With the celebration of its Centennial just a few years in the past, Fort Hays State University put the spotlight on its legacy again during Homecoming 2005 by honoring four former faculty members who left a lasting mark on the university.
The four buildings of the new Stadium Place apartment complex were named for Dr. William D. Moreland, Dr. Robert T. McGrath, Nita M. Landrum and Dr. Billy D. "Bill" Jellison.
During a special ceremony early Saturday, Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, presented commemorative plaques to Jellison and to descendants of Moreland, McGrath and Landrum. The framed plaques contain tributes to each of the four that are also included on bronze plaques at the four buildings.
Moreland served Fort Hays Kansas State College in several capacities from 1933 until his retirement in 1969. He began as a professor in political science and later held positions as chairman of the Department of Political Science, dean of men, director of housing, and chairman of the Division of Social Science. He was known on campus as a person who could make things happen. In the 1930s, he worked with President Clarence E. Rarick to develop the Lewis Field Project, which allowed 100 male students to live in barracks buildings on the evacuated Civilian Conservation Corps and fairgrounds land. These students worked to help pay for their room and board and eventually became known as the Lewis Field Pioneers. In the 1950s, he was instrumental in building the Memorial Union. He was the second person ever to receive the Distinguished Service Award from the Alumni Association in recognition of his efforts on behalf of the college and its students. Moreland passed away in 1991 at the age of 92.
Landrum came to Hays in 1924 with her husband, a history professor at the college. Eight years later, she was a widow with two young daughters to support. After completing a master’s degree at FHKSC, Landrum began working as head of the National Youth Administration project on campus, arranging loans and jobs for students. This led to other responsibilities, including directing student employment, organizing a scholarship and loan program, directing the correspondence study division and serving as the founder and executive secretary of the Alumni Association. During her 30-year tenure at Fort Hays Kansas State College, Landrum provided inspiration to thousands of students, from helping them find jobs to writing letters of support to those in service during World War II. She showed true compassion for the needs and concerns of students. In 1960, Mrs. Landrum received the college’s Alumni Achievement Award for her accomplishments and dedication. She retired in 1964, and many alumni whom she had helped as students remained in contact with her until she died in 1989.
McGrath was hired in 1930 as head of the Department of Education at Kansas State Teachers College at Hays by President William A. Lewis. In this role, McGrath also served as Director of Teacher Training. The college needed someone with significant public school experience to lead the teacher preparation program, and his background as a teacher and administrator made him well qualified for the position. In addition, he helped find employment for students who otherwise could not afford a college education during the 1930s. He retired in 1954, and the Men’s Residence Hall building that was located on the Stadium Place site was renamed in his honor in 1963, five years before his death. McGrath Hall was demolished in 2000, but now the new McGrath Hall will live on as part of the Stadium Place complex.
Jellison dedicated 28 years of his career to providing guidance and support for students at Fort Hays State University. He was hired in 1960 as dean of men by President Morton C. Cunningham. He was also a professor, and in 1966, he became Dean of Students and was named vice president for Student Affairs in 1977. Jellison demonstrated true concern for the well-being of students. He received a national award for exemplary work as an academic advisor. In addition to his professional commitment, Jellison believed in the value of community involvement. He participated in civic groups and served as a city commissioner and mayor of Hays. Jellison retired in 1988. Two years later, the Alumni Association bestowed upon him the Alumni Achievement Award in honor of his many accomplishments.
Kiley Eisenhour, president of the Student Government Association, spoke on behalf of students during the ceremony. "I am honored to be present as the apartments are dedicated to remind us of great people who helped make Fort Hays State what it is today," she said. "These stunning apartments have given students an alternative in housing accommodations. Students are able to have their individual space while being afforded the option to have a roommate or roommates. Students enjoy being able to live comfortably on campus so they can conveniently partake in campus activities."
Stadium Place, which was made possible through an innovative partnership between FHSU and private developers, offers students condominium-style living in a location convenient to classes and other services on campus. The 120-bed apartment complex is immediately adjacent to Lewis Field Stadium and just a short walk away from the Quad.
It represents a new era in student housing at FHSU, with two 2-story buildings and two 3-story buildings offering an equal mix of 2-bedroom and 4-bedroom units. They are upscale apartments, fully furnished, each with its own dishes, pots and pans, television, washer/dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, and range.
The new student apartment complex was built through a partnership between the university and Uniplace LLC, which was created for the project. The apartment complex was the brainchild of Dave Van Doren, a Hays resident and FHSU alumnus, and Brooks Kellogg, another FHSU alumnus and member of the FHSU Endowment Association Board of Directors, who has a residence in Steamboat Springs, CO. Kellogg formed Uniplace with Dan Hannin and Richard A. Friedman, who both are residents of Steamboat Springs. Van Doren is the project coordinator and the owner's representative for Uniplace.
The university provided the land for the project and handles on-site supervision, including managing the leases, marketing the complex, collecting rent and utility payments, providing Internet and cable connections to university systems, maintaining the grounds and buildings, and enforcing FHSU policies and local, state and federal laws.
The cost of the project was about $5 million. Rent is $400 a month per person for the 4-bedroom units and $450 a month per person for the 2-bedroom units.
This new living arrangement gives students more privacy and more flexibility while allowing them to stay on campus. Each unit has a kitchen, but residents also can opt for meal plans at the adjacent McMindes Hall cafeteria.
For further information, visit www.fhsu.edu/reslife/stadium.shtml on the FHSU Web site.