students but provide a range of opportunities, such as research assistance and travel assistance, that will help them graduate and lead successful, fulfilling lives,” she added.

Jeff Peier, chair of the Foundation Board of Trustees, touched upon the collaborative effort of the Foundation to achieve such feats. Peier said, “The FHSU Foundation is part of the Tiger family and is guided by a leadership team of 39 Board of Trustee members. This team represents 5 states and 18 majors. We are proud to have 100 percent of our board and the alumni board financially support the Foundation.”

As a true testament to the impact that the Foundation has made in the lives of students, Ulises Gonzalez, a Garden City senior and current president of the Student Government Association, shared his story at the news conference. Originally, Gonzalez had questioned the feasibility of going to college, noting that as a first generation student and a member of the Hispanic minority, it seemed a daunting task. However, because of the amazing financial support of donors, Gonzalez has been able to serve the university in a greater capacity without having to worry so much about the financial component.

Even now, Gonzalez looks forward to helping future students in situations similar to his. “For now, I am enjoying the opportunity to continue my education. However, I cannot wait to one day be able to financially support and enhance the lives of the students at FHSU, just like mine has in the few short years I have been here.”

According to Gonzalez, the far-reaching impact of support from the FHSU Foundation is immeasurable. “The financial support coming from donors can be tied to a numerical figure, but the impact that their support has to our college experience is invaluable and cannot be measured in any way, shape or form. So, thank you. Thank you to all,” he said.

Learn more about the FHSU Foundation here, FHSU Foundation.


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