Gifts to FHSU Endowment Association's Centennial Campaign help Rooks County students and new Sports Medicine Center
08/02/2000

HAYS, KS -- Major gifts from three separate sources will provide scholarships for Fort Hays State University students from Rooks County and will help in construction of a new Sports Medicine Center at the university's Lewis Field Stadium. Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president, and Virgil Scott, president and CEO of the FHSU Endowment Association, announced the gifts during a news conference this morning near the Lewis Field Pioneers Memorial on the east side of the football stadium.

William Pywell was a farmer and rancher from Zurich, in Rooks County. Before he passed away in 1999, he left a gift in memory of his deceased son, Brian, who graduated from FHSU in 1968. Bob McClellan, executor of the Pywell estate, presented a check for $500,000 -- the first installment of the gift.

Pywell was described as a typical Kansas farmer who loved the land, worked hard and lived frugally. Although he never attended the university, he understood the importance of education and the value of Fort Hays State University to the people of western Kansas. He left the majority of his estate to FHSU in memory of his son and as a family legacy to benefit young people from Rooks County.

Craig Karlin, director of student financial assistance, accepted the check for the university and explained how the money will be used. Lee Stieben, principal of Stockton High School, Roger Morris, principal of Plainville High School, and Joan Friend, principal of Palco High School, attended the news conference to show their appreciation for what the Pywell gift will mean in making higher education available to the young people of Rooks County.

The two other gifts announced today will help with construction of a new Sports Medicine Center in Lewis Field Stadium. Founders & Associates, Inc., gave a grant of $100,000 in honor of the late Dr. Emil M. Childers, and the Hays Medical Center Foundation gave $50,000 for the new center.

Childers graduated from FHSU in 1942 and earned a medical degree from the University of Kansas in 1945. He returned to FHSU for Homecoming in 1983, and he kept coming back and giving to Fort Hays State for the following 15 years. He was a true steward of the university, giving his time and talent as an FHSU Endowment Association trustee, and most recently serving on the building committee for a new FHSU Alumni/Endowment Center. He was also instrumental in obtaining major gifts from Founders & Associates for the renovation of Sheridan Hall, Sternberg Museum of Natural History, the College of Health and Life Sciences, and the Department of Chemistry.

He and his wife, Pat, made their home in Tulsa, where he established his practice as a surgeon and they raised their children, Dale, Maureen and Christine. Dr. Childers and fellow physicians established Doctors Hospital in Tulsa. When the hospital was sold in 1983, they formed Founders of Doctors Hospital Association (Founders & Associates, Inc.), a non-profit corporation to carry on the benevolent purposes of the hospital in the areas of health, welfare and the humanities.

At the request of his family, today's $100,000 grant will establish the Dr. Emil M. Childers Sports Medicine Center at Lewis Field Stadium. The center will house preventative injury and rehabilitative facilities for student athletes attending FHSU, as well as athletes from area high schools. In addition it will provide training facilities for students enrolled in the sports training program.

Dan Schippers, vice president of the Hays Medical Center Foundation and chair of its Finance Committee, also presented a check for $50,000 that will be used to develop the Sports Medicine Center. "It certainly is our pleasure to be a part of this special announcement today and a participant in this special project, the Childers Sports Medicine Center," he said. "In June, the foundation publicly announced that it was accepting grant proposals. Today marks our very first investment in an area health care need. A good partner and a good fit make for a good project."

Tom Spicer, FHSU athletic director, said the staff and students of the university's Athletic Association were extremely appreciative to the Childers family, to Founders & Associates, and to the board of directors of the Hays Medical Center Foundation for helping to meet such an important need.

Bill Robbins, chair of the Centennial Campaign, said the Pywell gift would go to Pillar One of the campaign, Endowed Scholarships and Fellowships, and the gifts for the Sports Medicine Center would help to advance Pillar Five of the campaign, Intercollegiate Athletics.

He said these latest gifts raise the total to $18.9 million since Fort Hays State University launched the Centennial Campaign on Sept. 30, 1999. The goal for the three-year campaign, which culminates in the university's Centennial year of 2002, is $30 million.

Money raised in the campaign is aimed at strengthening the university in six areas, called pillars:

* Pillar One: Endowed Scholarships and Fellowships. $11.8 million. This will be used to endow the Bronze Award and the Award of Excellence ($2.5 million) and endow scholarship funds for each of the colleges ($2 million each). Another $650,000 will be used to endow departmental scholarship funds, and $650,000 will endow an outreach student scholarship fund.
* Pillar Two: Faculty Enhancement and Research. $3.7 million. Money in this pillar will endow two chair positions, two professorships, four graduate assistantships or fellowships, and one artist or executive in residence.
* Pillar Three: Buildings and Renovations. $8 million. Featured in this section is a new Alumni/Endowment Center, development of new collections and infrastructure improvements to Forsyth Library, and exhibits at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History.
* Pillar Four: Curricular Enhancement and Co-Curricular Initiatives. $2 million. Money for this pillar will endow lecture series, seminars, colloquia or publications, and develop international programs.
* Pillar Five: Intercollegiate Athletics. $2 million. For this section, $1 million will endow athletic scholarships and $1 million will be used to renovate seats in Gross Memorial Coliseum and complete the renovation of Lewis Field.
* Pillar Six: Campus of the Future. $2.5 million. This money will be used to invest in technology, equipment and programs to reach learners throughout Kansas and the world.


Back to Index


Office of University Relations   |  600 Park Street   |  Hays, KS  67601-4099
(785) 628-4206   |   Fax (785) 628-4152
Kent Steward, Director   |  ksteward@fhsu.edu  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |  kbeyers@fhsu.edu