FHSU Foundation declares second annual Student Awareness Campaign a success

Awareness campaigns are held, oftentimes, to shed light on subjects that are typically unknown to the general public. Information and statistics are presented to paint a clearer picture of complex concepts. The second annual Student Awareness Lunch took place Thursday at the Robbins Center, home to the Fort Hays State University Foundation. With the help of a generous sponsorship from Astra Bank, the event educated students about the necessity and importance of philanthropy and private support.

Almost 350 FHSU students joined the Foundation for a free lunch and $1,500 in scholarship giveaways, courtesy of Astra Bank. Students were extremely appreciative and learned a thing or two about the Foundation and the thousands of donors who help pay for their education. Unbeknownst to most students, FHSU's operating budget is not covered solely by tuition and state funding. In fact, tuition and state funding together barely account for half of FHSU's 2013-2014 budget. The difference is made up, in part, by donations from FHSU alumni, friends and community partners.

The Foundation was lucky to have a Leadership 310 Team -- students in a semester-long project undertaken through the Fieldwork in Leadership Studies course -- choose the Foundation's Awareness Campaign as their project. Over the course of the semester, they helped brainstorm, plan and administer a week's worth of events, including Thursday's lunch.

The Leadership 310 students who made this initiative a success included Casy Arganbright, Minneapolis junior; Brooke Borger, Jetmore junior; Green Chi, Shenyang, China, senior; Kali McCulloch, Wichita senior; and Logan Simonson, Palmer, Neb., senior.

Winners of the scholarship drawings were Kelsey Bieker, Hays senior; Jackie Dennis, Leawood sophomore; Killian Gorman, Manhattan freshman; Taylor Mares, Fort Collins junior; Abigail Rivera, Liberal freshman; and Mingluo "Allen" Zhang, Xinzheng, China, graduate student. Additionally, Hanna Kircher, Hoisington sophomore, was the winner of the guessing cabinet that was present in the Memorial Union. Hanna guessed 12,813 pieces when the correct number was 12,816 -- the number of gifts received by FHSU last year.

Developing awareness of how FHSU is funded is an important lesson for students at one of the fastest-growing and least-expensive four-year institutions in the nation. The hope is to continue to educate current and future Tigers about the importance of private support. That way, when the day comes that they are asked to give back to their alma mater, they will be more inclined to do so. The FHSU Foundation hopes students will remember that someone else's generosity helped support their education, encouraging them to support the next generation of Tigers.

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