Harman Patil (Editor)

Fort Hays State University

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Type  Public, Coeducational
Endowment  $70.95 million (2015)
Total enrollment  12,802 (2011)
Mascot  Fort Hays State Tiger
Established  1902 (1902)
Budget  $155.5 million
Acceptance rate  87.9% (2014)
Fort Hays State University
Former name  Western Branch of Kansas    State Normal School Fort Hays Kansas State    Normal School Kansas State Teachers    College of Hays Fort Hays State College
Motto  Forward thinking. World ready.
Address  600 Park St #1, Hays, KS 67601, USA
Undergraduate tuition and fees  Local tuition: 4,469 USD (2015), Domestic tuition: 13,159 USD (2015)

Fort hays state university first year experience

Fort Hays State University (FHSU) is a public, co-educational university located in Hays, Kansas, United States. It is the third-largest of the six state universities governed by the Kansas Board of Regents, with an enrollment of approximately 11,200 students (4,000 undergraduate, 1,200 graduate, and 6,000 online students).


The nightlife of a fort hays state university student


FHSU was founded in 1902 as the Western Branch of Kansas State Normal School, which is now known as Emporia State University. The institution was originally located on the grounds of Fort Hays, a frontier military outpost that was closed in 1889. The university served the early settlers' needs for educational facilities in the new region. The first building closer to Hays was completed in 1904, at which time the university moved to its present location. The modern campus is still located on a portion of the former military reservation from the fort. FHSU was first to be founded as an agricultural based school but was then determined to be a normal school. The normal school was supposed to be supported in part by the agricultural experiment station. For years the University Dairy Unit supplied to school cafeteria with fresh milk.

During the Great Flood of 1951 a tributary of the Kansas River flooded nearly all of campus forcing a midnight evacuation.


  1. William S. Picken (1902–1913)
  2. William A. Lewis (1913–1933)
  3. Clarence E. Rarick (1933–1941)
  4. Lyman D. Wooster (1941–1949)
  5. Morton C. Cunningham (1949–1969)
  6. John W. Gustad (1969–1975)
  7. Gerald W. Tomanek (1975–1987)
  8. Dr. Edward H. Hammond (1987–2014)
  9. Dr. Mirta M. Martin (2014–2016)
  • Mike Barnett (acting) (2016)
  • Dr. Andy Tompkins (interim) (2016–present)
  • Possible merge with Dodge City Community College

    In March 2014, it was announced that Dodge City Community College might become part of Fort Hays State University under a proposal that would create the first public four-year degree-granting college in southwest Kansas. The college would then be known as Fort Hays State University at Dodge City if the plan is approved by the Kansas Board of Regents. Fort Hays faculty might teach other four-year programs in Dodge City, while courses typically taken by college freshmen and sophomores would remain the same. The proposal would also require $10 million to build a technical institute and $5 million per year in state funding. If the Board of Regents approve it, then it must also be approved by the state Legislature and the governor.

    On November 11, 2014, the community college's Board of Trustees voted 3–3 on a proposal that recommended that Fort Hays become an upper division college and technical institute in Dodge City, with the Dodge City college remaining independent. With this vote, the merger has collapsed and will not happen.

    The campus

    The main campus sits on 200 acres (0.81 km2) of the 4,160 acres (16.8 km2) owned by the state and deeded to the university. The campus property includes more than 40 limestone-faced buildings. Big Creek, a winding stream that traverses the campus, not only enhances the beauty of the campus, but also serves as a natural laboratory for students in the biological sciences. The campus is located just to the west of the Hays business district, two miles (3 km) south of Interstate 70. Several businesses in downtown Hays cater specifically to FHSU students.


    The buildings of Fort Hays State University are all dedicated to someone or of are important part in FHSU's history.

    Forsyth Library

    In addition to supporting the general needs of faculty, staff and students, Forsyth Library has a large collection of fiction and nonfiction material about Kansas and the American West, supported in part by the Elmer and Eartha Pugh Trust Fund. Topics include railroads, the cattle industry, cowboys, Native Americans and frontier life.

    The William D. Pashchal World War II History Collection, donated by retired dentist William Paschal, contains books, declassified government documents, maps, photographs, and other materials.

    The library is also the repository for the books, papers and periodicals of the Fort Hays Genealogy Society.

    Sternberg Museum of Natural history

    The university's Sternberg Museum of Natural History features interactive natural science exhibitions, many traveling and temporary exhibitions, an acclaimed Discovery Room, and a Museum Store. The museum houses over 100,000 square feet (10,000 m2) of dinosaurs, fossils, prehistoric animals, giant sea-swimming lizards and fish that inhabited Kansas over 70-80 million years ago. The Sternberg Museum also includes more than 3.7 million specimens in collections of paleontology, geology, history, archaeology, ethnology, botany, entomology, ichthyology, herpetology, ornithology and mammalogy. One will find that all these major exhibits contain at least one creature/plant named after Sternberg.

    The university's museum was renamed the Sternberg Memorial Museum after the death in 1969 of George Sternberg, who had developed it. The current museum was formed in 1991 when the university's museum was merged with the Museum of the High Plains.

    The museum is the home of the famous Cretaceous fossil Gillicus in Xiphactinus, better known as the "fish within a fish," which shows a small fossil fish inside the stomach of a larger fossil fish.

