Large gift will support Wallace County students

by Randy Gonzales
HAYS, Kan. -- Jim and Glennis (Huffman) Nokes, Kingwood, Texas, have a history of supporting Fort Hays State University. Nokes, who graduated from FHSU in 1968, and his wife recently made another large gift which will support Wallace County students.

With their gift of more than $300,000 to Fort Hays State they worked with the FHSU Foundation to establish a scholarship fund that will provide an annual scholarship of $2,500 for four years per student. The funds are endowed, and will provide scholarship support to FHSU students in perpetuity.

Nokes graduated from FHSU with a Bachelor of Science in business administration. Two years later, he earned his MBA, also from FHSU, and began a career with ConocoPhillips, which lasted more than 35 years. In 1998, he was named president of Conoco's North American refining and marketing operations division and in 2003 was named U.S. Executive of the Year by Hart Publication's World Refining Magazine.

Nokes' alma mater has been fortunate to benefit from that success. He and his wife, Glennis have an extensive history of giving back to FHSU. They have been welcomed as Silver Level members into the President's Leadership Circle, a status that indicates the couple has gifted $250,000 or more to Fort Hays State over the years.

Recipients of this particular scholarship must be graduates of Wallace County High School, located in Sharon Springs, who have maintained a GPA of at least 2.75 throughout high school and demonstrate a need for financial assistance. However, in the absence of such candidates, applications from high schools in adjacent counties will be considered. The students must be properly enrolled in any undergraduate or graduate program at FHSU and must remain in good academic standing, maintaining a GPA of 2.75 or higher.

"We recognize the excellent high school education obtained at Wallace County High School," said Nokes. "Wallace County was very good to Glennis and me, and this scholarship is one way that we can help future students in need of financial support to get to college."

For scholarship recipient Ivan Montes, an FHSU freshman from Sharon Springs, the scholarship has already made an impact on his first few weeks of college.

"This scholarship has affected my education in many ways. It will allow me to focus on schoolwork and not on college expenses. Also, having this scholarship will give me the opportunity to be involved in activities that I may not have been able to participate in otherwise," he said.

"I have been diving into many activities during these first weeks of college. From meetings involving different organizations to fun social activities, college has been a great experience for me so far."

The Nokes' have strong ties to Fort Hays State and Wallace County. Glennis' family has four generations of FHSU graduates. Jim was the first of his family to attend college, and acknowledges Fort Hays State was the right choice for him.
"The university provides students with an excellent education at a reasonable price," he said. "In fact, they are the only university that I've been associated with that takes pride in keeping their costs affordable for students."

"While at another university, they waived certain minimum credits so that I could graduate with Jim, saying that if you had most of those hours at FHSU, that's good enough for us," said Glennis.

The couple have raised three children -- Rita, Coye and Adam.

For more information, contact the FHSU Foundation at 785-628-5620 or To learn more about the Fort Hays State University Foundation, visit

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