Hammond honored by national organization

Special to The Hays Daily News

WASHINGTON -- Edward H. Hammond, president of Fort Hays State University, was selected by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators board of directors as the recipient of the 2013 NASPA President's Award for his ability to advance the quality of student life on campus and exemplary support of student affairs professionals at FHSU.

Hammond will receive the award in March during the 2013 NASPA annual conference awards ceremony in Orlando, Fla.

The award cited Hammond's remarkable leadership as he has advanced the quality of life for both domestic and international student populations, set high standards for campus community members, collaborated continually with faculty and administrators across departments, developed a technically savvy campus environment, and created a financially viable institution despite global economic woes, leading to higher retention rates and affording invaluable educational opportunities to students.

"He is a fierce student advocate and has maintained a relentless focus on the importance of the delivery of 'high touch' student services," wrote Joey Linn, FHSU's registrar and associate vice president for student affairs, in his letter of support. "He pays close attention to how the university promotes student learning and supports both individual and institutional initiatives that continue to expand learning boundaries."

During his 25-plus years as FHSU president, Hammond has:

* Increased enrollment to more than 13,200 students in three modalities -- on-campus, Virtual College and China -- despite a decreasing population in the university's primary service area;

* Launched annual Student Recognition Programs to award scholarships to academically outstanding high school seniors in Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska;

* Established private scholarships for African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American students;

* Developed a mobile learning and living environment that includes wireless connectivity throughout the FHSU campus;

* Created the Western Kansas Policy Development Board and the Western Kansas Educational Compact; and

* Increased the FHSU Foundation's assets from $8.2 million to more than $50 million during the past 20 years.

"Dr. Hammond was a vice president for student affairs early in his career, and students have always remained his 'magnetic north,' " said Tisa Mason, FHSU's vice president for student affairs. "He has unquestionably, over a sustained period of time, advanced the quality of student life on campus by supporting student affairs staff and programs."

Mason said when decisions are being made, Hammond often repeats his guiding principle: "Everything we do at FHSU is about helping students succeed."

NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs profession. It has more than 13,000 members in all 50 states, 29 countries and 8 U.S. territories.