Feeling thankful for Fort Hays State

Staff Writer
Hays Daily News

Perhaps we’ve had additional time to reflect on the things that mean the most to us, but we’re feeling extra thankful for Fort Hays State University this year. In August, I took part in an annual Board of Trustees business meeting with the FHSU Foundation, which was held via Zoom due to the virus. During this meeting, FHSU President, Dr. Tisa Mason, presented recommendations from an important group formed on campus – the Critical Incident Policy Group. Under the leadership of President Mason and FHSU Provost, Dr. Jill Arensdorf, this committee has spent countless hours creating a safe environment for our university’s campus.

President Mason explained in detail the various expectations of FHSU students, employees and visitors. Several of those expectations are as follows: access restrictions; university event restrictions; change in course delivery programs; virus testing, reporting and tracking; special housing for positive cases; university and city collaborations, etc. We understand the vast challenges that FHSU has faced throughout the last eight months and are appreciative of the efforts being made to maintain a safe university environment.

Another reason we’re thankful to have Fort Hays State in our backyard is the economic advantages and cultural experiences the university provides to this region. From a purely financial standpoint, I read in an economic impact report that Fort Hays State University generates more than $273 million in annual economic impact to this region. That’s incredible.

From a cultural or entertainment perspective, we often fail to remember that our student-athletes compete in one of the most competitive conferences in all of NCAA Division II. Donna and I have had the opportunity to enjoy the high-level competition that Tiger Athletics has to offer, and I know that many of you have as well.

Fort Hays State is a university that we’re proud of. Each year, FHSU students receive well-deserved awards for both academics and athletics. With our tuition being the lowest of all Kansas Board of Regents universities, we would consider FHSU the best, cost-effective university that Kansas has to offer.

Lastly, in my 34 years teaching at FHSU, I observed many students experiencing financial hardships – even those working two or three jobs on top of their academic studies. I’m sure the current pandemic has created additional struggles for students to hurdle.

We’re asking you to consider joining us in making a tax-deductible scholarship donation to Fort Hays State University this holiday season. We feel blessed to have FHSU within our community and we know there are many others who feel the same. It’s an honor to pay it forward and we are thankful to be part of the Tiger family. Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and safe Merry Christmas.

Go Tigers!

Ed and Donna Stehno