Meet FHSU President Edward H. Hammond

Edward and Mary HammondHAYS, Kan. – Dr. Edward H. Hammond, the eighth president of Fort Hays State University, was born in McAllen, Texas, and reared in the Kansas City, Kan., area.

President Hammond received his bachelor and master’s degrees from Emporia State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Prior to accepting the presidency at FHSU in 1987, he held administrative positions at the universities of Louisville, Seton Hall, Southern Illinois, Purdue and Missouri.  He is the longest serving president in the Kansas Board of Regents system and the longest serving president in the 110-year history of FHSU.

President Hammond has published widely and is recognized as a futurist.  He is in demand nationally as a speaker and educational consultant in the areas of risk management, staff and institutional liability, and alcohol education.  In recent years, due to FHSU's success in China, he has also been sought as a consultant and speaker on the world's most populous nation.  Through partnerships with universities there, FHSU serves more than 3,600 students and has produced more than 5,000 FHSU graduates to date.  FHSU is the largest provider of higher education in China that is not a Chinese university.

The president has been extremely active at FHSU.  His first priority after assuming the presidency was to develop a unique learning environment with a value-added focus.  The focus has produced an electronic living and learning environment -- an environment that produces computer-literate and computer-flexible graduates and one that has an average class size of 18 students to one faculty member.  Other value-added initiatives include the internationalization of the curriculum, development of a Leadership Studies Program and development of a Four Year Guaranteed Degree program.  The university's Virtual College now serves more than 4,500 students, not including China, by means of Internet classes and other mediated forms of instruction.  The virtual students reside in Kansas, nearly every state and in several other nations.

President Hammond has also been instrumental in:

  • Increasing enrollment to nearly 12,800 students in three modalities -- on-campus, Virtual College, and China -- despite a decreasing population in the university’s primary service area;
  • Establishing Student Recognition Programs to award scholarships to academically outstanding high school seniors in Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska;
  • Establishing private scholarships for African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American students;
  • Developing a mobile learning and living environment that includes wireless connectivity throughout the FHSU campus;
  • Creating the Western Kansas Policy Development Board and the Western Kansas Educational Compact;
  • Increasing FHSU’s Foundation assets from $8.2 million to nearly $50 million in the past 20 years;
  • Completing a $2-million capital campaign, which had begun in 1985, for the renovation of Sheridan Hall;
  • Securing $12 million in federal and state funds for construction of Tomanek Hall, a state-of-the-art totally electronic and computerized physical sciences building;
  • Launching the $20-million Campaign FHSU, completed in 1994, that supported moving Sternberg Museum to its new location and renovating Lewis Field Stadium and Larks Park;
  • Launching the Centennial Campaign in 1999 that raised $36-million for university projects;
  • Launching the Cornerstone Campaign in 2009 to raise $60-million for university projects by 2012;
  • Increasing assets of the FHSU Foundation from $8.2 million to more than $51-million over the past 20 years;
  • Building the Robbins Center, home to the FHSU Foundation and the FHSU Alumni Association, which opened in September 2007 on the west edge of campus just north of Gross Memorial Coliseum;
  • Quadrupling the number of scholarships awarded yearly;
  • Establishing the national FHSU Alumni Club system;
  • Leading the drive to secure a new $12-million home for the Sternberg Museum of Natural History, with its world-class collections, which was dedicated in spring 1999 as an attraction for tourists and a first-class facility for research and teaching;
  • Developing, in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, the Kansas Wetlands Education Center -- a branch of the Sternberg Museum -- located at Cheyenne Bottoms; and
  • Announcing four new capital projects in fall 2011 -- the Tiger Place residential facility; a new road along the dike by Big Creek; a new academic building, the Center for Networked Learning; and a new indoor sports facility -- with a total cost of just under $24-million and a projected economic impact on the region and state of nearly $38-million.

Nationally, the president is a member of:

  • Serves as chair of the Board of Trustees for Boost Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students;
  • Serves as chair for National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week;
  • Serves as a board member of the Inter-Association Task Force on Alcohol and Other Substance Abuse Issues;
  • Is a past National President of Sigma Phi Epsilon;
  • Serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the North-American Interfraternity Conference;
  • Received the Chief Executive Leader Award in 2008 from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education; and
  • Received the Region IV-West Presidential Excellence Award in fall 2011 from the National Association of Student Personnel Administration.

In the state, the president is a member of:

  • The Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Industry Board of Directors; and
  • The Kansas Education/Business Coalition.

Locally, the president:

  • Is a former member of the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; and
  • Was named the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year for 1994.

The Hammond family:

  • President Hammond is married to Mary; and
  • His children and grandchildren include a daughter, Kelly Williams, her husband, Chris, and their children Lily and Jack; a daughter, Julie Mohajir, her husband, Terry, and their children Molly, Maria and Marco; and a son, Lance Hammond and his wife, Shannon and their children Trent and Grayce.