FHSU to collect donations at Commencement for Chinese Red Cross earthquake relief

Donations for the Chinese Red Cross, to help alleviate suffering from the devastating earthquake of May 12, will be taken Saturday, May 17, during Fort Hays State University's Commencement ceremonies at Gross Memorial Coliseum.

FHSU President Edward H. Hammond will deliver the donation to the Chinese Red Cross during his trip to China for several commencement exercises at sister institutions next week.

"I think it would be a wonderful thing for people here to take the time to reach around the world to help people in such great need," said Bill Ring, executive director of the Ellis County Red Cross.

More than 20,000 people are dead and tens of thousands more injured and missing in the aftermath of the 7.9 magnitude earthquake which struck Sichuan Province in southwest China.

Ring noted that last year at Commencement time the president of one of FHSU's partner institutions in China brought a donation to help survivors of the Greensburg tornado. President Dayu Zhao of Shenyang Normal University presented a gift of $1,000.

"Now it is time for us to reach back across the other way and offer our aid in their time of need," said Ring.

Commencement begins at 10 a.m. in Gross Memorial Coliseum on the university's Hays campus. Although the numbers may change slightly when the degree-checking process concludes, the current count shows that FHSU will surpass 2,000 graduates for the third year in a row.

The tentative total as of this week is 2,041 graduates, which includes associate, bachelor and graduate-level degrees. The degrees will go to students who completed graduation requirements in summer 2007, fall 2007 and spring 2008.

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