VIDEO BY MICAH REINKE
STORY BY CORIE LYNN
PHOTOS BY CLARK CHEN
On the afternoon of Wednesday, October 8, the Memorial Union was busy with campus faculty, members of the Kansas Army National Guard and other guests.
The event they were gathered to see was the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Kansas National Guard FHSU campus office.
The ceremony began with an introduction by Dr. Seth Kastle, Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies and a retired Army First Sergeant.
“Today marks the beginning of a new partnership between for both Fort Hays State University and the Kansas Guard,” Kastle said.
He went on to emphasize that this benefits, not only the Kansas National Guard, but also the men and women who will visit the new office.
“I believe the next generation of great public servants is upon us, and there is no bounds to what these young people can accomplish, given the proper training, education and experience, to make our world a stronger, more agile and technologically advanced society,” Kastle said.
Following Kastle’s address, University President Dr. Tisa Mason gave her words of welcome, starting by thanking the servicemen and -women present at the event.
Mason went on to say that FHSU is dedicated to serving both its students and the community.
“That’s where our values intersect with those of the Kansas National Guard. The opening of this office in the center of our campus demonstrates that commitment to our shared purpose,” she said.
Mason then stated that the affordable educational experience that Fort Hays offers its students is only improved by the programs offered by the National Guard.
“We look forward to creating rewarding opportunities for new citizen-soldiers,” she said.
When she concluded, Allen Schmidt of the Kansas Board of Regents took the podium. In his address, he told the audience that the initiatives of FHSU constantly amaze him and that this office is the beginning of many new military careers.
Major General Lee Tafanelli of the Kansas National Guard spoke following Schmidt, reiterating the importance of the university’s initiative.
“What we do in our armed forces everyday is we grow and train leaders, and this is going to be an opportunity for us to begin and train that next generation of leaders,” Tafanelli said.
He went on to explain that this will allow individuals to better serve their communities as citizens while also allowing them to achieve their own goals.
“I think when you look at locally what we can do in our communities, when we partner with our institutions of higher education, it makes the Kansas National Guard better, it makes those institutions better and, more importantly, it gives back to the communities we all come from and makes our state better,” Tafanelli.
Sarag Wasinger, the President and CEO of the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce, invited the audience to the new Kansas National Guard office in the Memorial Union to watch as Major General Tafanelli and President Mason cut the ribbon to conclude the ceremony.
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