    In 2010, researchers at the museum showed that plankton-eating fish flourished in the ocean at the same time as the dinosaurs, filling in a 106-million-year gap in the fossil record. One of the authors of the paper was Mike Everhart, a curator of paleontology at the museum.


    FHSU comprises four colleges (Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Business and Entrepreneurship, Education and Technology, and Health and Life Sciences) which together have 30 departments and offer more than 60 academic majors for undergraduates and 19 for graduate students. Students at FHSU can obtain Associate's degrees in office technology and radiologic technology; do their preprofessional study at FHSU then transfer to a medical or law school; obtain bachelor's and master's degrees; and in some areas of the curriculum, can earn specialist's degrees.

    FHSU also offers online degrees through its "Virtual College". The "Virtual College" evolved from the Department of Continuing Education and Learning Technology in 1999. It is responsible for offering a variety of online courses and degrees to students that are not able to be on campus. The "Virtual College" currently offers 19 bachelor's degrees and 10 master's degrees online. It also offers endorsements and certificates online. It is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. FHSU's online programs in counseling, human resources, IT and computer science, and nursing are ranked in the top 5 in each category for most affordable programs of their kind in the United States. The "Virtual College" has strategic partnerships with the military, community colleges across the country, and universities worldwide. Recently, over 5,800 students from over 27 countries, and ranging in age from 18 to over 70 were enrolled in the "Virtual College."

    Agriculture Department

    The Agriculture Department is composed of two majors, the Agriculture Business major and the Agriculture major. The Agriculture major has five different options for students to choose from: Agricultural Education, Agronomy, Beef Cattle Management, General Agriculture and Animal Science. The Head of Agriculture at FHSU is Dr. John Greathouse, who also teaches a few courses offered in the Ag Department. There are also numerous clubs for students to participate in, such as: Agronomy Club, Ag Business, Block & Bridle, Livestock Judging Team, Rodeo Club, Pre-Veterinary Medicine Club, DTA and AGR. There is also a University Farm that includes dairy, sheep, swine, beef and crop units located just west of the university that is used for educational purposes and research for different classes.

    Docking Institute of Public Affairs

    The Docking Institute is a public policy research institute whose mission is to enhance effective decision-making among governmental and non-profit leaders. The Institute has six focus areas:

    1. Survey research, program evaluation research, public policy research, and community and economic development research
    2. Strategic planning and consulting
    3. Grants facilitation
    4. Economic and community development consulting
    5. Public administration training programs
    6. Public affairs programming (conferences, speakers, forums, media events, scholarly publications, etc.)

    In addition, the university hosts the Sebelius Lecture Series each year. The series is named for former United States Representative Keith Sebelius, who graduated from Fort Hays State University in 1941. Each semester, Fort Hays State University invites nationally recognized leaders to the campus to serve as keynote speakers. These speakers share their experiences, expertise, and wisdom with our students, faculty, staff, and surrounding community members.


    Fort Hays State athletic teams participate in the NCAA Division II Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA). The Fort Hays State basketball programs hold four national basketball titles; the men's team claimed national championships in 1984 and 1985 (NAIA), back to back, and in 1996 (NCAA Division II) with a remarkable 34 and 0 record. The women's team also brought home the national title in 1991 (NAIA). The men's cross country program owns four national championships, all as a member of the NAIA, occurring in 1963, 1965, 1968, and 1969. The baseball program was NCAA Division II national runner-up in 2000. FHSU Shooting Team won 3rd place in 2009 in the American Trap event at the National ACUI competition.


    FHSU's mascot is the Tiger and has been the mascot of FHSU since 1914. No one knows for certain how it came to be FHSU's mascot, but the Tiger may have been the brainchild of W.A. Lewis, the president of the Western Branch Normal School (FHSU). Many tigers have represented FHSU over the years, but on April 3, 2000, the current mascot was unveiled. It is now the only acceptable image of the FHSU Tiger. At the annual TailGreat on Sept. 9, 2000, the mascot was officially named Victor E. Tiger. The costumed tiger character, Victor E. Tiger, appears at sporting and university events and is currently worn by Dawna Evers, a Senior at the university.

    Oktoberfest & homecoming weekend

    Each year, Fort Hays State holds an annual celebration called Oktoberfest. It is a celebration of the Volga German heritage of Ellis County. It is held at Frontier Park in downtown Hays on the Friday before FHSU’s homecoming. For entertainment, there is polka music and various booths that serve a variety of German food and beer. The first keg is tapped around 11:00 a.m. which officially begins Oktoberfest. There is also a homecoming parade on Saturday morning where student organizations decorate floats or walk in the parade for FHSU spirit. The homecoming football game begins Saturday afternoon.

    Student media

    Student Media at Fort Hays is housed under the banner Tiger Media Network, which includes radio, TV, and print editions, stemming from their website at tmn.fhsu.edu.

    Notable alumni

  • Vashone Adams, NFL player
  • Greg Anderson, athletic trainer linked to the BALCO steroids scandal
  • Kris Kuksi, visual artist
  • Kathryn McCarthy, U.S. Representative from Kansas
  • Tim McCarty, East Central University football coach
  • Milton McGriggs, American football player
  • Les Miller, NFL player
  • Frankie Neal, NFL player
  • Nola Ochs, world's oldest college graduate (95 in 2007)
  • Pillar (band), which formed at the university in 1998
  • References

    Fort Hays State University Wikipedia