Jack Heather was born December 23, 1924 in Lordsburg, New Mexico. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Texas at El Paso and his Master’s degree in radio and television from the University of Denver. He was hired at Fort Hays State University in 1950 to expand the radio curriculum and bring proper experience and training in the broadcasting industry to the University. In 1956, the department added courses in television production. In 1960, the college began to present television programs over KAYS-TV in Hays. The students and professor had to use KAYS’ equipment, in order to learn and produce television programs, and they had to do this while KAYS was off air. This would mean that they would have to come in at 1 a.m. during the week and then from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. on Sundays. Under Heather, FHSU also had a radio station, and 18 credit hours were offered in radio and television programming. The radio station ended in February, 1962 and closed circuit television was added in 1969. In 1977, Jack Heather was still the only instructor in this department. The building was named Heather Hall in 1986 to honor him. Jack Heather retired in 1988 and died August 26, 2011. The building named Heather Hall had its name changed in 2013 to the Center for Media Studies. In honor of all the work that Jack Heather did, they named a new residence hall after him, Heather Hall which is part of the two-building Tiger Place complex.
Fort Hays State University Archives, "Mr. Jack Heather Papers, 1969-1972" (2016). Archives Finding Aids. 6.