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FHSU Foundation exceeds goal

6/11/2014

By ELIZABETH GOLDEN

egolden@dailynews.net

Power of One took on a whole new meaning when Fort Hays State University President Edward Hammond announced Friday at the annual President's Dinner the Power of One Scholarship Campaign had exceed the $8 million goal.

The announcement was made public Tuesday.

The campaign began in December 2013 and aimed to raise the goal amount by December 2014. More than $8,268,392 was raised in the first six months.

"Within a couple weeks of (announcing my retirement), I announced we would use this as an opportunity to raise money for the students," Hammond said. "Increased scholarships is the most important need we have."

FHSU hadn't raised more than $2 million during the course of a year. It represents a 400-percent increase from normal scholarship fundraising expectations.

"It's a horrible thing to waste an opportunity, and we have more than half the year to go," Hammond said. "Our new goal is to raise $1 million a month. As I step down as president, this gives me something to do."

Hammond and the FHSU Foundation hope to raise $12 million by the end of the campaign.

"What we have found is many people have been very supportive of this effort," Hammond said. "They understand the importance of supporting our students."

Additional support was revealed during the President's Dinner when Don and Chris Bickle, along with Bob and Pat Schmidt, announced a contribution of $500,000 in support of establishing the Dr. Edward H. Hammond Endowed Chair.

"What we've really seen and are experiencing today is the beginning of a legacy," said Tim Chapman, president and CEO of the foundation. "We will forever attach Hammond's name to the presidency of this institution."

Recently selected president Mirta Martin will be the first Distinguished Hammond Chair.

"These families honored me with an endowed chair," Hammond said. "I'm humbled by their generosity and support of FHSU."

Hammond said the state of Kansas is required to match the amount of the endowed chair.

The funds will go toward supporting new and existing scholarships.

"We'll be long on our way to trying to make FHSU not only the most affordable place," Hammond said, "but also an institution where we can reward especially good students who have financial needs with additional resources to help them become Tigers in the future."