Larry and Lyn Fenwick of Macksville donated a financial gift to their alma matter to help establish a reading room at FHSU's Forsyth Library

HAYS, Kan. – Larry and Lyn Fenwick started out as high school sweethearts who married their freshman year at Fort Hays State University. The couple was back on campus this week, more than 50 years later, to partake in FHSU’s Homecoming festivities and to be recognized for their most recent contribution to Fort Hays State.

Through their generous gift, the couple is making possible the Larry and Lyn Fenwick Reading Room in FHSU’s Forsyth Library. Due to their generosity, Forsyth Library will be able to construct a new reading room during scheduled renovations.
The Fenwicks were honored for their recent contribution Friday afternoon at FHSU’s Revisit the Past, Unleash the Future: A Library Showcase held at Forsyth Library.

“The Larry and Lyn Fenwick Reading Room is an important element of the renovation of Forsyth Library,” said Deborah Ludwig, Forsyth dean. The reading room is scheduled for completion in 2023.

“The future reading room will house, exhibit, and provide critical preservation of distinctive collections connected to Kansas and to our university, while also making these unique materials available to researchers for study in a secure setting,” said Ludwig. “On behalf of Forsyth Library and Fort Hays State University, we are deeply grateful to Larry and Lyn for their generous gift. With their help, we will keep important history alive and inspire future generations of researchers.”

Jason Williby, president and CEO of the FHSU Foundation, said, “Our university’s continued success is in large part thanks to alumni and donors like Larry and Lyn Fenwick, who remain engaged with the university and our programs. They believe in our mission and want to make a positive impact in advancing education.”

“The Larry and Lyn Fenwick Reading Room will foster an environment for hard work and learning,” he said. “Housing collections of unique artifacts along with individual and group study spaces, the new space will be a great resource for students at Fort Hays State.”

The Fenwicks, rural Macksville, graduated from FHSU in 1966 and, after years of being away from Kansas, they made their way back home to Lyn’s ancestral farm in Stafford County.
Larry graduated from FHSU with a B.S. in business administration and immediately joined the U.S. Air Force, serving as an officer with the Strategic Air Command stationed at bases in New England and on the island of Guam.

In 1971, he began a 32-year career in investments and management while living in Dallas, Texas, Atlanta, Ga., and Charlotte, N.C.

Lyn began as an art major at Fort Hays State, but earned her degree in elementary education. During Larry’s service in the Air Force, Lyn taught secondary English for four years in New York state and Massachusetts.  She earned her doctorate in law from the Baylor University School of Law and practiced in Texas before shifting her focus to writing and publishing two books.

Currently, she has a weekly blog and is finalizing a manuscript about a Kansas homesteader and the Populist Movement.

When discussing her path through Fort Hays State, Lyn said, “Dream big! Dreams are terrific, but so is the hard work that it takes.”

With their recent gift, the couple hopes to encourage students at Fort Hays State to study hard, accomplish their goals, and dream big.  

To learn how you can join the Fenwicks in supporting Forsyth Library, please contact the FHSU Foundation at 785-628-5620 or For additional information, please visit .