“My parents were smart enough to insist that I attend college after graduating from Hays High School in 1961,” said Allen Webster.

With Fort Hays State University nearby, Webster was able to attend the university at minimal cost by living at home.

With a gift to FHSU valued at approximately $2.5 million, Webster will now impact the lives of students studying business at Fort Hays State. With 75 percent of the proceeds, Webster will establish the Lester L. and Velma Mae Webster Scholarship Fund.

The remaining 25 percent will establish the Lester L. and Velma Mae Webster Applied Business Scholarship.

Webster graduated from Fort Hays State with a B.S. in business administration in 1965 and an M.S. in economics in 1967 and went on to earn a Ph.D. in economics at Florida State University. Webster retired this year after 53 enjoyable years teaching at colleges and universities. His most recent position was serving as a professor within the Business and Engineering Convergence Center at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill.

Webster chose his parents as the namesake of his scholarships — not only to honor the wonderful people that they were, but for insisting that Webster step on to FHSU’s college campus back in 1961.

“For years, I had intended to put an estate plan in place. I knew it was an important thing to do, however, I assumed that it would be cumbersome and time consuming,” he said. “ I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the process is quite simple. I chose to include Fort Hays State University as beneficiary of my estate, and the FHSU Foundation office was great to work with. It feels great to have a plan in place.”

Looking back, he said, he believes that he would not have received a college education if FHSU were not in his backyard. Little did he know that he would spend the next five decades on a university campus and would soon develop a passion for teaching students who were just like him when he was 19 years old.

“When I find that my students are having to pay $300 for a single textbook these days, I can’t help but recall that my first tuition at Fort Hays State was, if I recall correctly, a whopping $77,” he said.

“FHSU gave me the start to a wonderful career and satisfying life, and I’m forever grateful. I have a love and appreciation for Fort Hays State as I know that my life would have been entirely different, and much less enjoyable, had I not attended years ago with the direction of my parents.”

To this day, Webster recalls Mr. Marcus as one of his favorite instructors at Fort Hays State University.

“Teaching Western Civic History, Mr. Marcus made the subject matter come alive and for the first time in my life instilled in me an interest in history that I still enjoy today,” he said.

Another memorable FHSU instructor for Webster recalls is Dr. Thomas, who taught marketing.

“Dr. Thomas was a great teacher,” said Webster. “I still, after all these years, pattern my own teaching based on what I saw Dr. Thomas do in the classroom.”

“Fort Hays State University made an incredible impact in my life. In return, I look forward to impacting the lives of students at FHSU for years to come. I know there are students within the College of Business who could use a little financial help.”

Established in 1945, the FHSU Foundation is committed to cultivating lasting relationships with alumni, friends, corporations and other organizations who have a passion for Fort Hays State and who want to continue its legacy of excellence.

As an independent, non-profit organization, the Foundation’s donors have an impact on all facets of university life, and their support continues to translate into success for students and the FHSU learning environment.

To learn more about the FHSU Foundation and the university’s Journey campaign, visit https://foundation.fhsu.edu, call 785-628-5620 or email foundation@fhsu.edu.