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FHSU Foundation focuses on funding student scholarships

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

Fort Hays State University Foundation recently completed a successful Cornerstone Campaign with $68 million raised, $8 million more than the goal.

"We're in between campaigns and focusing on scholarships and the need for scholarships," said Hayley Bieker, FHSU Foundation director of communications and marketing.

Approximately 770 students are receiving general/department awards, 939 students are receiving unrestricted awards, and 41 students are receiving athletic foundation awards, Bieker said.

"The FHSU Foundation allocates over $1.5 million in scholarships each year," said Tim Chapman, president and CEO of the FHSU Foundation.  

"The impact of scholarship dollars in support of students who are attending classes on campus is dramatic. Scholarship support is a driver for economic growth both at a personal level and for Hays.  Students come to our community for their education and in many cases stay in our community.  It all starts with private support allocated in the form of a scholarship that helps a student.  We often don't realize the impact of that support, but with these private gifts, professionals and families are born that carry our community forward."

Scholarship donors have free rein in selecting a scholarship to receive their donation, setting up a new scholarship and selecting the students who can benefit in any department, Bieker said.

Donors also can check out each department's "need sheet."

The campus also has two new buildings, the Schmidt-Bickle indoor training facility and the Center for Network Learning Building -- housing the informatics department, Virtual College and Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning Technologies -- in construction. New buildings create naming opportunities.

If someone wants to donate to FHSU, that's a way for them to do that, Bieker said.

The university also conducts specific scholarship fundraising campaigns such as Tiger Call, which targets alumni, a campus drive asking faculty and staff to contribute, and a community drive.

"Last year, 1,546 alumni and friends made their first gift," Bieker said. "You don't have to make a huge gift. Last year, over $250,000 was raised from gifts that were less than $100. Even though someone can't do the $5,000 donation, even $100, no matter what they can give, if more people are doing it, it still makes a difference."