September 4, 2023: On #LaborDay, glimpse into Travel Air Plant B, circa 1928. Ninety-five years later, airplanes still roll off the plant’s assembly line. In this Special Collections photo, a worker in Travel Air coveralls examines a fuselage. Explore more Wichita aviation views in the holdings of Special Collections and University Archives via the links to the digital collections listed below:
September 1, 2023: #FlashbackFriday to 1980, when Kathy Downes, the future University Libraries Dean, was a rookie faculty librarian! She’s shown here, second from left, in a vintage shot from Special Collections. A remarkable chapter in WSU’s history closes with her upcoming retirement
In 1979, Kathy Downes joined the WSU faculty as the biomedical librarian. By 1985, she was the administrative services librarian, a role that encompassed circulation, facilities and coordination of the multi-year library expansion project resulting in the beautiful spaces currently enjoyed in Ablah Library. She also helped plan the original 24 hour study room and its expansion in 2019. The migration of library systems toward cloud-based systems is another accomplishment. Over the years, she's served as librarian, department head, co-dean, interim dean, associate dean and, from 2017 to 2023, dean of university libraries.
August 25, 2023: FlashbackFriday to fall 1910 when our Alma Mater made its on-campus debut! Written by J. Bert Graham, Fairmount College’s director of music, the lyrics were updated in 1926 by psychology professor and dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences W. H. Mikesell to those we still sing today. Copies of both versions are held by Special Collections. Click here to view song book from which Alma Mater 1.0 comes.
August 18, 2023: The recent rollout at WSU of robotic food delivery reminded us of this wintry #FlashbackFriday door dash. The photo, held by Special Collections and taken 20+ years ago in Anchorage, AK, shows Pizza Hut pizzas out for delivery by dog sled! Learn more about holdings about Pizza Hut in Special Collections here.
August 11, 2023: #FlashbackFriday to the 1942 National Baseball Congress World Series! This pic from Special Collections shows an umpire carefully watching a player about to score a run. Did he or didn't he touch home plate?!!? An 89 year Wichita tradition, @NBCBaseball wraps up this weekend at WSU’s Eck Stadium.
The base runner's team, the Cessna Bobcats, placed third in its national tournament debut. A rival, the Boeing Bombers, placed second, having defeated the Bobcats to make it to the championship game.
The photo comes from the 1942 Cessna Aircrafter yearbook, part of the extensive collections of Cessna materials preserved and made available for research by Special Collections. The "Aircrafter," reminiscent of a college yearbook, was produced by employees in 1941 and 1942. The 1941 volume documents the company's efforts to support Allied forces during World War II through the production of T-50 trainers. The 1942 edition documents the company’s continuing support for the Allied war effort in building T-50 trainer plane and receiving the Army-Navy "E" Award for Production. Both feature images of company executives, work divisions, sports teams and candid shots of employees at work and leisure. View digital copies here.
August 4, 2023: #FlashbackFriday to gymnastics at WSU!!! Men competed in the sport from 1964 to 1970 and women in the 1970s.
Bob Carroll, shown here, excelled at still rings, pommel horse and parallel bars. His multiple individual event championships propelled WSU to 2nd place in the 1969 and 1970 Missouri Valley Conference meets. He pulled off a three-peat in the pommel horse, winning the MVC title in 1968, 1969 and 1970. He also took 1st in the parallel bars and 3rd in the still rings at the 1969 meet.
Carroll, paralyzed from polio at age 4, gradually improved through a series of corrective surgeries. He took up gymnastics as a sophomore at Wichita East high school and quickly showed promise, placing 4th in the still rings at the state championships his first year of competition. He went on to win state titles in the still rings and pommel horse his junior year. For his final prep season, he repeated as state champion in the still rings and pommel horse and added another title in the parallel bars.
In a newspaper report, his high school coach Marc Webb called Carroll the "finest athlete he's ever coached." Those sentiments were echoed by his WSU coach Dan Tuckwood: "He is, without a doubt, the best overall gymnast who has ever come out of Wichita State."
Carroll graduated from WSU with degrees in chemistry, earning a bachelor's in 1970 and master's in 1983. His thesis is preserved and available in the WSU Libraries. The Parnassus yearbook from which the accompanying photo comes and the Sunflower student newspaper, preserved by Special Collections and University Archives, document Carroll and the gymnastics programs at WSU. Digital copies of the yearbooks and newspapers are available on the SOAR institutional repository.
After WSU, he worked as a gymnastics coach and Bombardier Learjet chemist. Carroll, 74, died April 26, 2023.
July 28, 2023: For #DisabilityPrideMonth and #FlashbackFriday we go back 80 years to the first assistance dog-human twosomes on our campus! Pics of Ruth & Simone and Clessia & Molly are in the 1943 Parnassus yearbook preserved by Special Collections. The women, both visually impaired, earned sociology degrees. Click here to go to the 1943 Parnassus yearbook digitized by Technical Services and made accessible online.
Local newspapers tell about and city directories document Rigg's work as a teacher and case worker in Wichita. Her first assistance dog Simone Simon, named after an actress, was a silver gray German Shepherd trained by Seeing Eye Inc. in Morristown, New Jersey. She credits Ray McGuire, a visually impaired University of Wichita grad, with teaching her to read and write in Braille and to use the typewriter. Rigg died in 1996.
Molly and Clessia Blakeslee came together in fall 1939. The following spring newspapers across the nation picked up a news item about the pair. It seems there was a question if Molly's picture would be allowed to appear in the Parnassus yearbook. Blakeslee told the yearbook's editors that "Molly's always with me. If I'm in there, Molly's going to be in there, too." An exception was made! Blakeslee later graduated from Texas Tech with a master's in psychology. She served as a psychologist and program coordinator at Texas Lions Camp in Kerrville, Texas, from 1958 to 1963. She married Lester Himes in 1963 and moved near Hunstville, Alabama. Her 2011 obituary states she met Helen Keller.
July 21, 2023: #OTD 153 years ago Wichita was incorporated! And just 3 short years later, traveling artist E. S. (Eli Sheldon) Glover drew up this “birds eye view” looking southeast at the rapidly developing city. Copy in Special Collections belonged to James R. Mead, one of Wichita’s founders. (Click image to go to larger view!)
According to newspaper accounts, Glover began working on his Wichita view in May 1873. In its May 22, 1873 issue, the Wichita Eagle reported "every business house, public house and private residence will be shown, and the names given to the streets" on the completed work. The finished product was delivered in August. On August 13, 1873, the Wichita Weekly Beacon described the lithograph as showing "our beautiful little city nestled in the valley, at ten fold advantage, not a house in the town or vicinity that is not represented, the river, bridge, and even West Wichita is portrayed truthfully and exact."
The 1873 birds eye view of Wichita is part of a larger collection of maps held by Special Collections. The collection includes maps of Kansas chiefly dating from 1556 to 1900, a selection of which are online. Click here to view digitized maps of Wichita dating before 1930.
July 14, 2023: On Bastille Day, regarde the crowded streets at Paris’ Place de la Concorde where the French Revolution-era guillotine once stood. Special Collections holds this 1918 snapshot by American WWI aviator Lt. Willburt E. Kinsley. (Can you spot the burst of color in the photograph we added?)
The Willburt E. Kinsley Papers in Special Collections contains photographs and documents relating to Kinsley's military service in World War I and World War II. Most of the collection is comprised of photographs taken by Kinsley during World War I in which he documents locations, people, and activities in France of the 90th Squadron, American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.), United States Air Service. These images show aircraft, landing fields, airport structures, barracks, drill grounds and fellow soldiers as well as locations he visited on leave. There also are photographs from Kinsley’s time spent in training at Gerstner Field in Louisiana and at liberty in New York. Several official documents concern his World War I Distinguished Service Cross and discharge. His World War I pilot log book provides detail on training and military missions in 1917 and 1918.
Selected materials from the collection are accessible in digital form here.
July 7, 2023: #FlashbackFriday 105 years to wheat harvest, 1918 style. This photograph in Special Collections shows Eldon Cessna, age 11, on a tractor while his father, aviation pioneer Clyde Cessna, stands atop a threshing machine.
At that time, harvest was labor- and machine-intensive. The caption written by Eldon Cessna on the back of the photo identifies the scene as "40" Case Separator; 30-60 Rumely Tractor - E.W.C. on Engine & CVC (Dad) standing on separator threshing stacked wheat in 1918. 8 hired men did pitching grain into machine." His caption identifies the equipment in use: a 40 inch separator, also known as a thresher, made by agricultural equipment manufacturer Case and a 30-60 Oil Pull tractor manufactured by Rumely. (The tractor's model name "30-60 Oil Pull" combines the horsepower rating, 30 for pulling and 60 for powering a belt, and the use of oil for cooling.) Eldon also notes the people involved: He's on the tractor, his dad's on the thresher and 8 hired men are pitchforking wheat stacked on the ground into the thresher. There's also a team of horses standing by to pull the thresher to the next location in the wheat field.
The photograph, part of the Cessna Family Papers in Special Collections, was donated in 2017 by Janice Cessna Clarke, the daughter of Eldon Cessna. Materials in the collection include correspondence, newspaper clippings, magazines, advertisements, financial records, awards given to Clyde and Eldon Cessna, materials from clubs to which Cessna family members belonged, aircraft design books, blueprints for Cessna aircraft, books for pilots, aircraft parts catalogs, documents from air races, family photographs and the writings of several members of the Cessna family including diary entries about farming by Eldon's mother Europa Cessna. Selected materials from the collection are accessible in digital form here.
July 4, 2023: #OTD 247 years ago, the Declaration of Independence, America’s founding document, was signed! This poster in Special Collections shows the main author Thomas Jefferson standing to the right with key contributors Benjamin Franklin (right) and John Adams (left) seated in the foreground.
Illustrated by James Henry Daugherty in 1942, the poster was intended to generate patriotism and purchases of the Treasury Department’s war savings stamps and bonds that helped finance the U.S. World War II effort. The last line of the Declaration overlays the artwork: “We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
The poster is one of four famous scenes from the American Revolutionary War printed on a single 36” x 24” sheet. It occupies the upper right; the other posters show George Washington crossing the Delaware, the militia at Lexington and John Paul Jones declaring “I have not yet begun to fight.” The center of the large sheet reads, “To exhibit these posters to best advantage please cut apart along the dotted lines and display separately.” View the catalog record for the four panel poster here.
July 1, 2023: Flashback Friday to this 1926 ad for Coleman Camp Stoves & Lanterns. Coleman marketed the Wichita-built products via Hollywood stars like Rin Tin Tin & June Marlowe, the couple shown here. The ad is from a large collection of Coleman Company records in Special Collections.
The collection contains archival material created and used by Coleman, originally the Hydro-Carbon Light Company, a lighting rental service for rural Americans before mass electrification, and now a large outdoor and sporting goods company. It demonstrates the rise of marketing, mass production and retail in 20th century America. Access the finding aid for the collection here.
The German Shepherd and his co-star were photographed on location during the filming of Warner Brothers’ silent movie “The Night Cry.” The photo is in a series of advertisements featuring popular film actors of the mid 1920s endorsing Coleman products. View the ad in its entirety in a digital collection.
