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News Release

The Kopkes' Gift FHSU with Extensive Art Collection

George Wall
Warren and Dorothy Kopke have ties to Fort Hays State University that date back to the 1940s when Warren was a student at FHSU. His schooling was interrupted for three years by a call to serve in World War II for the United States Army. Following his honorable service to our country, Warren returned to being a Tiger and was very active on campus; he served as a student council member, held an office as student council chairman a year later, and held the position of junior class president from 1947 to 1948. He ultimately earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from FHSU in 1949, and after graduation furthered his education at Washburn University where he attained a Bachelor of Laws degree. His experience at FHSU was the stepping-stone that led to his successful career as an attorney – all with his wife, Dorothy, by his side. Warren’s involvement didn’t stop there; he later served as a member of the Endowment Board of Trustees, the Half Century Club, and president of the Alumni Association Board.

Throughout their lifetimes, the Kopkes’ love for service and art was evident. Today, Fort Hays State University has the Kopkes to thank for their recent contributions. In collaboration with, and approval by, the FHSU Foundation’s Gift Acceptance Committee, Dorothy contributed a very extensive art collection, consisting of 167 art pieces. The collection includes watercolor and oil paintings, as well as porcelain, crystal, and bronze sculptures. Included in the collection are seventeen L.E. “Gus” Shafer bronzes and various other works by Lester Raymer, J.M.W. Turner, Frederic Remington, Charles B. Rogers, Thomas Hart Benton, Birger Sandzen, and numerous other artists.

Fort Hays State University is incredibly grateful for the contributions given by the Kopkes. Their efforts not only impacted the individuals with whom they interacted, but will prove to have a lasting effect on FHSU in the years to come!