FHSU President's Dinner

The annual President's Dinner at Fort Hays State University -- which featured both the outgoing president, Dr. Edward H. Hammond, and the incoming president, Dr. Mirta M. Martin -- included major announcements about financial support for the university.

First, President Hammond announced that the Power of One Scholarship Campaign had exceeded the $8 million goal that had been set for the one-year initiative. The campaign began in December 2013, and the $8 million goal represented a 400-percent increase over normal scholarship fundraising expectations for the Foundation over a year's time. Hammond said that after only six months, the campaign had brought in $8,268,392 in support of well-deserving students at FHSU.

Hammond shared the financial announcements from the President's Dinner during a news conference today on the FHSU campus. He said that although FHSU was grateful for the $8 million that had been raised in the campaign, a new goal has been set to reach $12 million before the end of 2014.

"The number one need for FHSU students is scholarship dollars," Tim Chapman, president and CEO of the FHSU Foundation, said. "This fundraising initiative not only supports our students, but it also recognizes Dr. Hammond's 27 years of leadership and success here at Fort Hays State University."

In addition to the great news about the scholarship campaign, Chapman also shared information about a special gift that was revealed during the President's Dinner on Friday night. He said Don and Chris Bickle, along with Bob and Pat Schmidt, announced they would be contributing a combined $500,000 in support of establishing the Dr. Edward H. Hammond Endowed Chair.

"It is important to invest in the people who support Fort Hays State University through their intellectual resources," Chapman said. "It provides the foundation for growth that allow all other areas to grow. Having quality faculty and administrative support at FHSU is vital if the university is to maintain the top-level of leadership in education, research, and service. Not only will this generous gift from the Bickles and Schmidts serve as a springboard and standard that others will follow, but it will enable Dr. Hammond to be recognized in perpetuity for his work and dedication in leading the university to new levels of success."

Chapman said the newly named president, Dr. Mirta Martin, would be the first to be recognized as the Distinguished Hammond Chair.

In expressing his thanks to the Bickles and Schmidts, President Hammond noted what an important role the sense of family had played in the gifts. "There were three generations of Bickles at the dinner on Friday night, and while Bob and Pat did not have other family members there, I know their kids were also involved in the decision," the president said. "We talk about the importance of family at Fort Hays State, and this is just one more demonstration of how true that is."

Chapman said the history of Fort Hays State has been one of substantial growth, extraordinary individuals and ambitious goals. "The future of Fort Hays State is bound to be great, as well," he said. "The university is fortunate to have a wonderful group of alumni and friends who believe in that future."

A number of announcements were made regarding FHSU's Leadership Circle, an elite group of generous donors who, through cumulative gifts, have made significant contributions to the university. The various Leadership Circle levels are noted below:

Diamond Level -- ($1,000,000+ Members)
Gold Level -- ($500,000 - $999,999 Members)
Silver Level -- ($100,000 - $499,999 Members)
Bronze Level -- ($50,000 - $99,999 Members)

Changes to Leadership Circle:
Verlin and Elaine Pfannenstiel -- from Gold to Diamond
Boyer Educational Trust -- from Bronze to Silver
Kansas Scottish Rite Foundation -- from Bronze to Silver
Dick and Kay Werth -- from Bronze to Silver
Lewis Automotive Group -- from Bronze to Silver

New Additions to Leadership Circle (among other anonymous individuals):
Jack and Susie Eades -- Gold
Peter and Pamela Werth -- Silver
Alma Johnson Estate -- Bronze
Jack and Ruth Winton Estate -- Bronze
Wilmer and Lorena Kellogg -- Bronze
Ryan and Tonya Wasinger -- Bronze (Ryan is 35 and the youngest member of the Leadership Circle)
Toby and Joanna Johnson -- Bronze
Kevin Faulkner -- Bronze
Jay and Marsha Scott -- Bronze
Patricia Baconrind -- Bronze
Rodney and Charlene Lake -- Bronze
Larry and Celia Nicholson -- Bronze
Sigma Phi Epsilon Alumni and Volunteer Corporation -- Bronze
Eagle Communications -- Bronze

Special recognition went to Verlin and Elaine Pfannenstiel, who have become Diamond members of the Leadership Circle at FHSU. They were honored as major supporters of FHSU and thanked for their cumulative gifts to the university, which add up to more than $1 million.

Final announcements at the event revolved around the FHSU Lyman Dwight Wooster Society, which was named for the fourth president of Fort Hays State University and seeks to honor individuals who arrange gifts to the Foundation through planned giving.

New Wooster Society Members (among other anonymous individuals):
James Bodge
Robert and Lee Mae Brand
Wilmer and Lorena Kellogg
Dean and Gila Lavielle
Lee Madden
Joe and June Nold
Charlie and Denise Riedel
Jerry and Judy Rome
Sherrill Ruda
Dick and Pat Selensky
Lyle and Ann Staab
Jim and Debbie Stelter
Lloyd Trauer
Darrell and Barbara Werth

Anyone interested in joining the Lyman Dwight Wooster Society at Fort Hays State University can contact the FHSU Foundation at 785-628-5620 or foundation@fhsu.edu for information about ways of establishing an estate gift.

For additional information about how to support FHSU's Power of One Scholarship Campaign, please visit http://foundation.fhsu.edu/pressrelease/powerofone.php.

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