Did you know Rin Tin Tin was rescued from a World War I battlefield in France by an American soldier? The dog, named after a popular French folklore figure, starred in 26 films, nearly won an Oscar and kept Warner Brothers financially afloat. Learn more about the life and legend of Rin Tin Tin in a 2011 biography by Susan Orlean held in the WSU Libraries; access catalog record here.
June 23, 2023:
Flashback Friday 40 years to the opening of the Heskett Center. The summer of ’83 offered Shockers swimming, dance, golf, archery, fencing, martial arts, volleyball, basketball, racquetball, track and tennis all in one place! This color rendering comes from the University Archives.
The facility, originally “Complex for Dance, Physical Education, and Recreation,” was renamed and dedicated in 1984 as the Heskett Center in honor of alumnus H. Dene Heskett ’35 whose major gift to WSU was dedicated to his parents. The Olympic size swimming pool and diving well were made possible by a gift from Gladys Wiedemann. Her generosity brought about Wiedemann Hall and its Marcussen organ a few years later.
In 2023, the Heskett Center houses Wichita State Campus Recreation, Wichita State Sport Management, Human Performance Studies and the Dance Department. The facility contains classrooms, offices, human performance studies lab, dance studios, cardio, circuit and weight rooms, rock climbing wall, swimming pool and diving well, running track, basketball/volleyball courts, Esports hub, activity rooms and pickleball courts.
June 19, 2023:
In 1978, activist Doris Kerr Larkins helped Wichita celebrate Juneteenth for the first time! Her papers, held by Special Collections, are proof she was determined to make it happen. The inaugural Juneteenth featured a rodeo, picnic and the “Freedom Ball” advertised in this flyer.
June 16, 2023:
On this Flashback Friday, the sun is literally and figuratively setting on Cessna Stadium. Demolition on the structure has begun.
Plans for a 15,000-seat concrete football stadium near 21st and Hillside started in the late 1930s but were halted by World War II. After the war, the stadium became Veterans Field, a memorial to Sedgwick County's 17,800 WWII veterans. It saw action in September 1946 but wasn't dedicated until completed in late November 1948.
In spring 1968, WSU announced a $1.5 million remodeling of Veterans Field. WSU students voted to increase fees by 25 cents per credit hour to fund a 20-year revenue bond, financing half the expansion project. The stadium was renamed in recognition of Cessna Aircraft Company's $300,000 gift. Construction on Cessna Stadium began in February 1969 and was dedicated on September 13, 1969.
Between 1969 and 1986, the teams had only two winning seasons. Under athletic director Ted Bredehoft (1972-1982), the stadium hosted offbeat promotions like camel races and the Shocker Mountain Ski School. The first snow skiing lessons were held on September 26, 1977, despite the 96-degree heat.
Budgetary issues and low fan interest led to the closure of WSU football at Cessna Stadium. The last home game on November 7, 1986, saw the Shockers lose 10-17 to Illinois State with a small attendance of 4,223. Football was officially dropped by WSU shortly after.
Since then, the stadium has been renovated in 1996 and 2002, hosting various events such as the “Celebrate” Independence Day fireworks shows, an Operation Rescue rally, the Kansas State High School Activities Association’s annual state track meet, and a Rolling Stones concert on October 1, 2006.
June 14, 2023:
Today we commemorate the US flag’s adoption on June 14, 1777. This Civil War era letter held in Special Collections was written in 1862 on stationery featuring a flag, stars and an eagle. It’s from new bride Eliza Isely to her husband, a Union soldier stationed at Ft. Leavenworth.
June 09, 2023:
Flashback Friday 60 years to June 9, 1963, when the first PhD was awarded at WSU! This photo from Special Collections shows the recipient, Dr. Goro Kamiyama, between Dr. Martin Palmer (l) and Dr. John Breazeale. His PhD was in Logopedics, now Communication Sciences and Disorders.
In 1959, Kamiyama, already a physician and dentist in Tokyo, moved to Wichita at age 32. He studied four years with Dr. Martin Palmer, founder of the Institute of Logopedics, once part of Wichita State and now known as Heartspring. Arising from his own experiences, Kamiyama’s aim was to help those who stutter. His dissertation about stuttering, based on experiments conducted with the help of Wichita Heights High students, is held in the University Archives.
While in Wichita, Kamiyama, a Fulbright scholar, lived with his wife Akiko and son Hideki on the Logopedics campus, photographed weddings and trained actors in the art of Japanese sword fighting for a 1962 Wichita Community Theater production of “Rashomon.”
The PhD in logopedics awarded to Kamiyama was also the first of its kind in the U.S.
June 02, 2023:
Flashback Friday to the first Pride Week at WSU! In June '85, the Gay-Lesbian Resource Association, a student group, placed this ad in the campus newspaper announcing the week's events and lectures. The paper is preserved by WSU Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives.
May 29, 2023:
For Memorial Day 2023, sheet music in Special Collections shows the impact of the Civil War’s death toll. This song was dedicated to “mothers, wives & daughters of our fallen heroes” who began the ritual of decorating graves with flowers and flags at this time each year.
May 26, 2023:
On Flashback Friday we pay our respects to library benefactor Don Ablah ‘54 who recently passed away. In this 1961 photo from the University Archives, Don is with his uncle Harvey who holds a plaque recognizing the Ablah family’s pledge to the University to build and fund a much-needed new library.
For many decades, Don was the torchbearer of the family’s commitment. His enduring interest in and financial support of students, education, scholarly pursuits, civil rights and all things Wichita continues in the next generation of Ablahs. We are all the better for Don Ablah’s dedication.
May 19, 2023:
Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Month on Flashback Friday, we honor Wayne Wong (r). A few months after this photo, he came to Wichita from China as a “paper son,” carrying false papers. Decades later, Wong, successful in business, endowed a fund to support the WSU Libraries.
When the 1935 photo of Wong and his family in China was taken, his father was already living in Wichita. Wong joined him here at age 13 after enduring a lengthy interrogation about his background. He memorized every detail of a 60 page deposition to uphold his “paper son” status as the son of an American. At the time, US laws prevented Chinese immigrants from entering the country legally.
Wong (1922-2021) attended school in Wichita, rising to be junior class vice president at North High. After Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the military and was assigned to the sole Chinese-American Army unit, the 987th Signal Operations Co. A decorated veteran, Wong earned his US citizenship in 1964 through the federal government’s amnesty program. His company, Wong Enterprises, owned restaurants and real estate businesses in Wichita.
In retirement, he wrote his autobiography, American Paper Son: A Chinese Immigrant in the Midwest, published by the University of Illinois press.
May 12, 2023:
Flashback Friday 121 years to the class of 1902! The grads, from left to right, are Gail Rhodes, Frank Van Buskirk, Blanche Houston, mustachioed Alfred Roulet, Harriet Sewall, Luella McGinnis and Charles Isely. Photo from Special Collections & University Archives.
From sources in the University Archives, here’s the rousing class yell:
Zanee! Zanee! Biff! Bam! Boo!
Heo! Hio! Rah! Rah! Roo!
Linga, Linga, Linga, Loo!
Fairmount Seniors 1902!
The “Fairmount Seniors 1902” led interesting post-graduate lives. Before marrying, Rhodes taught in the Philippines and Kansas, Houston taught in Oklahoma and Sewall earned a master’s in education at the University of Chicago. McGinnis raised a family of six, two of whom graduated from the University of Wichita. Roulet became a medical doctor and practiced in Chicago. Van Buskirk ranched and farmed in Kansas and Oklahoma. Isely, brother of Fairmount College dean W. H. Isely and librarian M. Alice Isely, was a lumber dealer and civic leader in southwest Kansas and a war correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.
In 1952, the women all returned to campus to be admitted to the Alumni Association’s 50-year club. The men were deceased.
May 05, 2023:
On this Flashback Friday, we go back 115 years to this sweet photo of aviation legend Clyde Cessna’s nephews, the children of Dr. Eugene Wallace and Grace Cessna Wallace. In the middle is none other than Dwane Wallace who, after graduating from the University of Wichita in 1932, led the Cessna Aircraft Company for over 50 years.
He’s shown here with brothers Dwight (left) and Deane. Dwight (1909-1964), an attorney, worked for Cessna and Beech aircraft. Like his father, Deane (1915-1975) was a physician. The Wallace boys’ little sister was Doreen (1926-2018). They are the children of Dr. Eugene Wallace and Clyde Cessna’s sister Grace.
April 28, 2023:
For Flashback Friday in National Library Week, we feature a treasured book recently donated to Special Collections. This annotated copy of Uncloistered Halls: The Centennial History of Wichita State University (1995) is from former WSU president Eugene M. Hughes’ personal library.
The book’s author, WSU history professor Dr. Craig Miner, inscribed the copy to President Hughes “who advances a tradition that has become substantial.” It’s obvious President Hughes made good use of the book. His notations and bookmarks are found throughout.
Archival sources held by Special Collections and University Archives were extensively researched by Dr. Miner while writing the book.
President Hughes served as Wichita State’s 11th president from 1993 to 1998 when he retired. He died in Arizona March 10, 2021.
April 21, 2023:
Flashback Friday 60 years to spring 1963! A photo in the Parnassus yearbook captioned “Cool Collegians Perform Local Ritual” shows students grooving to the Aristocrats with Sonny Tindle on drums.
April 14, 2023:
Flashback Friday to 1955 when a “lamella” roof went on the Field House, now Koch Arena. Lamella comes from lamellae, the ribbed structures that hold up the undersides of mushrooms!
Designed by Wichita architects Schmidt-McVay and Peddie, the Field House opened in late 1955. Its structural steel dome roof weighed in at 450 tons! Wichita’s Watkins Inc. supplied the steel for contractors Dondlinger and Sons, also of Wichita.
The building was renamed Henry Levitt Arena March 3, 1969. A capital campaign in the early 2000s brought about renovations to the structure and a new name, Charles Koch Arena, in honor of Koch Industries’ $6 million gift.
April 07, 2023:
No good for directions, early Kansas maps collected and digitized by WSU Libraries, Special Collections, go way back on this Flashback Friday. Detail of this 1556 Italian map shows Kansas places, Quivira and Cibola, recorded by the Spanish explorer Coronado on his 1541 expedition.
On its website, Special Collections describes and makes accessible over 325 maps from 1556 to 1900 showing the area that becomes Kansas. Mapmakers depict changes in Kansas’ boundaries, trails and cultures with elaborate details, artistic flourishes and inventive spellings of the state’s name. Variations include Kanzas, Kansees, Cansa, Canses, Cansas, Kanses, Konsa and Kansez.
March 31, 2023:
For this final Flashback Friday in Womens' History Month, we salute Dr. Hazel Branch, the first woman as a STEM professor and chair at WSU. Her contributions are documented in the WSU Libraries via archival records in Special Collections, published works and the Virtual Herbarium on SOAR.
One hundred years ago, Kansas native Hazel E. Branch (1886-1973) joined the faculty of Fairmount College as professor and chair of biology after earning her Ph.D. from Cornell. From 1922 to 1956, she taught numerous prospective doctors and scientists at Fairmount College and the University of Wichita.
Among those she inspired were Dr. Cramer Reed ’37, the founding dean of WSU’s College of Health Professions, and Dr. Vincent Gott ’51, standing at left in this 1949 photo, a co-inventor of the pacemaker.
