Heart of a Tiger

3/25/21 Schmidt Foundation Fuels Dreams of FHSU Scholars

By Dr. Tisa Mason on April, 6 2021

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Schmidt Foundation Fuels Dreams of FHSU Scholars

At Fort Hays State University, we love talking about why we are a great value: quality and affordability. Strategic decisions and investment drive our ability to keep tuition low while continuously enhancing our quality. Our investors include state legislators, the federal government, our local community, and our very generous philanthropists.

Philanthropists include alumni, friends, businesses, and non-profit foundations. These philanthropists fuel our success in big ways from buildings, to scholarships, to internships, and so much more.

Among our many investors – heroes really – is the Robert E. and Patricia Schmidt Foundation, a foundation named after two caring and hard-working people who believed passionately in making a difference in the lives of others. Our community, hospital, university, alumni, and students have been longtime benefactors of the Schmidts’ generosity. That kindness has provided many opportunities designed to unleash the potential of others, and in doing so, has positively changed lives.

I am excited to share a new initiative – another opportunity to unleash untapped potential by changing the trajectory of young lives through higher education – the Schmidt Foundation Scholars program. Beginning this fall, the Schmidt Foundation will provide scholarships to five incoming freshmen that will cover 30 hours of tuition and fees for fall and spring courses, books, room, and board – in other words, they are full-ride scholarships. They also are renewable for three additional years for a total of four years.

This is a life-changing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Now that is impact!

During the fall 2021 semester, five FHSU freshmen will become the Schmidt Foundation Scholars program's inaugural class. And in 2021, an additional five Tigers from the incoming freshman class will also have the opportunity to receive this prestigious scholarship and join the expanding community of Schmidt Foundation Scholars. More information about the scholarship, including the application – which is due April 1 – is at https://fhsu.edu/schmidtfoundation.

A special thank you to our partner – Gary Shorman, president of the Schmidt Foundation – for the vision and compassion behind this wonderful opportunity. I love the way the program requires each student to dedicate themselves to study and service as they discover their talents and nurture their dreams. I also admire a great deal of emphasis that is placed on building intentional relationships that engage the scholars, build self-confidence, and cultivate an ethic of care focused on attending generously to each other’s needs. Schmidt Foundation Scholars will enjoy an abundance of opportunities to maximize individual growth and learning, and by doing so, they will pay their experiences forward. What a great way to honor the generous philanthropy of Bob and Pat Schmidt.

I am so grateful for all of our investors who join us in driving our mission to provide accessible, quality education, and I cannot wait to meet our first Schmidt Foundation Scholars, learn about their hopes and dreams, and watch them blaze their new path in our world.

Dr. Tisa Mason

President Mason is the 10th president of Fort Hays State University. A native of Massachusetts, Mason previously served as the president of Valley City State University in Valley City, N.d., where she served from 2014 to 2017. Before her time at Valley City State, Mason served as Fort Hays State's vice president of student affairs from 2008 to 2014. Her previous career stops include serving as the dean of student life at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater in Whitewater, Wis.; executive director of the Sigma Kappa Sorority and Foundation in Indianapolis, Ind.; director of student life and assistant professor at Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Va.; and assistant dean of students, Hanover College, Hanover, Ind. In 2013, Mason received the Robert H. Shaffer Award from the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors for her long-term commitment to fostering positive change in fraternities and sororities. She received the Excellence in Service to Students Award from the National Society of Leadership and Success in the same year. Her academic credentials include a Doctor of Education degree in higher education from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va.; a Master of Science degree in education from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill.; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology/anthropology from Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky.


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