HAYS, KS -- A group of Fort Hays State University students wanted to raise awareness of the university in the local community. They found a willing partner in the local Wal*Mart store.
At 9 this morning, their work led to the unveiling of an 8-foot by 5-foot mural at the north entrance of the Hays Wal*Mart. The mural, produced by the FHSU Department of Art, depicts the Tiger mascot, the university logo, the university seal and historic Picken Hall. The Leadership Studies students were joined at the unveiling by FHSU cheerleaders, the FHSU mascot, Victor E. Tiger, university administrators, Wal*Mart employees and the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors.
Ryan Bickle, fall graduate from Hays, Meghan Slagle, fall graduate from Beeler, Kandra Craig, Hays sophomore, Nick McGuirk, Wellington senior, and Lindsey Basinger, Hays sophomore, embarked on the project last semester for a Leadership Studies class. They received help from the Art Department, the Technology Studies Department, the Athletic Department and others on campus. When they took their proposal to Mike Konz, manager of the Hays Wal*Mart, they discovered that he was also enthusiastic about making FHSU more visible in his store.
The mural was painted by students under the direction of Allen Craven, assistant professor of art. The students are Doreen Kinderknecht, Meade senior, Rachael Krogmann, Sabetha senior, Beverly Snavely, Smith Center special undergraduate, Jessica Tracy, Rose Hill senior, and Chad Wahlgren, Salina senior, 2063 Raymond Ave. In addition, the Technology Studies Department and the university's Physical Plant produced a display board, located in the south entrance to Wal*Mart, that offers general information about the university and flyers about upcoming activities on campus. Finally, the Leadership Studies group also coordinated sales of tickets to FHSU athletic events at the Wal*Mart service desk.
Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, served as master of ceremonies at the unveiling ceremony. He thanked Wal*Mart for being a good partner with the university and noted that Wal*Mart Manager Mike Konz also has agreed to make FHSU Centennial items available at the store. More information about that service will be announced soon.
"The Leadership Studies Program, under the leadership of Chair Curt Brungardt, has been so successful since its inception in 1993 that it recently was elevated to the status of an academic department with approval from the Kansas Board of Regents," the president said. "The Fort Hays State Leadership Studies Program was selected as the Outstanding Leadership Program for the year 2000 by the National Association of Leadership Educators at a meeting in Canada."
Bickle introduced the other members of his team and explained that after taking introductory leadership classes, FHSU students can earn a Leadership Studies certificate by taking a third class in which they perform a real task for the community. His team saw the need to raise awareness of the university in the immediate community, he said.
Bickle thanked Konz, Assistant Manager Ann Walters and the Wal*Mart staff for their support, and he thanked the various people on campus who assisted with the project, giving special thanks to Christie Brungardt, instructor of leadership studies, for assisting and prodding the group to the successful completion of their project.
FHSU Athletic Director Tom Spicer also spoke briefly, thanking Wal*Mart for agreeing to sell tickets to athletic events. Wal*Mart now becomes the third off-campus outlet for FHSU athletic tickets. Tickets also are available at both Dillons stores in Hays.