In 1938, Dr. Branch's biography was included in "American Men of Science."
She kept track of her former students who, at her retirement, numbered nearly 200 doctors, 90 medical technologists, 60 dentists, 40 nurses, several pharmacists, a few with doctorates in various scientific fields and 4 attorneys.
In 1975, the Hazel Branch Endowed Scholarship was established from her estate for those students majoring in biology with the intent to attend a medical school.
March 24, 2023:
On Flashback Friday, we honor Bobbye Humphrey (1927-2018) for Womens' History Month. Her groundbreaking work leading Affirmative Action at Wichita State is documented in archival records and presidential papers held by WSU Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
Humphrey was the first African American woman hired to teach at WSU. She came on in the fall of 1968 when WSU first offered a major in social work. Four years later, President Clark Ahlberg tapped her to be assistant dean of faculties for personnel.
Humphrey was the first woman and first Black member of the influential council of vice presidents and deans. She was responsible for implementing the new federally mandated Affirmative Action program at WSU. The aim in 1972 was to ensure conditions of consistent, fair and equitable recruitment, employment and advancement for all persons in every area of the university.
Humphrey devoted her life to advocating for others and gaining equity for all women and people of color. Her professional and community involvement and achievements are a testament to her commitment to equality, justice and opportunity for all.
March 10, 2023:
For Flashback Friday we honor silent movie star Margarita Fischer for Women’s History Month. Shown here in “The Girl Who Dared” one-reeler, this child performer and stage ingénue began working in films in 1910. Four years later, she was voted the nation’s favorite actress.
Fischer’s papers along with those of her husband Harry Pollard are available for research in Special Collections. They tell of her life on stage and screen; marriage to and professional work with actor and director Pollard, a native of Kansas; business acumen; and devotion to family, who often played supporting roles in her movies.
March 03, 2023:
Flashback Friday to 1970 when Dana Jones and Cynthia Scully played records in Grace Wilkie Hall. Dig those groovy bedspreads! From 1953 to 1976, the dorm was home sweet home for women students. It was named in honor of Grace Wilkie who served the University for 41 years.
March 01, 2023:
For Women History Month we honor Miranda “Minnie” Morrison, our first First Lady. Minnie, the young scholar pictured here, met Nathan J. Morrison, her future partner and Wichita State’s first president, while a student in his Greek class at Michigan’s Olivet College.
In the course of their marriage, the Morrisons played key roles in the history of three Congregational colleges: Olivet, Drury and Fairmount. He was president, chief fundraiser and professor while she was a supportive spouse and mother to hundreds of college students and their three children. In 1895, the Congregational Education Society and Wichita businessmen brought in the well-respected couple to lead the fledgling Fairmount College, WSU’s forerunner.
“Mother Morrison” stayed on in Wichita after her husband died in 1907. She remained active in the Fairmount Congregational Church and the Ladies Library Club. Eventually, she moved to Ohio to be with her son Douglas. At her death in 1926, she was buried next to her husband in Wichita’s Maple Grove Cemetery, a short distance south of WSU.
February 24, 2023:
Flashback Friday to 1994 when Walton E. Morgan ‘55/’60 brought a youthful ensemble to the Northeast Senior Center near WSU. “MRMUSIC,” as his personalized license plate read, loved making music with anyone from grade schoolers to senior citizens.
At Wichita North HS, Morgan was the first and only African American band member. After graduating in 1939, he joined the Army during WWII and played clarinet in military bands. On his return from the service, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from the University of Wichita and began his teaching career.
Morgan taught in the Wichita public schools – first segregated and then integrated – for 34 years, retiring in 1986. He also played with jazz greats like Count Basie and Duke Ellington when they performed in Wichita. In later years, he continued making music by giving free lessons on nearly any instrument and forming the Morgan Mid-Towners, a band of senior citizen musicians who played gigs at area churches, care homes and other events. Walton Morgan died July 24, 1996.
February 17, 2023:
Flashback Friday to Gordon Parks in his 9th grade school photo! Parks attended grades 1-9 at the segregated Plaza School before going to – and dropping out of – the integrated high school in his hometown of Fort Scott, Kansas.
Parks never forgot his Plaza School classmates. Twenty-three years after graduation, he, as a Life magazine photojournalist, tracked them down while on assignment for a piece on segregated schools and their impact on Black children. Unfortunately, the photo essay on his classmates and what became of them was never published. It was bumped by the magazine to make space for a piece about the 1951 firing of General Douglas MacArthur by President Harry S. Truman.
February 14, 2023:
Special Collections holds this sweet hand-lettered valentine in the Center for the Calligraphic Arts’ archives. Through workshops and newsletters, the Center, founded by WSU alum M. Jane Van Milligen ’77 BFA, promoted the art and design of hand lettering.
Van Milligen (1947-2005) was an artist, author, and US Army Vietnam veteran. She taught herself calligraphy, designed and built elaborate dollhouses, and was a longtime resident of the Fairmount neighborhood south of campus.
February 10, 2023:
'Tis the season of love. The Sunflower plays a rousing game of ping-pong with our hearts on Flashback Friday in this 1905 Art Nouveau cover art. Designs by local artists graced the newspaper’s front covers from 1896 to 1906.
February 03, 2023:
Flashback Friday 72 years to Jo and Val Brown of Wichita at a 1951 Alpha Kappa Alpha event. Jo, a musician and WU education grad, was the first African American to serve on the Wichita school board. Her husband Val, Wichita native and 2nd generation physician, was a beloved family doc.
In the 1970s, Jo Brown was elected for two terms on the Wichita school board, and during her terms, the board worked through the issue of school integration. Active in church, civic, and political groups, she helped establish the Epsilon Alpha AKA undergraduate chapter here at WSU. Jo also founded and directed A.R.I.S.E. (African-Americans Renewing Interest in Spirituals Ensemble), whose performances continue to educate audiences and cultivate interest in these folksongs.
Dr. Brown (1924-2022) graduated from Wichita’s North High and then attended the University of Wichita in the early 1940s. He moved on to Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he received his medical degree. Dr. Brown practiced in Wichita for nearly 45 years, positively impacting the healthcare of thousands in his hometown.
February 01, 2023:
To kick off Black History Month, we salute Shocker legend Linwood Sexton ’48, the first African American to play for the Wichita State Men's Basketball team. Suiting up for one year as a freshman, he was a starter and captain in 1944-45.
Sexton (1926-2017) accomplished this during a time when African Americans weren’t allowed to stay in the same hotel, eat in the same restaurant, or even travel to certain away games as the rest of the team. Rising above these constraints, Sexton lettered in football, basketball, and track—and graduated with an education degree. He is Wichita State University’s football all-time rushing leader with 1,995 yards and a Shocker Hall of Fame charter inductee.
A community leader and champion of education, Sexton taught sixth grade at the segregated L’Ouverture elementary school in Wichita but was denied the chance to teach and coach at the high school level. At that time, Wichita schools didn’t hire Black people as high school teachers and coaches.
Sexton went on to become the first Black supervisor at Steffen’s Dairy (now Hiland Dairy) and served on numerous city and state boards, including the Kansas Board of Regents. His impact on the community was honored by the WSU Alumni Association in 1977 and the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2006.
January 29, 2023:
On this day 110 years ago: Every Kansan was urged to mail some of these penny postcards to their friends in other states on Kansas Day, January 29, 1913. Wichita printmaker C. A. Seward designed the colorful illustration on the card.
Special Collections holds the C. A. Seward and Prairie Print Makers Collection, comprised of artwork, correspondence, programs and press clippings about the life and work of Wichita visual artist Seward.
January 27, 2023:
On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we remember the courage and perseverance of Holocaust survivors Bernard Novick and Zina Novick Freeman of Wichita. In the ‘80s, Wichita State University Department of History professor Dr. Don Douglas interviewed the siblings and wrote a dramatic reading about their story.
Dr. Douglas later donated to Special Collections and University Archives the interviews and those he made with other survivors from Kansas. The collection includes audio, transcripts and video of the premiere of the dramatic reading based on the Novick siblings’ story.
This image is from the cover of a past WSU remembrance program; the words are by Holocaust survivor and scholar Elie Wiesel.
January 20, 2023:
Flashback Friday to Shockers Arlene Harris, Ronald Walters, Galyn Vesey and Robert Newby, who, along with others, led the historic and successful Dockum Sit-In! Here’s how they looked at the time of their peaceful protest in 1958.
“People, Pride & Promise: The Story of the Dockum Sit-in” commemorating America’s first successful student-led lunch counter sit-in, is now on view through Jan. 31 at the Wilson K. Cadman Art Gallery in the Wichita State University - Rhatigan Student Center.
January 13, 2023:
Flashback Friday to paraskevidekatriaphobia, friggatriskaidekaphobia or simply fear of Friday the 13th, take heed and don’t walk under any ladders -- or cross paths with a black cat, break mirrors or open an umbrella indoors. Stay safe out there!
Students Austin Pond and David Sherman playfully illustrate in a rare Friday the 13th edition of the Sunflower, a superstition thought to bring bad luck.
January 06, 2023:
Flashback Friday to 1947 when students took to the ice for college credit! From 1918 to 1970, Shockers were required to take P.E. courses to graduate. Women chose from offbeat sports like speedball and tennikoit while unusual men’s options included badminton and trampoline.
These skaters were charged an extra fee to use the Alaskan Ice Palace rink, 700 block of South Hydraulic, about 5 miles from campus.
December 15, 2022:
Throwback Thursday 55 years ago to the end of finals. Student Darrell Barton's photo in The Sunflower January 17, 1967 issue expresses the quintessential exhaustion and relief at completing another semester. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
December 08, 2022:
Throwback Thursday to Dec. 1969, when WSU students took 2 weeks off for the holidays, returned in January for 3 more weeks of classes, and then took finals! The Sunflower front page says it all in this pop culture reference to the 1960s TV commercials for Excedrin pain reliever. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
December 02, 2022:
For Gordon Parks’ 110th birthday on Nov. 30th, a digital copy of an audio recording of his 1978 WSU Forum Board Lecture was added to Special Collections. WSU students he met swayed him to change his speech topic from "Creativity" to "Looking Back." The audio includes a lively Q&A session. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
November 24, 2022:
Throwback Thursday to the 1962 dedication of Ablah Library. Sixty years later, we give thanks for the Ablah family’s continuing support, architect John Hickman’s enduring design, WU president Harry Corbin’s bold vision, and Shockers – past, present and future – who make use of the library’s resources in amazing ways. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
November 18, 2022:
Flashback Friday to 11-26-2006, when senior 6’4” center Antionette Wells took it to the hoop in a 71-55 win over Pacific. Wells averaged 13 points and a whopping league-leading 10.5 rebounds per game in 2006-2007.
A two-time all-MVC defensive team and all-MVC second team selection, Wells graduated with a BGS in criminal justice and corrections. Sports photos by Dale Stelz are recent additions to Special Collections and University Archives. See original post at: Twitter Instagram
November 14, 2022:
Flashback Friday, Veterans Day edition, featuring university symphony orchestra conductor, violinist, and WWII veteran Dr. Anthony Chiuminatto, shown on the left. Born in Italy in 1904, Chiuminatto came to WSU in 1941, then served 1942-45 with the US Army.
