FHSU hopes to capture spirit of entrepreneurship with new residence hall

DGH Scholarship Hall


By Randy Gonzales
University Relations and Marketing
HAYS, Kan. -- Fort Hays State University is not only building an entrepreneurial scholarship residence hall on campus. The university also hopes to foster an entrepreneurial spirit among those students selected to live there.

Who knows, the next Steve Jobs or Phil Knight might come up with the next big thing late one night while living in Dane G. Hansen Scholarship Hall.

"Our job is to provide the wisdom to our students so then they can have meaningful careers so they can impact the human condition," FHSU President Mirta M. Martin said. "A meaningful career doesn't mean you have to go work for somebody; a meaningful career means you can go create your own dream."

Students from any academic major at FHSU interested in entrepreneurship may apply for acceptance to the scholarship hall. Those who are accepted will be required to complete the 12 hours necessary for a certificate in entrepreneurship.

Ideal candidates have two years of academic coursework remaining. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in 12 hours and graduate students enrolled in a minimum of nine hours per semester. Undergraduate students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.50, and graduate students' cumulative GPA must be 3.0. Students in the new scholarship hall will pay a lesser room rate than in standard residential halls or apartments.

Go to https://webapps.fhsu.edu/scholarshiphall/default.aspx to apply for admittance to the Dane G. Hansen Scholarship Hall. The deadline for applications is Monday, Feb 29, 2016. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by Friday, March 4. If accepted, applicants will be required to complete all Residential Life applications and paperwork for the scholarship hall by Monday, March 21.

"I'm really excited to recruit students to be the inaugural class of that entrepreneurship hall, and I can't wait to see the incredible genius that these creative young minds are going to come up with and the incredible businesses they are going to dream about," Martin said.

FHSU broke ground on the 12,775-square-foot building in October. The three-story scholarship hall will have bedrooms for 32 entrepreneur-minded students and a resident assistant. The $3.95 million building will be funded by a $3 million donation from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation in Logan as well as other private donations.

"To me, this entrepreneurship hall that is going to become a reality this August because of the generosity of the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, only exemplifies that distinctiveness, that entrepreneurial spirit, that innovation here at Fort Hays State," Martin said.

The hall is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2016 fall semester. It will be located on campus just east of a new 400-bed residence hall that will replace Wiest Hall.

"We're excited about having a facility that will open doors for students and have a positive impact on this region and Kansas and the larger world," said Dr. Mark Bannister, dean of the College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

The scholarship hall will include a community room equipped with the latest teaching and learning technologies as well as innovative spaces that stimulate teamwork. It will also provide an incubator environment for student-based start-up businesses.

"People from other universities are very impressed with what we are doing," Bannister said. "We're seen as a national leader in building a learning environment for entrepreneurship."

Hansen Hall will be the first of its kind among Kansas Board of Regents institutions. When completed, it is believed it will be one of a handful of such residence halls in the nation.

"We have been known to have an entrepreneurial spirit; to me it's even more than that," Martin said. "For me, it's having the vision and the ability to dream and then the heart and effort and the work ethic to make it a reality."

Bannister drew a distinction between FHSU's entrepreneur residence hall and others he's familiar with.

"Other universities that are doing this are actually charging additional housing costs to live in this special type of environment, instead of a discounted scholarship for students living in an entrepreneurship environment," Bannister said. "That's one of the unique attributes, besides the gathering of students with an interest in entrepreneurship."

The entrepreneurship scholarship hall is part of $88 million dedicated toward new construction over the next three years, Martin said. It's all part of making FHSU a destination of choice, providing programs of distinction and having people of excellence.

"We are building 21st-century facilities built with 21st-century technologies to be able to educate the 21st-century leader," Martin said.

For more information about the Dane G. Hansen Scholarship Hall, visit www.fhsu.edu/scholarshiphall

Back to top