HAYS, Kan. -- It was almost six years ago when Fort Hays State
University silently launched the most ambitious fundraising
campaign in its history. The goal of the Cornerstone Campaign, a
total university effort that was led by the FHSU Foundation and
scheduled to end in November this year, was to raise $60
Halfway through, just as the silent phase was ending, the
campaign hit a potential snag. The national economy dipped into a
recession, and the Cornerstone Campaign committee discussed timing
options and the likelihood of being successful if it moved into the
public phase by announcing the campaign and the $60-million goal:
$30 million in cash and $30 million in deferred commitments.
"The resounding cry was, 'If not now, when?'" Tim Chapman, CEO
and president of the FHSU Foundation, recalled during a news
conference today on the FHSU campus. "Total receipted gifts by 2009
exceeded 50 percent of the goal, and the announcement was made we
were moving forward with the Cornerstone Campaign."
Joined at the podium by Chapman and leaders of the Cornerstone
Campaign, Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, announced that the
campaign had far exceeded its goal.
"I applaud the Foundation team and the deans, department chairs
and others for their commitment and their work," President Hammond
said. "They traveled far and wide to talk with alumni and friends.
This joint effort during these tough economic times produced a
successful result that is much appreciated by all. That successful
result is defined by the final total of $68,743,800."
The president noted that FHSU and the Foundation had kicked off
the silent phase in November 2006. "We went public in the fall of
2009 with $36 million receipted at that time," President Hammond
said. "We wanted to create giving avenues to support the renovation
of Picken Hall; we wanted to add support for Faculty of Distinction
chairs and professorships; we wanted to create avenues of
additional support for programs across all spectrums of our campus,
including the indoor training facility for our student athletes;
and we wanted to ramp up scholarship support for students as our
enrollment grew and continues to grow at record levels.
"Now we are excited to announce Picken Hall is completed, the
training facility will become a reality in the fall of 2013, we
more than doubled our Faculty of Distinction positions, and the
goal for departmental and university support and scholarships was
exceeded by 18 percent. All of this was accomplished during a time
of uncertainty in our nation as the economy and world markets went
into a deep recession. Some said it was going to be extremely tough
to get this done. We have been told that before. When we announced
we were going to double our enrollment by 2010, people doubted.
They were wrong then, too. But guess what, we always march forward
and seem to prove everyone wrong."
Chapman said the leadership over the past six years had been a
true pillar of strength. He extended a special thanks to Kerry
McQueen and John Tomlinson, recent past Board of Trustee chairs who
helped outline and define the campaign. He also thanked all the
members of the Board of Trustees who served during the effort,
calling them an inspiration to work with.
Chapman introduced the current Board of Trustees chair, Tom
Thomas, president of Commerce Bank in Hays. Thomas has been a board
member for the past 13 years and served as chair the past two
years. "Tom was also instrumental in my discussions to come back to
Hays in 2006 to lead the Foundation, and he is a true friend,"
"On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I extend our
congratulations to Dr. Hammond, Tim and the Foundation for the hard
work, passion and effort of your teams in making this announcement
possible," Thomas said. "The true success of Fort Hays State
University and the partnership the university and Foundation
provide to our community, western Kansas and beyond is a testament
to the dedication of all. Congratulations on a great success."
Chapman also thanked Ed and Donna Stehno, chairs of the National
Campaign. "Ed and Donna have spent the last 39 years in Hays, and
they have been involved with FHSU every step of the way during that
time," Chapman said. "We couldn't think of a better couple to carry
the flag for this effort."
Over the nearly six years of the campaign, 66,000 gifts were
received, including more than 340 major gifts, and every region of
the country was touched. Stehno said he and his wife were excited
about the success of the campaign.
"We were humbled to be asked to be the face of this vitally
important effort," Stehno said. "When the economic conditions
soured, we would be less than truthful to say we weren't concerned.
That is what makes today so special. Fort Hays State friends and
alumni stepped to the plate, buckled down, and went to work. We
could not be any more proud."