When: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Where: Main level, Memorial Union
Washburn University will celebrate 149 years on Founders Day on Feb. 6.
Washburn President Jerry Farley will serve free cupcakes at 11:30 a.m.
Thursday, Feb. 6 on the main level, Memorial Union, Washburn campus.
Washburn University was established February 6, 1865 as Lincoln College
by a charter issued by the State of Kansas and the General Association
of Congregational Ministers and Churches of Kansas. A two-story brick
building on the northeast corner of 10th and Jackson Streets was soon
erected and the first classes began in January 1866. In 1868, the school
was renamed Washburn College, in recognition of a $25,000 donation by
Ichabod Washburn, a church deacon and resident of Worcester, Mass.
Washburn was granted a permanent location in 1865 when Topekan Col. John
Ritchie donated a 160-acre site, which at the time was a considerable
distance southwest of the city. Construction on the first building began
in 1872, with occupancy taking place in 1874. For the next two decades,
college President Peter McVicar conducted an aggressive development
campaign. His efforts resulted in the establishment of numerous
Victorian limestone structures that characterized the campus for the
next 90 years.
Expansion of the school was constant. The School of Law was organized in
1903, as was a School of Fine Arts and a medical school, which educated
physicians until 1913. During the next three decades structures such as
the Mulvane Art Museum, Benton Hall and Whiting Field House were added
to the campus. In 1966, a tornado struck Topeka and several original and
historic buildings on campus were demolished, as were more than 600
massive trees that had shaded the campus. The Washburn community rallied
and financial support from friends and alumni made possible the
rebuilding of many school facilities during the coming years. Today,
university facilities offer more than one million square feet of modern
academic and support space.
In 1941, the citizens of Topeka endorsed Washburn by voting to establish
a municipal university, supported in part by the city and governed by a
local board of regents. In 1952, the Washburn Board of Regents
officially changed the name of the school to Washburn University of
Topeka. In 1999, the university’s primary funding was moved from city
property tax to county sales tax sources, with the school retaining
status as a municipal subdivision of the state. In addition to local
financial support, Washburn has received state funds since 1961, which
have been coordinated by the Kansas Board of Regents since 1991. The
university is governed by its own nine-member Board of Regents.
At Washburn University, more than 6,973 students and 1,000 faculty and
staff are involved in more than 200 academic programs. Leading to
certification, associate, bachelor, master's, doctor of nursing practice
and juris doctor degrees through the College of Arts and Sciences and
the schools of Applied Studies, Business, Law and Nursing. Washburn is
located on a 160-acre campus in the heart of Topeka. The broadly-based
liberal arts and professional programs are enriched by a long-standing
interactive relationship between the campus and Kansas’s capital city