Couple's $100,000 gift to benefit Fort Hays State students

HAYS,Kan. A Fort Hays State University alum and his wife Thursday morning donated $100,000 to the college, the majority of which will go toward directly helping students

Curtis and Renee Longpine donated $60,000 of their total gift to help Fort Hays State geology students afford Field Camp, a six-credit capstone course at the university.

The remaining $40,000 donated to Fort Hays State will be split between the president's Venture Fund and an unrestricted account, not earmarked for a specific organization or program.

Field Camp is required for graduation and costs more than $2,000 per student. Curtis Longpine, who himself went through Field Camp as a Fort Hays State student in 1979, says when it completed the course, the financial burden wasn't put on students' shoulders.

"In my day, I don't know how, but the school paid for all of it," Curtis says. "It was no big deal. Today, it's a big deal."

Thursday's donation isn't the first time the Longpines have helped students financially with Field Camp. One recent Fort Hays State graduate says the couple made it possible for him to take the course and graduate.

"Without their donations, I night not have been able to go. I couldn't afford to go," recent Fort Hays State graduate Zach Vonlinte says.

The Longpines say they're happy to give to those who want a better life for themselves.

"I believe we are just wanting to help kids that are less fortunate and to make them go a lot further in their life," Curtis says.

"They are investing in their future and I want to help in that investment," Renee adds.

The couple encourages others to give back to their communities with Thanksgiving coming up next week.