After a 3-year hiatus, the orchestra regrouped with Chiuminatto leading the 52-piece orchestra, of which 13 were war veterans. See original post at: Twitter Instagram
November 03, 2022:
Throwback Thursday honoring Jay Hunter ’33 for Native American Heritage Month. Captaining the football team his senior year, Hunter, a Winnebago, played fullback for the Shockers. His leadership continued as a physical education teacher and coach in Planeview and Sedgwick County schools and as the first executive director of the Mid-America All-Indian Center in Wichita.
In 1985, the Wichita Urban Indian Health Center was renamed the Hunter Health Clinic to honor Hunter and his wife, Vera. See original post at: Twitter Instagram
November 02, 2022:
This collection showcases artwork in Special Collections made by Blackbear Bosin, a Comanche/Kiowa artist best known for creating Wichita’s iconic Keeper of the Plains sculpture. See original post at: Twitter Instagram
October 31, 2022:
October 28, 2022:
Flashback Friday to the inauguration of Richard Muma as the 15th Wichita State President! Here's @wsupresident, right hand up and left hand on Bible held by First Gentleman Rick Case, taking the oath of office from U.S. Magistrate Judge Gwynne Birzer in 2021. See original post at: Twitter Instagram
October 21, 2022:
Flashback Friday honoring Lucetta Carter for National Friends of Libraries Week. A tiny woman, Mrs. Carter was enormously generous to the library at Fairmount College, WSU’s forerunner. In 1910, this faithful friend gave a beautifully furnished second-floor room of books and periodicals in the newly constructed campus library with funds she made selling books and magazine subscriptions.
Legend has it she would stop an acquaintance on the street to say, “ I have entered a subscription for you to the Saturday Evening Post” or some such magazine. The astonished person was then obligated to pay up! Books and periodicals she donated and gave money to buy are still in the University Libraries. Be on the lookout for her bookplate and rules for the “proper care of books.” See original post at: Twitter Instagram
October 20, 2022:
Throwback Thursday 75 years to the sign-on of Station WU, our first student-run radio station. By fall 1947, this forerunner of @KMUW broadcast 4 to 5 hours each day from atop Jardine Hall, airing news, music, sports, fashion notes, and “campus chatter.”
Here, student d.j. Wayne Barrington ’51 BA confers with station dir./speech prof. Don Williams about jazz by Boyd Raeburn and Wichita native Stan Kenton. See original post at: Instagram
October 14, 2022:
Flashback Friday to Year 21 of WSU’s Fall Break! Students of 2001 were the first beneficiaries of this mid-October break. A fun preview in the October 3, 2001 issue of @thesunflowernews primed the campus for the inaugural break. See original post at: Twitter Instagram
October 07, 2022:
Flashback Friday to November 11, 1948, when Wu was just a baby! @thesunflowernews student cartoonist Harold Kemper introduces the bundle of wheat to the campus. See original post at: Twitter Instagram
September 30, 2022:
Flashback Friday to a somber time in our history. When news of the tragic football team plane crash reached campus, WSU lowered the flags in front of Morrison Hall to mourn those who died. See original post at: Twitter Instagram
September 29, 2022:
Throwback Thursday to a “New Wave Party” advertised by @thesunflowernews! In the ballroom of the CAC, now the Rhatigan Student Center, The Embarrassment, a punk rock band made up of 4 WSU students, took the stage on Monday, December 10, 1979. A documentary about the band, “We Were Famous, You Don’t Remember,” premieres this Friday, September 30th, at Wichita’s @tallgrassfilm Festival. See original post at: Twitter Instagram
September 26, 2022:
Connecting neighbors to resources was the aim of the Self-Help Network, born in 1984 on a Wichita kitchen table! Fast-forward 38 years, it’s now WSU’s Community Engagement Institute. See original post at: Twitter Instagram
September 23, 2022:
Flashback Friday celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month! Fall 1949, Wichita North High all-American fullback Eli Romero became the first person of Hispanic heritage to play football for the Shockers! This cartoon featuring Romero ran in the Sunflower on November 8, 1951. Learn more about Eli below! See original post at: Twitter Instagram
September 08, 2022:
Here’s a bit of local history in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month!
Going back 95 years to Mexican Independence Day festivities in Wichita’s North End where Maria Roman was crowned queen. The 1928 celebration was held September 16th at Cudahy Park on the grounds of the Cudahy meat packing plant, employer of many Mexican-Americans at that time. The day included speeches, recitations, music, food, dancing, athletic contests, raising of the Mexican flag and crowning of the queen. This newspaper clipping comes from rich archival material -- papers, oral histories, photographs, etc. See original post at: Twitter Instagram
May 20, 2022:
May 6, 2022:
A laid back Flashback Friday to this 1973 fashion section pic in the The Sunflower! We hope Shocker students ease into finals week and make it through with some good tunes. See original post at: Facebook Twitter
April 29, 2022:
Flashback celebrating National Poetry Month! Here's a poem from Wichita State University's long-standing literary journal, Mikrokosmos, spring 1959 issue. This work is by poet Charles Plymell, a sophomore at the time. Plymell attended Wichita University and began to make a name for himself in the literary world. By 1963 he was living in San Francisco. In 1967 he published his first book, Apocalypse Rose, which was admired by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, allowing Plymell to be adopted by the Beats. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
April 25, 2022:
Flashback 50 years to when clever Wichita State University students published a game "Construct A Campus" in the Parnassus yearbook. This included such amenities as "your private parking space," and "that brick wall we all run into at one time or another." See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
April 15, 2022:
April 7, 2022:
Our Throwback Thursday honors 126 years of libraries at Fairmount College, University of Wichita and Wichita State University for National Library Week. Illustration from a humorous guide to the library by undergrad Harold Kemper ‘50. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
March 31, 2022:
Throwback Thursday to a 1952 class scene in Jardine Hall’s “modern home economics kitchen.” Just think: If the Library hosted an edible book contest back then (like Friday's event in Ablah), applied learning projects in Home Economics could have resulted in concoctions depicting best-sellers of 70+ years ago! This includes novels such as The Catcher in the Rye; Charlotte’s Web; I, Robot; and The Old Man and the Sea.See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
March 25, 2022:
Flashback Friday to Patsy T. Mink’s pivotal work on Title IX legislation that opened up opportunities for women’s academic and athletic achievements by prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded educational institutions. Collegiate women’s basketball is included in these opportunities, as put by Mechelle Voepel’s ESPN column stating, "Women's basketball should understand how much it owes Patsy Mink.” Wichita hosts the March Madness Women's Basketball regional this weekend at INTRUST Bank Arena. Special Collections holds a transcript of a lengthy oral history with Mink at bit.ly/3upauNM. Photo from Library of Congress which holds Mink’s “rich and voluminous” papers; more at bit.ly/3ICgkjG. Rep. Mink of Hawaii, the first woman of color and the first Asian American #woman to serve in Congress, was a tireless advocate of #womensrights, vocal opponent to the Vietnam War, and leader on educational, environmental, welfare and civil rights issues, all of which are covered in the oral history at Special Collections. Voepel’s full column - bit.ly/3tGVAD6. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
March 17, 2022:
Throwback Thursday to celebrating aviation executive and native Kansan Olive Ann (Mellor) Beech. She learned the aircraft business during the 1920s at Wichita's Travel Air founded by Walter Beech, Lloyd Stearman and Clyde Cessna. In 1932, she was a founding member alongside husband Walter, Ted Wells, K. K. Shaul and C. G. Yankey of Beech Aircraft Company. After Mr. Beech’s untimely death in 1950, Olive Ann led the highly successful company to unprecedented growth through deliberate, planned policies of expansion and diversification, and by an early entry into the nation's space program. Mrs. Beech, who signed her business correspondence “O. A. Beech,” supported many cultural, economic and educational programs including those at Wichita State University. She received an honorary doctorate from WSU in 1982. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
March 10, 2022:
Throwback Thursday to 1957 when Wichita State University's Dr. Margaret Habein was the first woman to be dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at a four-year institution of higher education! During 1957-1961, she headed 23 departments offering over 600 different courses and also started a program for honors students. At WU’s spring 1957 commencement, she urged grads to cherish “intellectual, humane and moral values not only for their own personal good but for the good of mankind everywhere.” Habein went on to become president of Wheelock College, now part of Boston University, and died in 1990 at age 80. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
March 3, 2022:
Throwback Thursday 116 years when Wichita State University's inaugural basketball season was underway. Then playing for Fairmount College, our women's basketball team first took the court Jan. 10, 1906, against Wichita High School, falling 16-13. That loss was avenged on Valentine's Day with a 30-point win. The women finished with a 5-2 record. Interestingly, the Wichita State men's basketball team played its first game January 31, 1906, three weeks AFTER the women’s first game! See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
February 25, 2022:
Flashback Friday to Spring '87 when Dr. John W. Johnson ‘52/MS ‘53 taught his last chemistry classes after 32 years at Wichita State University. Johnson was the first African American to receive a master’s degree in chemistry from WU, the first African American to serve as a student teacher in a Wichita high school, and, in January 1956, the first African American professor at the university. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
February 18, 2022:
It's a Black History Month flashback Friday! We pay tribute to 1976 Wichita State University grad Webster L. Walker who, at age 88, earned his bachelor’s degree in education. After dropping out of school, going to work, getting married and raising a family, he - at age 64 - first enrolled at the University of Wichita, attending at the same time as his youngest son Klovis ‘54. Twenty-four years later, he and a granddaughter both were students at WSU! After a lifetime in pursuit of learning, Walker died in 1982 at age 94. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
February 11, 2022:
Flashback Friday to celebrating Black History Month and the McLean sisters! Clockwise from top left, Willa ’33, Jessie ’42, Ann ’45 and Jean ‘43, all Wichita State University (then University of Wichita) education grads. Supportive of family and community, Willa helped put her sisters through WU. After a long and distinguished teaching career at Dunbar and Little Elementary schools, she died in 2003 at the age of 100. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
February 3, 2022:
Throwback Thursday to a snowy ‘78 candid of Gordon Parks on Vail from Special Collections & University Archives. The Kansas native was a prolific artist, poet, novelist, composer, film director, documentary photojournalist, fashion photographer, and skier! He also made time for tennis and semi-pro basketball. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
January 27, 2022:
On this throwback Thursday on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we reflect on the powerful words of Holocaust survivor, scholar, and author Elie Wiesel. In May 1978, Wiesel - survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps - presented lectures at Wichita State University, the recordings of which are held by Special Collections and University Archives. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
January 20, 2022:
Campus fashions come and go, but Shocker styles of the 60s - 70s are forever immortalized in the The Sunflower fashion sections. Circa 1973 from the fashion section at “The Mall,” now home to Shocker Studios. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
January 13, 2022:
Throwback Thursday to April 5, 1968 when a overflow crowd of Wichita State University students gathered at Grace Memorial Chapel to attend the memorial service for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. following his assassination. Classes were dismissed at 10 a.m. that day, and all campus activities were paused. The Chapel was filled to capacity - standing room only - so loud speakers were set up so those outside could pay their respects. Then President Emory Lindquist made a memorial tribute to King, echoing sentiments of racial prejudice, injustice, and indignity - "There is unfinished business in Washington, in Wichita, on this campus, in the hearts and minds of each one of us." See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
January 7, 2022:
Flashback to the 90s when Wichita State University math professor Prem Bajaj received a shoutout from friend and world-renown folk musician/social activist Pete Seeger in his book "Where Have All the Flowers Gone." The two connected over an equation of sorts. A challenge to the readers of Mathematics Magazine - “but if two and two and fifty make a million. . .” - came from a Seeger song. Dr. Bajaj solved it with style - so much so his solution, in the form of a letter to the magazine, was included in Seeger’s 1993 book. The two corresponded and later met backstage at a New York City concert in August 1993. Dr. Bajaj died December 30, 2021. He taught mathematics at WSU from 1968 to 2001. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
