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News Release

"The Jester" Sculpture

Fort Hays State University is proud to announce the newest addition of art to grace the campus. A sculpture entitled “The Jester” will soon be placed near the front entrance of Malloy Hall as a welcoming token to fine arts students and visitors of FHSU. “The Jester” is being donated to Fort Hays State University by the Lusk Foundation in memory of William E. Lusk, who was a longtime friend of FHSU. The dedication of the sculpture is set to take place on May 2, 2012 at 2 pm on the north side of Malloy Hall and the public is invited to attend.

For decades, the Lusk Foundation has contributed to Fort Hays State University by providing both gifts and service and has remained a prominent figure in the minds of students and faculty alike. William Lusk, or “Bill” as he was frequently known, was an Economics major at FHSU and graduated in 1939. In 1969, Lusk provided a unique experience for students by initially contributing common stock to the FHSU Endowment Association. The stock was then sold to create the William E. Lusk Scholarship Fund. While the fund is in custody of the FHSU Foundation (formerly the FHSU Endowment Association), the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi is given the freedom to invest a portion of the funds in order to help the scholarship grow. Although Lusk passed away in 2002, he once noted why he chose to establish the scholarship: “I have always felt indebted to the faculty members, Alumni Association, and institution which gave me, and others, an opportunity, and I would like to show my appreciation in some way.”

Janet Murfin, the daughter of Bill Lusk, wished to donate the sculpture as an indication of how much Fort Hays State University meant to her father. “We decided to make a donation to FHSU because my dad spoke so fondly of his days at Fort Hays and all the wonderful people he met there,” Murfin said. “He loved his professors and made lifelong friends of many of his classmates.” Although Lusk’s majors were in Education and Economics, he had a special appreciation for the arts which is why the sculpture will be placed outside of Malloy Hall, the home of FHSU’s Theatre and Music Departments. “I know he would be pleased to be contributing to the beauty of the campus with a sculpture that was one of his favorites,” Murfin explained.

The artist of the statue, Victor Issa, is known for constructing bronze sculptures that create a sense of being alive. “The Jester” is a life-size depiction of the European character of the same name, who was employed to tell jokes and provide general entertainment for European monarchs. Issa has been sculpting for nearly 30 years while being featured in shows and exhibitions across America, and his works are displayed both publicly and privately worldwide.