HAYS, KS -- Nex-Tech, a local supplier of wide-ranging technology products and services, has agreed to become the primary corporate sponsor for Fort Hays State University's annual spring series of Student Recognition Programs across Kansas. Nex-Tech will also be one of the retailers where incoming FHSU freshmen can purchase their own personal computers under a new loan program that was announced this morning.
"Partnerships with businesses that care about education give our university the edge it needs to offer exceptional quality," Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, said during a news conference in the Stouffer Lounge of the university's Memorial Union. "It would be difficult to imagine a partnership more appropriate than this one between Fort Hays State and Nex-Tech. With our unique mission of integrating computer and telecommunications technology with the educational environment and the work place, FHSU has established a reputation as a leader in preparing its students for the information age. This partnership with Nex-Tech and its parent company, Rural Telephone Service Co. of Lenora, will help us make prospective students aware of the opportunities at Fort Hays State."
President Hammond introduced Larry E. Sevier, the CEO of Rural Telephone, who talked about his company's decision to become the primary sponsor for the university's annual Student Recognition Programs.
"We are pleased to join Fort Hays State University in its quest to prepare students for the technical society we now live in and happy to assist these very worthy students," Sevier said. He explained that Nex-Tech would conduct a drawing for one $500 gift certificate at each of the 11 upcoming SRPs, which are held at locations throughout Kansas.
Sevier said the gift certificates can be used at the Nex-Tech outlet in Hays for the purchase of any technical equipment they desire. "We offer a wide variety of quality technology products that are becoming part of the everyday education environment at FHSU," Sevier said.
Sevier said that in addition to the gift certificates, Nex-Tech and Rural Telephone will provide $7,000 for the SRPs that will be used for facility rentals and other costs, including the rich dessert buffets that are a popular tradition at the events.
"We are proud to be associated with such a fine educational provider and happy to assist the university," Sevier said. "This is a natural partnership. We are a major employer in western Kansas, with more than 200 employees in offices throughout Kansas, and FHSU has a tremendous impact on the economy as well as the quality of life throughout western Kansas."
Nex-Tech is owned by Rural Telephone Service Co. and provides a variety of technology products and services throughout Kansas, including network design and integration, computer sales and repair, telephony systems, Internet access and a growing number of e-business services and government software development, as well as technology consultation and training.
Emprise Bank of Hays, the FHSU Alumni Association, and local businesses and individuals at each event also help sponsor the SRPs. Emprise Bank will hold a drawing for a $400 scholarship at each of the SRPs, as it has done for the past several years.
President Hammond also announced the new computer loan program that will be funded by the FHSU Endowment Association. The program will provide loans for 75 incoming freshmen to purchase their own personal computers.
"This will help our students become computer literate and computer flexible," the president said. "It is virtually impossible -- and certainly unwise -- to go through college without ever touching a computer. This will make it possible for more students to own computers for their rooms or laptops that they can carry with them."
Beginning in the fall 2000 semester, first-time freshmen will be able to borrow up to $2,000 to purchase a computer of their choice. No interest will be charged while the students are enrolled at FHSU and during a five-month grace period following the last period of enrollment. After the five-month grace period, a 5 percent administrative fee calculated on the unpaid principal will be assessed, and interest will begin to accrue at a low 6 percent rate.
Dr. Hammond explained that to be eligible, interested students must be admitted to Fort Hays State University. He said loans would be made to needy, first-time, full-time, degree-seeking freshmen only. A cosigner is required. Applications for the FHSU Student Computer Loan Program are available from the Admissions Office in Custer Hall. Applications must be completed and postmarked no later than April 1, 2000, to be considered for a loan. He emphasized that loan funds are limited and priority will be given to needy students.
President Hammond also introduced Dr. Herb Songer, vice president for student affairs, who helped plan the computer loan program. "The new student computer loan program is another bold step the university is taking to ensure that our students will have the necessary tools to be successful while attending Fort Hays State, and after they leave the university," Dr. Songer said. "This program will be a tremendous advantage to those students who need a little help in acquiring the latest computer technology."
FHSU STUDENT RECOGNITION PROGRAMS FOR SPRING 2000
7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 31, Phillips County 4-H Building, N. Highway 183
7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, Beloit Junior-Senior High School, 1711 N. Walnut
1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6, Hyatt Regency, 400 W. Waterman
7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6, Salina Country Club, 2101 E. Country Club
7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 7, Holiday Inn, 3017 W. 10th
7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, Ramada Inn, 1950 S. Range Ave.
1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20, DoubleTree Hotel, 10100 College Blvd.
7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20, Capitol Plaza Hotel
2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27, Wheat Lands Convention Center, 1311 E. Fulton
7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27, Silver Spur Lodge, 1510 W. Wyatt Earp Blvd.
7 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, Memorial Union, Fort Hays State University