December 16, 2021:
Throwback Thursday to Dec. 16, 1937, when Santa was filling the “Shocker Stocking.” His list ends with “New Library?” in The Sunflower cartoon published 84 years ago. The jolly Saint Nick came through with Morrison Hall - a three story brick and stone Georgian building topped with a clock tower which served as the library from 1939 to 1962. Now the administrative center of Wichita State University, Morrison Hall houses the Office of the President, Academic Affairs, Strategic Communications and the post office. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
December 10, 2021:
A flashback Friday tribute to Kansas Senator Bob Dole, shown here with Joan and Wichita State University President Warren B. Armstrong. Dole - a native Kansan and 1996 U.S. presidential candidate - passed away Sunday at the age of 98. Instrumental in securing millions in federal funding to create the National Institute for Aviation Research, Dole called the institute “a perfect fit” for WSU and Wichita, the Air Capital of the World. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
December 7, 2021:
from The Sunflower archives of Dec. 8, 1941 convocation called by Wichita State University President William Jardine for students to hear U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor address to Congress. All classes were dismissed. "Practically every student attended the event” in Wilner Auditorium, according to news reports. Via a live radio broadcast, students heard FDR’s legendary first line: “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy. . . .” See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
December 2, 2021:
Throwback Thursday to outdoor finals studying, ‘80s style. Before hammocks and lawn furniture arrived on campus, many a bench, ledge and even the ground were used as makeshift desks during beautiful weather. Settings for these Wichita State students: Bench near Clinton, tree south of Wilner, ledge outside the Campus Activities Center, and the front porch of Morrison. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
November 25, 2021:
On this Throwback Thursday, Thanksgiving 2021 edition, Special Collections and University Archives gives thanks for newly processed collections! Since April 2020, our processing archivist Amanda has processed 36 collections ranging from oral histories to scrapbooks to miniature paper houses! One such scrapbook shows Wichita State University student Isobel Nevins wearing a watch on her ankle à la flapper style. See original post at: Facebook
November 18, 2021:
Throwback Thursday 162 years to the 1859 Cherokee Almanac! The series started 185 years ago, and was printed in both Cherokee and English. In Wichita State University's applied linguistics program started in 2021, JW Webster teaches Cherokee. Special Collections and University Archives preserves and makes available original copies of the almanac and three other books in the Cherokee language dating from 1847 to 1860. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
November 12, 2021:
November 11, 2021:
Feel free to drop by the main floor of Ablah Library this afternoon to play games during international games week! Special Collections enjoyed a round of "Wichita-opoly" from the Libraries' collections. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
November 5, 2021:
Flashback Friday 114 years to Wichita State Women's Basketball (then Fairmount College) with its interscholastic champions banner in sunflower yellow and black fashioned by student Mabel Sayles. The team clinched the championship in a close playoff game against Wichita High School by a final of 12-11, thus breaking a tie in the league standings. Fellow student and star athlete Percy Bates, back row, center, served as coach. Sadly, he was killed in action during World War I. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
October 28, 2021:
Throwback Thursday 106 years to the inauguration of Walter Huntington Rollins as the third president of Fairmount College, now Wichita State University. Pictured are inauguration ticket and program. On the steps of Morrison Library, three columns of which still stand at 17th and Fairmount, the photo with President Rollins - front row, seventh from left - took place at 2 p.m., per Sunflower reporter, after which the group made its way to the college chapel in Fairmount Hall for inauguration exercises. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
October 21, 2021:
Throwback Thursday to 1971’s “Shaft” and its iconic soundtrack soon to be experienced at this year’s Tallgrass Film Festival! Pictured are composer, performer and lead vocalist Isaac Hayes (front) along with the film’s producer and director, Joel Freeman and Kansas native Gordon Parks, and backing band at the MGM Studios. Hayes won an Academy Award for "Theme from Shaft," marking first time the best original song Oscar was awarded to an African American composer. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
October 15, 2021:
Flashback to March 9, 1950 for Harry F. Corbin’s inauguration as Wichita State University's president! Amid a sea of microphones, including those of Wichita radio stations KFH Radio, KANS and KAKE, the youthful Corbin flashed a winning smile during ceremonies in Wilner Auditorium. At the time, he was 33, a husband, father of three young boys, product of the Wichita public schools, tennis champion, Rhodes scholarship awardee candidate, businessman, attorney, chaplain, Navy veteran, associate professor of political science and philosophy at WU and the first alumnus to be named president. And that was just the beginning of his many accomplishments. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
October 7, 2021:
Throwback Thursday to Nov. 1965 when Cuban refugees Lazaro San Martin and his parents Jose and Eduvigis were reunited in Wichita-! Like many in Cuba, the teenager’s parents trusted “Operation Peter Pan” to bring their son to the U.S. in 1962. Returning the favor, Lazaro raised enough money in three years to resettle them here. Also a Newman University alum, San Martin received his Counseling and School Psychology Master of Education degree from Wichita State University in 1988. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
October 1, 2021:
Flashback 51 years to Wichita State University's return to football after the tragic Oct. 2 plane crash. Pictured (L-R) are senior captains Bob Hayes, John Hoheisel and Don Pankratz making their way to the first coin toss of the “Second Season.” When the Shockers took the field that day against the Arkansas Razorbacks, over 40,000 Razorback fans gave a standing ovation of several minutes to their opponents. Hoheisel, on crutches, survived the crash. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
September 24, 2021:
Flashback 90 years when Elisa “Elizabeth” Chacón (left) wore the highly coveted letter sweater of the Women’s Athletic Association. Among the first Latinas to graduate from Wichita State University, she earned the honor with good sportsmanship, physical fitness and love of athletics. Between 1928-1932, Chacón played on the baseball, volleyball and tenequiot teams. (Intercollegiate sports for women at WSU weren’t offered until the 1960s.) She was involved on the WAA’s cabinet, worked in the library, participated in YWCA, Spanish Club, International Club and Cosmopolitan Club, as well as wrote for the Wichita Eagle and El Estudiante - a Spanish language magazine. A 1932 Spanish major, the Shocker alumna taught the subject for decades in high schools, mainly in El Paso. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
September 16, 2021:
Throwback Thursday celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month! In late 1952, Wichita North grad Bobby Argumedo (left) became the first person of Hispanic heritage to play basketball for the Shockers! Suiting up for three seasons, he was on the historic 1953-54 varsity team, the first Wichita State University team to play in a national, post-season tournament. While in New York City for the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) at Madison Square Garden, the team was on the “Talk of the Town” TV show hosted by Ed Sullivan! Argumedo joins teammates Melvin Carman and Gary Thompson in this 1953 photo. Involved in Air Force ROTC, Engineering Council, Student Forum Board and Alpha Gamma Gamma fraternity (now Beta Theta Pi), Argumedo graduated in 1957 with a degree in aerospace engineering. The Shocker alum retired as Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force, and Intelligence and Threat Analysis manager, Boeing Military. Sadly, Argumedo died last Friday, Sept. 10, at age 87. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
September 10, 2021:
A somber flashback to September 11, 2001 on the Wichita State University campus. Students, faculty, and staff gathered around TVs, quietly watching in disbelief as the horrific events unfolded - captured by The Sunflower. Students organized and held a candlelight vigil on the evening of Friday, Sept. 14, to pay their respects and to grieve. There, President Don Beggs expressed WSU’s collective concern for those in mourning, hope for the nation’s leaders, and gratitude for the freedoms, values and liberties of the United States. Campus observances marking the events were held in 2002, 2006 and 2011. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
September 2, 2021:
Throwback Thursday 92 years ago this Saturday when Fairmount Hall was destroyed by a fire. The original building on campus was undergoing remodeling at the time. Over the years, it housed classrooms, administrative offices, library, chapel, music and art studios, meeting rooms, auditorium and even a gymnasium in the basement. A casualty of the 1929 fire was a great deal of the university’s archives! Foundation stones and other rubble remained at the site for several years before eventual use in the George Washington Bicentennial Bridge constructed in 1932. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
August 26, 2021:
Throwback Thursday to 1989 when Wichita State University graphic design students, led by Professor Clark Britton, created elaborate paper replicas of Wichita’s vernacular residential architecture. The scale is “HO,” 1:87 or 3.5 mm to 1 foot, the world’s most popular scale of model railways! Graphic Design 239, a 3-D structures class, met in McKnight 113 during spring 1989. The class took research field trips to see firsthand and photograph the wide variety of house styles built in Wichita between 1870 and 1940. Students then constructed their own paper models. Several displays followed, including one at the Rhatigan Student Center in late 1989. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
August 23, 2021:
Flashback to the way we were! Looking east from Hillside, this 1948 map shows many familiar Wichita State University buildings: “Library” (now Morrison Hall), “Administration” (Jardine), “Science” (McKinley), Henrion and Fiske, all still in use today. Long gone are the Music Hall, Caretaker’s Residence, “Brig” and “Morrison Hall,” first built as a library and later used for art classes. Three columns from Morrison Hall 1.0 were moved to 17th and Fairmount entrance. Site of present Ahlberg Hall is “residential” where houses remained until early 1970s. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
August 13, 2021:
This flashback celebrates this upcoming Monday, Aug. 16 when Wichita State University students spread their wings for a new semester! Ninety-four years ago on Aug. 16, 1927, three aircraft built in Wichita took off in the Dole Air Race, the first ever Pacific Ocean crossing attempted by civilian crews. The winner was Travel Air’s Woolaroc, flying from Oakland to Honolulu in 26 hours, 17 minutes and earning the grand prize of $25,000 -- nearly $400,000 today! Woolaroc is on display today in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Only two of the eight planes that started the race reached Honolulu, however. In all, ten lives were lost and six airplanes were lost or damaged beyond repair. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
August 6, 2021:
Flashback to 1928 when Wichita State University's first Olympians in track and field were teammates. Jim Bausch, back row, second from right, won gold in the 1932 Olympic decathlon, making him the “world’s greatest athlete” of the time. Harold Manning, front row, left, ran the 3000 meter steeplechase in the 1936 Games, placing fifth. Track team members who surely were cheering on their Shocker brethren were, back row, from left, Coach Clifford Gallagher, Floyd Carter, Wayne Pipkin, Earl Harness, Ray Gallagher, Glenn Moore and Lester Foust; front row, from left, Leslie Bosworth, Dwight Beaman, Herbert King and Kenneth Widney. Foust and King were the first African American Go Shockers athletes. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
July 29, 2021:
Throwback Thursday to the 1972 Munich Olympics featuring Wichita State University long jumper Preston Carrington representing the U.S.! In the qualifying rounds, he sailed to a career best 26’ 11.5”. The Shocker All-American’s amazing leap was over four times his height of six feet! The long jump finals were held after the horrific “Munich Massacre” by Palestinian terrorists in which 17 died, including 11 Israeli coaches and athletes. After a 34-hour suspension, the Games resumed. The finals were moved to a different long jump runway, forcing the participants into unfamiliar conditions. Unfortunately, Carrington dropped to fifth at 26’ 2.5” in the finals. Over fifty years later, the Topeka native’s marks as a Shocker athlete still rank on WSU's All-Time Top Ten in the long jump, triple jump and 110-meter high hurdles. He also was a two-year starter in basketball. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
July 22, 2021:
Throwback Thursday 85 years to opening ceremony of controversial 1936 Olympics held in Berlin.
