FHSU professor emeritus Jack Heather to receive war medals

Jack Heather, Fort Hays State University professor emeritus, will be presented five medals for his service in the Army Air Corps during World War II. U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Hays, will present the medals to Heather at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, in Heather Hall on the FHSU campus.

Heather will receive the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal and the Honorable Service Lapel Button.

"Congressman Moran wants to honor Jack in the building named for him," said Dr. Mark Bannister, chair of the Department of Information Networking and Telecommunications.

Heather was a member of the 14th Army Air Corps "Flying Tigers" based in Yangkai, China, during World War II. At the end of the war, he began working at the air base wireless station, where he developed his interest in radio.

Heather was hired by FHSU President M.C. Cunningham in 1950 to develop a radio curriculum for the university. Television was added to the curriculum in 1956. Heather gradually built the radio and television program, teaching the entire curriculum himself from 1950 to 1977.

The program began as two classes with two credit hours each. It was up to 18 credit hours by the end of 1977 and included a campus cable system before Heather retired in 1988.

The radio and television program finally found a home in the Radio Television Building, built in 1981, which was later renamed Heather Hall in honor of Heather.

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