HAYS – The Kansas Board of Regents today approved naming Fort Hays State University’s College of Business and Entrepreneurship the W.R. and Yvonne Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship.
In addition, a section of the building will be named the Robbins Banking Institute.
Robbins, an alumnus from Fort Hays State University, and his wife, Yvonne, are longtime, devoted supporters of the university. He is chair of Farmers Bank and Trust, Great Bend, which owns and manages seven locations in central Kansas and two in Johnson County.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in education, W.R. Robbins spent two years teaching math and science before moving into the banking industry. In 1971, he bought his first bank, Farmers State Bank of Albert, which comprised $4 million in assets at the time. Presently, Farmers Bank and Trust has assets of about $775 million, nine locations and 110 employees.
During the past 50 years, Robbins has been actively involved with Fort Hays State University in many capacities and served in a variety of executive board positions, including president of the FHSU Foundation. In 2000, he was selected as chair of FHSU’s $30 million Centennial Capital Campaign.
When asked what advice he would offer students just beginning their college careers, Robbins said, “Set your sights on what you want and combine it with passion and commitment.”
“Mr. Robbins grew a small-town, single-facility bank into a chain of rural banks. He represents the essence of entrepreneurial excellence,” said President Mirta M. Martin. “From humble beginnings as a child growing up in central Kansas, to the CEO and chairman of a multi-million dollar banking corporation, his life’s journey has certainly been an example of the importance of Kansas work ethic and values.”
An official dedication of the college and its new name is scheduled for Oct. 20.
In addition, the Fort Hays State University Foundation and the Alumni Association share a building near Gross Memorial Coliseum and the Hwy 183 Bypass at the southwest edge of campus.
The Robbins Center is also named in honor of W.R. Bill and Yvonne Robbins. Bill Robbins served as the chair of the Centennial Campaign which raised $4.5 million in private funds for the facility.