Fort Hays State University, Kansas
Fort Hays State University (FHSU)
is the fourth largest of the six state universities located in Hays,
Fort Hays closed in 1889, the
legislature asked that the
reservation be donated to the state as a location for a branch of the state
agricultural college, a branch of the state normal school, and a public park in
However, no no action was taken on the request and in 1899, the Interior Department declared the
land opened for settlement. However, in March, 1900, the
Congress managed to secure the land and buildings for educational purposes. In
1901 the legislature passed legislation establishing the
Experiment Station (part of Kansas State University) and set apart about 4,000
acres for the Western Branch State Normal School.
The Western State Normal School began with a summer session on June, 1902, and
the first regular term opened in September, with an enrollment of 23 students.
Picken Hall in the early 1900s. Built in 1904,
is the oldest building on the
Fort Hays State University campus.
served many purposes over the past 100
It is currently undergoing renovation and
will provide offices for
school was conducted in the old fort buildings until 1904, when the
central portion of what was the main building was ready for occupancy.
At that time, another large building closer to the city, was also
completed, and the college officially moved to its present location.
By 1910, the
total enrollment had increased to almost 1,000 students. In 1914, the Western Branch of the State
Normal School separated
from the school in Emporia and
became Fort Hays Kansas State Normal School. At the same time, the tiger mascot
was adopted but it is unknown how it was chosen. The school became the Kansas
State Teachers College of Hays in 1923 and its name was changed to Fort Hays
State College in 1931. It was elevated to university status in 1977.
the campus sits on 200 acres and includes
more than 40 limestone-faced buildings. It is located just to west of the Hays
business district, two miles south of Interstate 70. Today, its nearly 10,000
students partake in more than 60 academic
majors for undergraduates and 19 for graduate students. The school also offers
many online degrees through its "Virtual College," which provides for a large
variety of online courses and degrees to students that are not able to be on
campus. It is only one of two universities in the state that offer agriculture
as a major. Its Athletics programs include football, volleyball, cross country,
basketball, wrestling, baseball, softball, track and field, tennis, golf, rodeo
and shotgun shooting sports.
campus, the Sternberg Museum of Natural History features interactive natural
science exhibitions, housing over 100,000 square feet of dinosaurs, fossils,
prehistoric animals, giant sea-swimming lizards and fish that inhabited Kansas
over 70-80 million years ago. The museum also features many traveling and
temporary exhibitions, an acclaimed Discovery Room, and a Museum Store.
At the Forsyth Library,
visitors will find not only materials that support the general needs of
faculty, staff and students, but also a large collection of fiction and
nonfiction material about
and the American West on such topics as the railroads, the cattle
industry, cowboys, Native Americans and frontier life. The William D.
Pashchal World War II History Collection contains books, declassified
government documents, maps, photographs, and other materials. The library
is also the repository for the books, papers and periodicals of the Fort
Hays Genealogy Society.
located on campus is the Plymouth Stone
Schoolhouse on the banks of Big Creek. This authentic, one-room schoolhouse,
built of limestone in 1874, has been restored and furnished with school antiques
and textbooks. Visits are arranged by appointment only by calling 785-628-4538.
Hays State University today, photo courtesy
Fort Hays State University
Compiled and edited by
of Kansas, updated April 2010.
From the Legends' General Store
Photograph Prints - From our personal
Photo Print Shop, you'll find a number of nostalgic photo
prints mostly from the early 20th century ranging from gas pumps, to
grocery stores, 1920's flappers, model-T's, children, Christmas and a
whole lot more.