Anonymous donor's surprise gift funds new COBL scholarship

Twenty thousand anonymous scholarship dollars were dropped into Dr. Mark Bannister's lap over the Christmas break for Fort Hays State University's College of Business and Leadership.

Bannister, dean of the college, said the money will be used to create a new scholarship called the College of Business and Leadership Academic Achievement Scholarship, which will help recruit talented students to the college's on-campus programs.
“Students will be selected from those who have applied for programs in the college for fall 2011," said Bannister. The new money will be added to other scholarship donations to offer 10 students each a scholarship of $2,500. This scholarship will be added to Academic Opportunity Awards, Miller Black and Gold or Hays City Silver Academic Awards. Students may have other academic scholarships in their portfolio as well.

The cost of FHSU's current tuition and fees is $3,942 a year based on a 15-hour, on-campus enrollment each semester. "With their bundle of scholarships, the recipients of the new Academic Achievement Scholarships will likely end up with at least their first year of college tuition paid," said Bannister.

Continuing scholarships such as the Black and Gold, Silver, and upper division scholarships will mean that talented and high-achieving students in the college's areas of study will have the opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree with most tuition paid for four years, said Bannister. "This is a great benefit not available at most universities," he said. "Hard work and challenging courses will have paid off for these students."

The funding can be used to support new students in the college's departments, which offer programs including accounting; banking; finance; international business and economics; management; marketing; business education; training and development; corporate communications; computer networking; media studies; information assurance; and Web development.
Bannister said he believes the donor is an alumni who "benefited from a scholarship and who believes in Fort Hays State University."

"I am hoping that if we can demonstrate that we can benefit students and use the gift wisely, future gifts may follow," said Bannister.

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