Photo 1: Esther Myers Wenzel’s ticket to “Eröffnungsfeier” is among material in the 1936 Olympics Collection recently processed, preserved and made available by Special Collection and University Archives.
Photo 2: WSU alumna Wenzel’s seat, marked with X on ticket back, offered close-up view of Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler and his entourage descending nearby stairs into huge stadium.
Photo 3: Wenzel’s photo from same vantage point during track event shows camera on rail at lower center likely recording for Leni Riefenstahl’s Nazi propaganda film “Olympia.”
Wichita State University athletes competing at the Games were Harold Manning (steeplechase, 5th) who became friends with iconic Olympian Jesse Owens and basketball players Francis Johnson and Jack Ragland and their coach Gene Johnson who won gold on the US team which included Jewish teammate Sam Balter. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
July 21, 2021:
Happy 151st birthday to our wonderful city!! Check out these photos of Wichita throughout the years! Images preserved and digitized by Special Collections & University Archives
Photo 1: Circa 1986, Fireworks - Fireworks over Arkansas River in downtown Wichita. View looking east toward crowd along east bank of river. Century II Convention Hall, Garvey Plaza, Kansas State Bank & Trust Company building and Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum in background. Partially completed Bob Brown Expo Hall adjoins Century II at right.
Photo 2: 1948 Interior view of De Luxe Barber Shop at 1209 East 9th Street showing employees and patrons. From left, Sullivan S. Starks is first barber, and owner Theo Sayers is third barber.
Photo 3: 1927, Seventeen men stand on wing of prototype model of Cessna cabin monoplane. Stunt was to demonstrate strength of airplane without wing struts. Photograph taken August 1927.
Photo 4: Early 1970s, WSU students on the east patio of the Campus Activities Center (Rhatigan Student Center) in early 1970s. Campus view looking northeast includes Clinton Hall and Neff Hall. WSU's campus was bisected by city streets at this time.
Photo 5: Circa 1900, “Mother” Noble driving in front of 1303 W. River Blvd.
Photo 6: Circa 1955, Orpheum - View looking northeast toward Orpheum Theater at corner of 1st and Broadway streets. Marquee advertises "King Kong" movie for kiddie matinee. Tilford Pharmacy at left.
Photo 7: Circa 1917 - Aerial view of downtown Wichita looking east, showing Island Park baseball stadium and Wonderland amusement park on Ackerman Island in Arkansas River.
Photo 8: Circa 1870, Wichita's Main Street in 1870, Looking North from Douglas Avenue
July 15, 2021: Synchronize your watches! Throwback Thursday to this 1952 snapshot of the Wichita State University sundial with President Harry Corbin, air science and tactics professor Lt. Col. Herbert Hartman (left), and air Wichita State ROTC captains Robert Goss and Joseph Cunningham. Their reactions of bemusement are most likely due to the missing gnomon, the sundial part that casts a shadow to denote time. The sundial was positioned on the grounds just outside the presidential offices then located in the southwest corner of the first floor of Jardine Hall. Today, it stands just to the east of Hubbard Hall. Fun fact: President Corbin was a freshman at WU when the sundial, a gift of the Class of 1934, was installed in late October 1934. Rededication ceremony for the sundial is next Monday 8/19 See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
July 1, 2021: Throwback Thursday to 1996 when Wichita State University hosted "20/20 Futurism Symposium" to predict what the world would look like in 2020. Among the prophetic insights: “To move forward applied learning with more opportunities for field-based learning” and “new vaccines for deadly viruses and diseases.” Video and other materials on 1996 symposium preserved and digitized by Special Collections and University Archives. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
July 1, 2021: Throwback Thursday to 1996 when Wichita State University hosted "20/20 Futurism Symposium" to predict what the world would look like in 2020. See the 1996 wrap-up of findings at bit.ly/3AbB9j0 and the recent 2021 reaction to 1996 findings at bit.ly/3w88Min! Among the prophetic insights: “To move forward applied learning with more opportunities for field-based learning” and “new vaccines for deadly viruses and diseases.” Video and other materials on 1996 symposium preserved and digitized by Special Collections and University Archives. See all of Special Collections’ Throwback Thursday posts from WSU's 125th year at bit.ly/369DJIF. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
June 10, 2021:
Throwback Thursday to when the ever-dynamic Karla Burns performed in “Carmen” for WSU’s “A Night at the Opera,” November 12, 1974. Publications, programs and photographs preserved by Special Collections and University Archives document Burns’ formative Wichita State University years. Cast in theater and opera productions galore at WSU including “Godspell,” “The American Dream,” and “The Music Man,” she gave a dramatic reading earlier in 1974 of “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” with its author Maya Angelou in attendance. Innumerable songs, dance steps and lines later, the versatile Wichita native and Shocker alum went on to a successful international performance, recording, and teaching career. Burns was the first Black person in the world to win the Olivier Award, Britain’s most prestigious theatre honor. For many years, she toured the U.S. in “Hi-Hat Hattie,” in which she paid tribute to fellow Wichita native and award-winning actor Hattie McDaniel who was born in Wichita 126 years ago on this day. See original post at: Facebook Twitter
June 3, 2021:
Throwback Thursday to June 2, 1926, when a formal ceremony marked the transfer of Fairmount College to the City of Wichita- Government. Earlier in 1926, Wichita’s citizens voted to accept the college to create a municipal university, the first of its kind west of the Mississippi River. Fairmount persists on campus today – 95 years later – in our school colors, mascot, alma mater (same tune, revised verses) and in the name of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In the Municipal University of Wichita’s first year, enrollment increased by over 150, including African American students who were admitted for the first time in school history. Fairmount-era buildings and structures still with us in various forms are Fiske Hall, Henrion Hall, Morrison Library columns at 17th and Hillside, Fairmount Hall’s foundation stones in the George Washington Bicentennial Bridge near Charles Koch Arena, and the long sidewalk just north of the President’s Residence stretching eastward from Hillside toward Wilner Auditorium. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
May 27, 2021:
Throwback Thursday to 100 years to the Wichita Protest’s coverage of the Tulsa Race Massacre. The rare newspaper, preserved and digitized by Special Collections, informs Wichita’s Black community about the horrific incident through news content and the poem, “A Voice from Flanders Fields” by African American poet Andy Razaf, after the well-known World War I poem “In Flanders Fields.” See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
May 20, 2021: Throwback Thursday to 1979 when Wichita State Softball was sliding into W's over Butler Grizzlies softball in the season opener. Games were the first-ever contests played by Butler, now a NJCAA powerhouse. Wichita State's historic 2021 season continues tomorrow. Go Shocks!! Photo preserved and digitized by Special Collections and University Archives. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
May 13, 2021: Throwback Thursday to the first Ph.D. degree awarded by Wichita State University! On June 9, 1963, Goro Kamiyama made Wichita State history when he received a doctorate in logopedics. He is photographed with logopedics head Dr. Martin Palmer (left) and university marshal Dr. John Breazeale. Already a dentist and medical doctor in Tokyo, Kamiyama was a Fulbright Scholar who studied at the Institute of Logopedics, once part of Wichita State and is now Heartspring. Dr. Kamiyama’s aim, based on his own experience, was to help those who stutter. The Ph.D. in logopedics awarded was also the first of its kind in the U.S. The logopedics program is continued today at Wichita State by the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Dr. Palmer’s papers are preserved by Special Collections and University Archives; 1963 commencement program digitized and described by Technical Services. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
May 6, 2021: On this Throwback Thursday, we highlight Dr. Nathan Jackson Morrison, the first president of Wichita State University, then known as Fairmount College, while welcoming our new president, Dr. Richard Muma! Morrison, a scholar and minister of national renown, dedicated his life to educating young people, having previously served as president of Drury and Olivet colleges. He closed his formal acceptance of our presidency with “So I am with you, heart and soul, in your great emprise.” Letters preserved by Special Collections and University Archives; digitized and described by Technical Services of Wichita State University Libraries. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
April 29, 2021: Throwback Thursday on preservation week to April 29, 1896, when WSU amended its state charter by officially changing its name from “Fairmount Institute” to “Fairmount College.” The handwritten document of the charter’s provisions was drafted by Dr. Nathan J. Morrison, our first president, and the resulting typewritten document both are preserved in Special Collections and University Archives and made accessible online. The documents have survived 125 years -- through destructive fires, questionable handling, fluctuating environments and 14 presidential administrations -- because WSU deemed them worthy of saving. They are living their best lives in protective archival folders and enclosures in the controlled temperature and humidity of Special Collections’ vault. Learn why Preservation Week – literally, every week in Special Collections! See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
April 22, 2021: Throwback Thursday to 51 years to the first Earth Day! Wichita State joined in the nationwide environmental movement with teach-ins, recycling, film showings, a folk rock festival and more. Ironically, the concert, held on Wilner Hall’s south lawn, was shut down early due to complaints of noise pollution. Digitized Sunflower for April 17, 1970, in institutional repository SOAR. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
April 16, 2021: Flashback to March 21, 1958, when all 300 copies of the debut issue of WSU's student literary journal, Mikrokosmos, were snapped up in less than an hour! The 28 pages in the first issue offered readers “the whatever” in the form of poems, short stories and art by students. The brave Beat-era endeavor was sponsored by the English and art departments. The journal persists today and currently is edited and published by WSU’s MFA program. Past contributors include WSU students, faculty and staff, local artists and writers, and literary luminaries like William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsburg, William Stafford, and former student Michael McClure. Its name comes from the Greek word for “little world in itself.” See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
April 8, 2021: Throwback Thursday to 1896 when librarian Paul Roulet issued this handbill soliciting donations for the Fairmount College library, the predecessor of Wichita State University. This action was instrumental in laying the Libraries' foundation. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
April 1, 2021: Throwback Thursday to ApRiL fOol DaY over the years! Starting way back in 1909, the Sunflower published zany April Fool editions chock full of inside jokes, punny headlines, satire and good ol’ college humor. The 1919 edition even includes an article claiming President Rollins was suing his wife for divorce! Sunflowers preserved by Special Collections and University Archives; available online in digital collections. See original post at: Twitter Instagram
March 25, 2021: Throwback Thursday to 1983 when the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) published its third special issue marking the arrival of spring based on the lunar calendar. This beautiful illustration titled “Cánh Hoa Xuân” shows a woman holding spring flowers at Wichita State University. Jardine Hall, Morrison Hall, Grace Memorial Chapel, and Cessna Stadium form the backdrop. For 43 years, VSA has been bringing awareness to Vietnamese culture and promoting diversity on campus. Original copies of the yearbooks titled Tương lai (Future) are preserved by Special Collections and University Archives. See original post at: Twitter Instagram
March 18, 2021: Throwback Thursday to World War II when women’s intramural basketball was a hot ticket on campus. Lane violations aside, these women were ready to play! Due to wartime restrictions, the University suspended all intercollegiate athletics for the 1943-1944 season. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
March 11, 2021: Throwback Thursday to the original women of Wichita State! Since our University's first day, women have been on campus as students, faculty, and staff members. In the first freshman class of 1895-96, women students outnumbered men seven to six! Among the first women faculty members was Flora Colby Clough who arrived in Wichita our second year, 1896-97, and retired in 1931 after 35 years as professor of English literature and 25 years as Dean of Women. Read Clough’s letter of application in the Fairmount College Correspondence Collection, part of University Libraries Special Collections and University Archives. Clough and Dean W. H. Isely flank President Nathan J. Morrison in this photo circa 1900 also from Special Collections and University Archives. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
