Fort Hays State University strives to offer its students the best possible experience they can have at a higher education institution. Much of that relies on members of the faculty, who are not only responsible for teaching and guiding students but also for inspiring them.
Two English faculty members, Instructor Linda Smith and Associate Professor Brett Weaver, went above and beyond their duty as professors when they established a scholarship with the FHSU Foundation. The Brett Weaver & Linda Smith Writing Concentration Scholarship will be awarded to two junior or senior undergraduates or graduate students each year majoring in English with a writing concentration. Preference will be given to students with a 3.5 GPA or higher who demonstrate financial need.
"Brett and I have both been involved in efforts to grow the English Department's bachelor's program with writing concentration and expand the master's program to include a writing concentration," said Smith. "Those efforts served, in part, as the catalyst to establish the scholarship."
"For me, Fort Hays State is like my extended family. In many ways I’ve grown up here,” she said. "As a student at FHSU, my dream to be a teacher was encouraged by scholarship money, and as a teacher, I try to inspire students to pursue their own dreams."
As for Weaver, it doesn’t take much wandering through Rarick Hall to spot him. He is always wearing a Hawaiian shirt.
"I am often asked why I wear Hawaiian shirts even when the thermometer dips well below zero. I reply, with complete sincerity, 'Because there are worse things in this world to worry about than the weather,' " he said. It only makes sense, then, that in addition to receiving the scholarship money, the student recipients will receive a Hawaiian shirt.
"My hope is that the shirt aspect of the scholarship will inspire the owner to regale those who ask about it, not only that there are 'worse things to worry about than the weather,' but also that it is one's ability to experience weather -- to be alive and a part of the world -- that is life's miracle. We win the lottery every day we awaken. Everything else -- including having a 'good day,' is extra," he said.Weaver and Smith said the reason for the scholarship is first and foremost to support FHSU students. Coincidentally, their gift comes in the wake of the announcement that Fort Hays State's Power of One scholarship campaign has reached 30 percent of its ambitious $8 million goal. Making the $8 million goal a reality could be possible with gifts like the one from Weaver and Smith.
To support the Brett Weaver & Linda Smith Writing Concentration Scholarship (with Hawaiian shirt), or to make a contribution toward FHSU’s Power of One scholarship campaign, please visit foundation.fhsu.edu or call the Foundation at 785 628-5620.