Professor and author gives back to future generations of writers

Fort Hays State University alumnus Dr. Ralph F. Voss was a successful professor and author who has received over eight awards, grants and honors. In addition, he has published six books and had a healthy and diverse teaching career that spanned more than 40 years.

He has endowed the Dr. Ralph F. Voss English Scholarship at FHSU, which will be awarded to students majoring in English, with preference given to students in the master’s program. The first scholarship will be awarded for the 2014-2015 year.

Voss was born in Lyons and graduated from Plainville High School. In 1965, Voss earned bachelor’s degrees in English and history at FHSU and then earned a master's degree in English, also at Fort Hays State.

"As a graduate from Plainville High School, FHSU -- then known as Fort Hays Kansas State College -- was the closest and most affordable college option," he said.

After earning his master's degree, Voss went on to teach at La Crosse Rural High School. After moving to Texas, he taught at East Texas State University. In 1970, Voss served as a graduate teaching assistant while earning his Ph.D. at the University of Texas, Austin. After earning his doctorate, he worked in Atlanta and Utah before settling in at the University of Alabama, where he worked for 31 years.

The highlight of his long career, in his own opinion, was serving as special summer faculty in Fort Hays State’s English master's program from 1992 to 1997. Because of his positive experiences at FHSU, both as a student and faculty member, Voss has established an endowed scholarship for the university’s Department of English.

"I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, and I believed that Fort Hays State would offer me the best opportunity. I’d like to think that I can now help future students achieve their career goals,” he said.

Voss retired in 2009 and currently lives in Birmingham, Ala.

The greatest need at Fort Hays State University remains students scholarships. To establish a scholarship fund, or to contribute to one that already exists, please contact your FHSU Foundation at 785-628-5620 or

To support the Dr. Ralph F. Voss English Scholarship please visit and type “Dr. Ralph F. Voss English Scholarship” in the Area of Designation box.

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