March 4, 2021: Throwback Thursday 50 years when English professor Dr. Dorothy Walters taught the first woman-centric courses at Wichita State University - "Woman as Writer" and "Writing by Women" in 1971! From these courses came the current Center for Women's Studies, among the oldest such departments in the U.S. More on the department's origins from The Sunflower published in 1974. Photo from Special Collections & University Archives online. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
February 25, 2021: Throwback Thursday to 50 years when native Kansan Gordon Parks fine-tuned the script for his groundbreaking 1971 film “Shaft." A funky revision is shown here in Park's handwriting. More in the Gordon Parks collection from Special Collections & University Archives. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
February 18, 2021: This Throwback Thursday we salute Wichita’s African Americans who established businesses like the De Luxe Barber Shop, 1209 E. 9th, as shown here in 1948 from the Wichita Photo Archives. Wichita State's Dr. Robert E. Weems Jr. speaks this evening on Black capitalism in the WSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion lecture series See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
February 11, 2021: Today's Throwback Thursday honors the late Wichita State University alum Prince McJunkins. This 1983 Parnassus photo shows Shocker quarterback McJunkins during his favorite gridiron memory quoted by the Wichita Eagle - upsetting rival KU 13-10 in 1982. McJunkins threw the winning touchdown in that game en route to leading the Shockers to an 8-3 season. The Oklahoma native also became the first player in NCAA history to eclipse the career 4,000-yard passing and 2,000-yard rushing mark. See original post at: Facebook Twitter
February 5, 2021: Throwback Thursday to Feb. 5, 1930, when eminent scientist George Washington Carver addressed our University in the Henrion Gym Auditorium. Carver, a personal friend of then University of Wichita President Harold Foght, spent three days in the City of Wichita, speaking at Wichita Public Schools East High, the newly opened North High, Friends University and WU. Newspapers, including The Sunflower, reported thousands heard him tell of his life (including his teens and twenties spent in Kansas), his advances in crop science at Tuskegee Institute and the myriad uses he discovered for peanuts, sweet potatoes, and pecans. This 91-year-old archive found at Special Collections & University Archives. See original post at: Facebook Twitter
January 29, 2021: How far we have come!! Happy Kansas Day and 160th to the 34th state to be admitted to the Union. Special Collections has digitized maps dating back to 1556 showing our state's amazing evolution (including this one from 1868)! See original post at: Facebook Twitter
January 28, 2021: On this Throwback Thursday we celebrate 125 years of The Sunflower, our independently run student newspaper. The first issue in Jan. 1896 quoted Shakespeare: “To thine own self be true." Covering academics to fashion to sports to war, The Sunflower has been – and still is – documenting our university. WSU Libraries has preserved all 125 years of the Sunflower! See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
January 21, 2021: Throwback Thursday to the 11th Century! Special Collections has a copy of "Enchiridion ad Laurentium" by medieval philosopher St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430) who was quoted by POTUS in his Inauguration address. Latin text on vellum leaf features elaborately decorative capital D. Rare book in Special Collections from Wichitan Robert T. Aitchison See original post at: Twitter Instagram
January 20, 2021: On this Inauguration day, Special Collections & University Archives shares the work of Wichitan Louise Durbin - author of "Inaugural Cavalcade" covering the first 36 U.S. Presidential Inaugurations and writer for the D.C. documentary "Inaugural Souvenir." See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
January 14, 2021: Throwback Thursday to Nov. 1, 1977, when then first-term U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr., spoke at the CAC Theater on Wichita State University campus. At age 34, Biden gave a speech titled “The Senate and the Carter Administration” as part of the Eisenhower Lecture Series. Now 78, Biden is set to be inaugurated as President of the United States on Inauguration Day Wednesday, Jan. 20. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
December 17, 2020: Throwback Thursday to the successful Wichita State Women's Basketball season of 1980-81. Coach Kathryn Bunnell and the team put together a then school record W's en route to a 20-11 campaign. Ranked in AIAW’s Top 30 to start the season, the Shockers set records for most points (114), most rebounds (82), most made field goals made (49) and largest attendance (4354). See original post at: Facebook Twitter
December 10, 2020: Happy 100th to Henrion for Throwback Thursday! The “men’s gymnasium” facing Fairmount Street went up a century ago as a memorial to Wichita State University students - men and women - who gave their lives for country in World War I (The adjoining east-west “women’s gymnasium” and stadium were added in the late 1920s). It’s has been home to ceramics and sculpture classes, ROTC drills, “varsity” dances, basketball games and physical education workouts. The building is named for civic leader and contractor Walter Henrion. View looking north. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
December 7, 2020: Today marks Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day and the 79th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks that launched U.S. involvement in WWII. From Special Collections, headlines from that infamous day. See original post at: Facebook Twitter
December 4, 2020: For Throwback Thursday we celebrate the legacy of Wichita State University alum Frank Carney. He and his brother Dan founded Pizza Hut and guided it to one of the world's largest food franchises. This 1966 photo shows the brothers along with Bob Chisholm making the company's 14 millionth pizza. Frank died earlier this week at 82. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
November 19, 2020: Throwback Thursday to 93 years ago when international students were first welcomed to Wichita State University! President Dr. Harold Waldstein Foght, native of Norway, recruited international students, including first international grads Evelyn Hinton (Canada) and Eugene Prostov (Russia) - both pictured. Foght also helped organize a club for international students and faculty. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
November 12, 2020: Throwback Thursday honoring the legacy of Dr. Melvin H. Snyder: United States Air Force major, veteran, alumnus and longtime professor and chair of WSU’s department of aeronautical engineering, now aerospace engineering. During World War II, he served as an aircraft engineering officer for the P-47 Thunderbolt pursuit aircraft and was involved in several pivotal European campaigns. He was awarded France’s Croix de Guerre in 1956 and ended his military career as a major. In 1947, Snyder came to Wichita State University to teach and pursue graduate studies; he retired 50 years later! Special Collections and University Archives holds the personal recollections of this influential professor about the Wichita State University College of Engineering's history. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
November 5, 2020: FIRST ROW, FAR RIGHT: On this Throwback Thursday we celebrate the 50th year of the Wichita State University Health Professions and a remarkable WSU First-Gen Student Organization student of the college! Not only was Junetta French Everett a First Gen Shocker, she was the first African American dental hygienist to graduate from the CHP program and the first African American dental hygienist in Kansas. In an interview with the Wichita Eagle, she said she wanted “to make sure I’m not the last” so she and her husband created a scholarship with the Wichita State University Foundation. Now a Delta Dental executive, she is the current chair of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce, the first African American in the post. Photograph of WSU chapter of Junior American Dental Hygienist Association from 1978 Parnassus yearbook accessible online via WSU Libraries’ SOAR. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
October 29, 2020: Some hiney humor on this Throwback Thursday! During the 1976 election University Libraries encouraged students to vote with a witty display on the second floor of Ablah. That year included Dan Glickman ousting incumbent Garner Shriver as the state's rep in the Fourth District. Jimmy Carter narrowly won the presidency over Gerald Ford, whose running mate was Kansan Bob Dole. Special Collections has candidate papers on Glickman and Shriver. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
October 22, 2020: As Wichita State University and W. Frank Barton School of Business (Wichita State University) break ground on the new Wayne and Kay Woolsey Hall, we will Throwback Thursday to Sept. 4, 1968 – the groundbreaking for Clinton Hall, longtime home of the school. The unique shovel used by Eldon Sloan, Robert Schrader, and Dr. John Breazeale (center) resides in University Archives inside University Libraries. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
October 15, 2020: Throwback Thursday to homecomings past brimming with football, parades, queens, “varsities” and concerts. In the 1982 parade, the Delta Upsilon space shuttle with copilot WuShock released balloons to impress the crowd outside Cessna Stadium. More about our homecomings going back to 1924. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
October 8, 2020: #TBT to October 1935 when the first drawing of the “New Student Union Building” appeared in The Sunflower and other Wichita newspapers. A year later, the “Auditorium and Commons Building” was completed, constructed on the site of old Fairmount Hall which was destroyed by fire in 1929. The building later was renamed to honor George Wilner, longtime head of speech and theater at Fairmount College and the University of Wichita. Today, it houses Wichita State University School of Performing Arts. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
October 1, 2020: Throwback Thursday to a somber time in our history. When news of the tragic football team plane crash reached campus, WSU lowered the flags in front of Morrison Hall to mourn those who died. More on the 1970 season and crash See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
September 24, 2020: Throwback Thursday to a group photo taken in the midst of the 1918 flu epidemic! Fairmount College’s Student Army Training Corps (SATC) assembled on December 3, 1918, near the unit’s barracks in Fiske Hall and two temporary wooden structures. Panoramic 43 x 8 inch photo at bit.ly/3iXY0Wp also shows temporary mess hall and cooks at far left, Fairmount Hall (near present site of Wilner Hall) in background, band and man in Navy uniform at far right, and Fairmount College president Walter Rollins, front row center. In early 1918, the US War Department created SATC as a national program to accelerate training of soldiers who simultaneously would take college courses and prepare for war. Fairmount’s SATC unit formed in Oct. 1918 and disbanded two months later. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
September 17, 2020: Throwback Thursday to 1935-36 when Erna Prather Harris (front row, second from left) was the editor of our student newspaper, The Sunflower. She became the first African American to write for and hold positions with the paper, and later the first African American woman to earn a journalism degree from Wichita State. Her life was one of many firsts, including being the first African American, first woman and first freshman to earn an award for journalism. Other firsts in Harris’ career: She started her own newspaper and she built her own car. See original post at: Facebook Instagram
September 10, 2020: Talk about old-school cool! Throwback Thursday to September 11, 1895, our university’s inaugural day of classes. Meet the first freshmen - seven women and six men whose average age was 20 (youngest 16, oldest 24). Twelve of the thirteen were first generation students! Plus eight of the thirteen were our first graduates. They are pictured here among Fairmount Academy students on the west-facing steps of the only building on campus at the time, Fairmount Hall. Front row, left to right, are faculty members A. W. Sickner (with bicycle), George Chase, Paul Roulet, President Nathan J. Morrison, Della Smoke, Dean W. H. Isely, and possibly Jennie McClung. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
September 3, 2020: A great Throwback Thursday for Hispanic Heritage Month looking at 1973’s “Chicano Cultural Week” organized by Shocker student group Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MECHA). U.S. Sen. Joseph Montoya (D-New Mexico), is shown with students during the week. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
August 27, 2020: Throwback Thursday to 1974 when political activist Angela Davis spoke to a crowd of 500 at WSU’s Duerksen Fine Arts Center amphitheater. She represented the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression as its co-chair. At the time of her appearance, the “Leavenworth Brothers” were on trial in Wichita for allegedly inciting a riot in 1973 at the Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
