A campaign to raise $8 million in scholarship money for current and future students at Fort Hays State University moved closer to its goal today with the announcement of two major gifts.
At a news conference this morning, FHSU officials announced a gift of land valued at $600,000 from a 1940 alumnus and a second gift of $155,000 from an anonymous donor.
Jack Eades, a pioneer and self-starter from Stockton, has established the Jack and Susie Eades Scholarship, funded by the proceeds from more than 6 acres of land located in South Carolina that he has donated to FHSU. The scholarship fund will give first priority to Stockton High School graduates, then Rooks County graduates and lastly graduates from any high school in western Kansas.
"The money will support students of any major or field of study," Eades said. "I figure most students don't know what they want to study anyway. They go to college to find themselves. They find what they can do and can't do and what they're interested in when they go to college."
The Power of One scholarship campaign was launched in part to recognize the leadership of Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, who has announced his retirement effective this summer.
"It is gratifying to see how well the campaign is progressing," President Hammond said at the news conference. "Jack Eades and the anonymous donor are among the many wonderful and generous individuals whose support has helped raise FHSU to a position of national prominence. We are counting on other alumni and friends for contributions that will allow Fort Hays State to attract and retain the best and brightest students. Please join me in stepping up to the plate and supporting the Power of One campaign."
The university has come a long way since President Hammond's arrival. Throughout his tenure, assets of the FHSU Foundation have grown substantially. The amount of scholarship dollars that were available to FHSU students in 1986, the year before he arrived, was $424,000. In fiscal year 2013 -- the most recent period for which an audited total was available -- there was $1,583,576 available to well-deserving Tigers.
Eades describes himself as a "product of the dust bowl." He attended FHSU, where he studied botany and ecology, because it was the only school that he could afford. He was greatly influenced by his science teacher, Ralph Emner, who was his mentor and also an FHSU graduate. While attending FHSU, Eades had a job on campus for $17 a month, which he said was big money back then.
After graduating in 1940, Eades lived briefly in Washington, D.C., before relocating to Charleston, S.C. There he worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture at a federal research lab. In 1956, Eades started to develop Sylvan Shores, a new neighborhood in West Ashley, North Charleston, where he built his own home on weekends and evenings after working at the USDA lab. His wife, Lorraine, and he started to breed show collies and Charolais cattle, mostly to keep Lorraine company as she got more ill due to her multiple sclerosis.
After Lorraine's death, Eades eventually became involved with Susie Fender, a resident of Sylvan Shores. Susie was an avid tennis enthusiast, and to win her heart, he built a tennis court at his house. His effort paid off, as they had been married for almost 30 years before Susie passed away in 2007.
"It would be silly to pay capital gains taxes on this ground when I have the charitable intent to support For Hays State," Eades said.
The second gift announced today was a life income plan, which gives the donor a lifetime income. At the death of the donor, proceeds from the gift will be used to support scholarships at the university. This particular donation is the gift of a home that was sold with the proceeds placed in the life income plan. The donor has been a great partner with the FHSU Foundation and the university over the years.
"This is a win-win situation," the donor told FHSU officials. "We made deferred gifts to the FHSU Foundation previously and had considered this as a great option in helping us meet our financial needs and also assisting the university."
The donor added: "Though not alumni of FHSU, we developed a great interest in the university through our many years of partnership. We have always felt that FHSU is of great value in this community and have wished to be a part of helping it thrive. The funding of scholarships fulfills our wish to be of direct assistance to students in gaining their education. This has always been considered an important part of our beliefs and stewardship. The presence of FHSU in Hays has provided many enhancements to our lives personally, and we have felt a real sense of pride in its growth and accomplishments and the place it has made for itself in higher education in Kansas."
The goal of the Power of One scholarship campaign is to raise $8 million by the end of this year. That represents a 400-percent increase over normal fundraising expectations for the FHSU Foundation over a year's time. As of today, 30 percent of the campaign goal had been reached.
Supporting the Power of One scholarship campaign and giving to a deserving Tiger is easy. Simply visit http://foundation.fhsu.edu, click on “Make a Gift TODAY” in the top right-hand corner and select FHSU’s Greatest Need as your area of designation.
The Fort Hays State University Foundation is an independent, non-profit corporation designated to receive gifts on behalf of the university. Anyone interested in contributing to Fort Hays State may contact the FHSU Foundation at 785-628-5620 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at http://foundation.fhsu.edu.