Last-minute details are getting checked off today for the inauguration of Fort Hays State University’s 10th president.

Friday’s celebration is not one just for the campus, though, said Janette Meis, event planner and communication specialist in the FHSU President’s Office.

She also is chairwoman of the inaugural planning committee, a group of 19 faculty, staff, alumni and community members who have met since June.

“It’s for everyone, our alumni, our friends of Fort Hays, community members from near and far. Whoever would like to travel and join us, we want them to be a part of it,” Meis said.

While there are traditions observed with the inauguration, some events of the celebration were included specifically for Mason, Meis said.

“Dr. Mason did want to have some kind of community service project. That’s when we connected with the SWIPEout Hunger Event,” Meis said.

The FHSU Global Leadership Project has conducted the project for seven years, partnering with Numana Inc., an El Dorado nonprofit hunger relief organization.

From 10:30 a..m to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Forsyth Library, volunteers — including Mason, her husband, Bill, and Mason’s parents — will prepare packages of soybeans, rice and vitamins for shipping.

Forsyth Library will also display certificates, letters and cards of congratulations for Mason. The display will continue through FHSU Homecoming weekend, Sept. 27 through 29.

“It will also include the presidential medallion ad the mace, which are two pieces of the ceremony,” Meis said.

A stand for the medallion built by Kim Stewart, chair of the Center for Applied Technology, will make its debut at Friday’s ceremony. The medallion normally is stored in the president’s office, Meis said, while the mace is displayed in the registrar’s office.

Friday’s ceremony will include performances by the FHSU Wind Ensemble and Fort Hays Singers, and a video greeting from university and community members.

Among the special guests for the ceremony will Lt. Gov. Tracey Mann, a Quinter native; members of the Kansas Board of Regents; Peter Wu, vice president of FHSU's first Chinese partner Sias International University; and delegates from 22 other universities.

Also expected to attend are state Sens. Rick Billinger, Jim Denning and Bud Estes; state Reps. Eber Phelps, Ken Rahjes and Troy Waymaster; Hays City Commissioners Henry Schwaller, Shawn Musil and Sandy Jacobs; and Ellis County Commissioners Barb Wasinger and Marcey McClelland.

The ceremony at 10 a.m. in Gross Memorial Coliseum is open to the public and will be live streamed on the FHSU website.

Following the ceremony, FHSU will have a celebration on the quad from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meis said RSVPs are no longer required for the event and the public is welcome to attend.

More information can be found at