August 20, 2020: Throwback Thursday to Sept. 1895 when the first college classes on our campus took place in Fairmount Hall, located just northeast of 17th and Hillside. It housed the college in its entirety – library, classrooms, labs, art studio, chapel, administrative offices, and a porte-cochere (covered drive-through pictured) for those coming by horse and carriage. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
August 13, 2020: Throwback Thursday to the first decade of Wichita State's student newspaper, The Sunflower. Artistic covers were the norm, including this September 1900 illustration by Edmund L. Davison welcoming students back to campus with the proviso that the Sunflower “will be published every little while.” See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
August 6, 2020: The '70s were a different time. Throwback Thursday to when there was little need for social distancing at fall registration. So many Shockers were signing up, concession stands at the Roundhouse were used to keep things moving. Stay safe Shocker Nation! See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
July 30, 2020: Amazing Throwback Thursday to when Grace Wilkie (denoted) helped organize a Red Cross chapter at Fairmount College. The chapter was established to carry on the work begun during the 1918 flu pandemic. Grace Wilkie Hall stands today in honor of her service to the university from 1912-1953 as home economics professor and dean of women. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
July 16, 2020: Throwback Thursday to an aerial campus view from 1965 - the first as Wichita State University. Facilities - and parking lots - were filled beyond capacity with 9,300 enrolled students - a 2,500 increase from the year prior. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
July 9, 2020: Throwback Thursday to 1926 when Wichita’s citizens voted to accept the proposed gift of Fairmount College and transform it into a municipal university, the first of its kind west of the Mississippi River. Wichita helped shape and support the University of Wichita for 38 years. WU became WSU in 1964, and the connection between the city and the university remains strong and deep. Campus buildings shown in the Ben Hammond cartoon still with us (in various forms) include Fiske Hall, Holyoke Cottage, Morrison Library (columns at 17th and Fairmount) and Fairmount Hall (stones in the George Washington Bicentennial Bridge near Charles Koch Arena). See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
July 3, 2020: Throwback Thursday to 1900 when Fairmount College President Nathan J. Morrison penned the school's history describing its moral and healthful environment, the quality of instruction and students, and the city’s support to make it a “Wichita Institution. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
June 25, 2020: Throwback Thursday to June 1964 for the dedication of the iconic Corbin Education Center designed by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Open skylights and light needles cap the center’s two buildings, of which extensive records can be found in Special Collections. See original post at: Facebook Twitter
June 18, 2020: Throwback Thursday to a historic Shocker! Doris Kerr Larkins, a WU music student in the 1950s, later organized Wichita’s first Juneteenth celebration. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
June 11, 2020: Throwback Thursday to 1969. History is a powerful thing! WSU and Wichita African-American publications in Special Collections and University Archives relate to current racial social issues on our campus and beyond. See original post at: Facebook Twitter
June 4, 2020: Among the 74 University of Wichita graduates on June 5, 1928, were John Wesley Hayes and Lotta Hayes, the first African Americans to graduate from our university. They also were non-traditional students in terms of age, both in their mid-30s, over a decade older than their classmates. [Correction, 4-20-2021: They both were 46, over two decades older than their classmates!] In 1932, they each earned master’s degrees in religious education from WU, becoming the first African Americans and the first married couple to do so. They led Wichita’s historic Calvary Baptist Church for 38 years (1921-1959). See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
May 28, 2020: Throwback Thursday to "Science Hall" 1929. Three floors of the hall provided space for the sciences and the fourth floor housed the first wind tunnel on campus. In 1964, the building was renamed for Dr. Lloyd McKinley, longtime chemistry professor. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
May 7, 2020: Snakes alive! The discovery of Chilabothrus granti entwines with WSU for our #TBT. Chapman Grant, military science professor and grandson of U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, left our school 90 years ago this month to study reptiles in the Caribbean. His expedition there is credited with discovering 15 previously unclassified species, two of which are named for him. While at the University of Wichita, this man of many talents led the ROTC program, served as Kansas Audubon Society president, established a school museum and acted in plays. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
April 30, 2020: Today marks the 30th anniversary of the dedication of the National Institute of Aviation Research. It was built for $7 million during WSU President Warren Armstrong's tenure with contributions from Beech and Boeing aircraft companies. US Rep. Dan Glickman was keynote speaker along with FAA chief James Busey who said WSU will "carry on the tradition of the Wright Brothers." See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
April 16, 2020: With Cessna Stadium's forthcoming razing to make way for new facilities in the news, let's take a Throwback Thursday lookback at a bright spot for the 74-year-old complex. On Oct. 1, 2006, Cessna Stadium hosted The Rolling Stones in front of more than 30,000 fans. It marked the largest concert in Wichita's history, and the first show by The Stones in Kansas. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
April 9, 2020: Throwback Thursday to this early 1900s promotional design of Fairmount Hall. This art was by the first chair of the art department Elizabeth Sprague. She came to Fairmount College in 1901. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
April 2, 2020: Throwback Thursday to when President Dr. Nathan J. Morrison was working from home in the pre-technology era. Morrison came out of retirement at 67 to head Fairmount College (now WSU) from its 1895 beginnings to his death in 1907. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
March 19, 2020: Our Throwback Thursday sounds a more lighthearted note this week. While it may not be official social distancing, this 1911 photo shows Fairmount College students Wilson Brown and Bess Rose a safe distance apart. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
February 27, 2020: Retro fashion, retro tech, Retro WSU on National Retro Day. We feature secretarial training student Connie Rosenbloom, and a pair of Shockers in the CAC (now the Rhatigan Student Center) circa 1968. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
February 20, 2020: This year the Delta Mu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha celebrates 70 years on campus. Installed March 25, 1950, it was the first national fraternity organized at Wichita State. Pictured in this Throwback Thursday photo includes then chapter president Richard Cary (kneeling lower right) and sponsor Dr. Clair Hannum (center), associate professor of zoology. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
February 13, 2020: Throwback Thursday to Walton and Van Ray Morgan in 1962. WSU grad Walton taught music in Wichita schools for 34 years. Van Ray was the first African-American office employee at Beech Aircraft Company, and ran a local modeling and charm school. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
February 6, 2020: Throwback Thursday to Homecoming 1954! Pictured are Homecoming royalty – basketball star Cleo Littleton, chosen as “Jack Armstrong,” and “Wheaties Sweetie” Jeannine Crowdus. Littleton scored 19 points in the Feb. 27 Shocker win. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
January 30, 2020: Super Bowl Sunday is almost here! For Throwback Thursday we'll revisit two-time Super Bowl winner Bill Parcells. The HOF coach spent his college days on the Wichita State gridiron, and was a coach for the Shockers in 1965. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
January 23, 2020: Cold weather got you in ski mode? For Throwback Thursday we revisit Shocker Mountain, an artificial ski slope created using the west ramps of Cessna Stadium. DuraSnow, an artificial surface made of slick plastic bristles, was used to simulate snow even in hot weather during the year-round program. WSU's ski program ran from 1977-1986. Photo circa 1980. See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
January 16, 2020: Spring semester is almost here, so we're taking a look back when Roundhouse registration was the norm. This Throwback Thursday photo circa 1968-69 shows sign-up in Henry Levitt Arena (now Charles Koch Arena). See original post at: Facebook Twitter Instagram
January 9, 2020: Ready for the snow? These Fairmount College frolickers were in a #tbt photo circa ~ 1900. This photo shows a view looking north toward Fairmount Hall from the front yard of Holyoke Cottage (a residence still standing at 16th and Holyoke). The coeds pictured are likely residents of Holyoke, which was built by Rev. J.H. Parker – a founder of Fairmount College. Holyoke eventually served as a women’s dormitory for the institution. See original post at: Facebook Twitter
November 13, 2019: I am in my appointment in Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections. With the College of Health Professions 50th Year Anniversary coming up in 2020 I am beyond excited to learn about the history of College of Health Professions. I am starting with reading a chapter in Craig Miner’s “Uncloistered Halls” See original post at: Twitter
November 8, 2019: We enjoyed having Wichita State University Criminal Justice professor Dr. Michael Birzer and O.W. Wilson’s grandson Matthew Wilson speak today in Special Collections in honor of the new O.W. Wilson collection. Make sure to stop by to see it! See original post at: Twitter
October 4, 2019: Where can you find rare and unique books on Wichita and Kansas history, the U.S. Civil War, abolition, the history of printing, Mesmerism and hypnotism, and aviation in Ablah Library? In Special Collections on the lower level! See original post at: Facebook Twitter
August 22, 2019: Kicking off the new semester with a bang! Thirty-four students in Dr. Katie Lanning’s World Lit class got up close and personal with materials in Special Collections.See original post at: Facebook Twitter
July 24, 2019: In honor of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, check out this excerpt from an Apollo 11 logbook we have in Special Collections! In the picture is an announcement of the space capsule splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. See original post at: Facebook Twitter
July 16, 2019: In honor of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, check out this excerpt from a logbook compiled by Apollo 11 recovery coordinators that we have in Special Collections! On this day, liftoff was at 1:32 pm, noted as "L.O.". See original post at: Facebook Twitter
October 12, 2022:
Q: Why do I need to wear gloves when handling photographs? A: Wearing fitted and clean cotton gloves keep fingerprints off extremely sensitive surfaces and protect them from oils on the skin. See original post at: Twitter
October 12, 2022:
Q: How can students learn more about Special Collections and University Archives? A: Contact us by phone or email, set up an appointment for a research visit, and go to our website, http://specialcollections.wichita.edu. See original post at: Twitter
October 13, 2021: What's the coolest artifact in the Archives? Ours has to be a piece of the Hindenburg!!! Yup, that Hindenburg!! See original post at: Twitter
October 13, 2021: What is one of your most used collections? We've got a few, but over the last year as we celebrated our 125th anniversary the University Archives were pretty popular! See original post at: Twitter
October 13, 2021: What's one of your favorite items in Special Collections? Ours? Braille Playboy!!! See original post at: Twitter
October 13, 2021: Ask an Archivist Day interactions
October 7, 2020: What are the oldest items in your collection? Our oldest items include some papyrus samples from 300BC and some Japanese prayer scrolls from around 900AD! See original post at: Facebook Twitter
October 7, 2020: Why can't we just browse the archives like the regular stacks? 2 main reasons: 1. Archives aren't usually arranged by subject like the stacks so browsing probably won't be helpful. 2. Everything looks the same!! See original post at: Facebook Twitter
October 7, 2020: How do you get materials into your digital collections? We've got several scanners in our archive that are meant for different materials - from photo negatives, to oversize maps, to 3D artifacts. Sometimes we need to outsource our materials, too. See original post at: Facebook Twitter
October 7, 2020: Who has access to your materials? In person research is restricted to WSU faculty, students, and staff. We're working our hardest to reach those of you not able to come to campus - zoom sessions, phone consultations, and scanning! See original post at: Facebook Twitter