A Hays couple who are longtime supporters of Fort Hays State University have given $1 million toward the university’s $100 million capital campaign.
FHSU announced the gift from Wilmer and Lorena Kellogg, Hays, in a press conference Monday afternoon. The money will be used for scholarships in three departments — education, business and athletics.
Lorena, an FHSU alumna, taught elementary school for 32 years, most of that in Hays. She also taught in Plainville, Palco and Salina.
Wilmer, a local businessman, has served on the board of trustees for the FHSU Foundation.
The Kelloggs are members of FHSU’s Wooster Society, a group of individuals who have arranged gifts to the FHSU Foundation through planned giving.
They have supported the FHSU national championship shooting team and are among the Difference Makers in the FHSU athletics program, donating $5,000 annually to that department.
The couple own a rental business in Hays and have pledged the properties to FHSU through a life estate. FHSU will receive the sale value of the properties upon their deaths or sale of the properties, according to an FHSU press release.
FHSU senior Drew O’Brien, a former place kicker on the Tiger football team, spoke of the benefit of scholarships to student-athletes.
“I grew up in Hays and was blessed to receive an athletic scholarship to play football for the Tigers,” said O’Brien, a business-marketing major with a minor in finance. “Other scholarships, including some from the business department, allowed me to concentrate on my classes and football without having to work a lot, and without incurring a large debt when I graduate.”
Jason Williby, president and CEO of the FHSU Foundation, read a prepared statement from the Kelloggs.
“Without Fort Hays State, the city would be a very small town. Without it, I doubt that we would have a regional hospital. Without it, we would not have a regional airport. Without it, we would not have the variety of restaurants that we have. The list goes on and on. We don't know about everyone, but our lives revolve around the activities related to Fort Hays State,” he read.
An update on FHSU’s $100-million Journey Campaign is scheduled for March 8.