HAYS, Kan. (KSNW) – Fort Hays State University announced that a $41 million gift will impact a multitude of students in a variety of areas at the university.
The generous gift was made by Don and Chris Bickle.
“The Bickle’s support for the largest fundraising initiative in Fort Hays State’s history shows that they are true difference makers,” said Jason Williby, president and CEO of the FHSU Foundation, at a news conference announcing the gift. “Their most recent gift benefits all four pillars of FHSU’s Journey Campaign – programs of distinction (academics), scholarships, athletics and student life.”
“The Bickle’s willingness to support the next generation of business people and entrepreneurs is exemplary,” said Dr. Mark Bannister, dean of the W.R. and Yvonne Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship.
Andree Brisson, who leads the study abroad program at Fort Hays State, said that private donations have helped send FHSU students to Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, South America, and the Caribbean. Examples include a trip to Italy by art students studying Renaissance art; history students walking the World War I trenches of France and Belgium; and nursing students working alongside nurses in the Dominican Republic.
“Students have been humbled by these experiences, and at the same time they have learned to be more independent, more tolerant and more appreciative of a greater world,” said Brisson.
The funds will also go to programs that provide support in academic advising and career services, counseling, wellness, physical and mental health, and tutoring or supplemental instruction.