University of Kansas

For other uses of "KU", see KU (disambiguation).
The University of Kansas
Latin: Universitas Kansiensis
Motto Videbo visionem hanc magnam quare non comburatur rubus (Latin)
Motto in English
"I shall see this great sight, why the bush does not burn". (Exodus 3:3)
Type Flagship state university
Established March 21, 1865 (1865-03-21)[1]
Affiliation Kansas Board of Regents
Academic affiliation
Endowment $1.86 billion[2]
Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little
Provost Neeli Bendapudi
Academic staff
Students 28,091 total (fall 2015)[4]
Location Lawrence, Kansas, U.S.
38°57′29″N 95°14′52″W / 38.95806°N 95.24778°W / 38.95806; -95.24778Coordinates: 38°57′29″N 95°14′52″W / 38.95806°N 95.24778°W / 38.95806; -95.24778
Campus College town, Urban,
1,100 acres (450 ha)
Colors KU Blue, KU Crimson[5]
Nickname Jayhawks
Mascots Big Jay, Baby Jay, & Centennial Jay
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IBig 12

The University of Kansas, often referred to as KU or Kansas, is a public research university in the U.S. state of Kansas. The main campus in Lawrence, one of the largest college towns in Kansas,[6] is on Mount Oread, the highest elevation in Lawrence. KU branch campuses are located in the cities of Wichita, Overland Park, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas. Founded March 21, 1865, the university was opened in 1866, under a charter granted by the Kansas State Legislature in 1864[7] following enabling legislation passed in 1863 under the Kansas State Constitution, adopted two years after the 1861 admission of the former Kansas Territory as the 34th state into the Union following an internal civil war known as "Bleeding Kansas" during the 1850s.[8]

The university's Medical Center and University Hospital are in Kansas City, Kansas. The Edwards Campus is in Overland Park, Kansas, in the Kansas City metropolitan area. There are also educational and research sites in Parsons, Topeka, Garden City, Hays, and Leavenworth, and branches of the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita and Salina. The university is one of the 62 members of the Association of American Universities.

Enrollment at the Lawrence and Edwards campuses was 24,708 students in fall 2015; an additional 3,383 students were enrolled at the KU Medical Center[9][10] for an enrollment of 28,091[11] students across the three campuses. The university overall employed 2,814 faculty members in fall 2015.[12]


On February 20, 1863, Kansas Governor Thomas Carney signed into law a bill creating the state university in Lawrence.[13] The law was conditioned upon a gift from Lawrence of a $15,000 endowment fund and a site for the university, in or near the town, of not less than forty acres (16 ha) of land.[14] If Lawrence failed to meet these conditions, Emporia instead of Lawrence would get the university.

The site selected for the university was a hill known as Mount Oread, which was owned by former Kansas Governor Charles L. Robinson. Robinson and his wife Sara bestowed the 40-acre (16 ha) site to the State of Kansas in exchange for land elsewhere.[14] The philanthropist Amos Adams Lawrence donated $10,000 of the necessary endowment fund, and the citizens of Lawrence raised the remaining cash by issuing notes backed by Governor Carney.[14] On November 2, 1863, Governor Carney announced that Lawrence had met the conditions to get the state university, and the following year the university was officially organized.[7] The school's Board of Regents held its first meeting in March 1865, which is the event that KU dates its founding from.[1][15] Work on the first college building began later that year.[7] The university opened for classes on September 12, 1866, and the first class graduated in 1873.[7]

During World War II, Kansas was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.[16]

Famous landmarks and structures

KU is home to the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, the Beach Center on Disability, Lied Center of Kansas and radio stations KJHK, 90.7 FM, and KANU, 91.5 FM. The university is host to several museums including the University of Kansas Natural History Museum and the Spencer Museum of Art. The libraries of the University include the Watson Library, Spencer Research Library, and Anschutz Library, which commemorates the businessman Philip Anschutz, an alumnus of the University.

Watson Library - Main Branch


University rankings
ARWU[17] 72–98
Forbes[18] 253
U.S. News & World Report[19] 118
Washington Monthly[20] 120
ARWU[21] 201–300
QS[22] 373
Times[23] 351-400
U.S. News & World Report[24] 222

The University of Kansas is a large, state-sponsored university, with five campuses. KU features the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, which includes the School of the Arts and the School of Public Affairs & Administration; and the schools of Architecture, Design & Planning; Business; Education; Engineering; Health Professions; Journalism & Mass Communications; Law; Medicine; Music; Nursing; Pharmacy; and Social Welfare. The university offers more than 345 degree programs.

In its 2017 list, U.S. News & World Report ranked KU as tied for 118th place among National Universities and 56th place among public universities.[25]

World War II Memorial Campanile

The city management and urban policy program was ranked first in the nation, and the special education program second, by U.S. News & World Report's 2016 rankings.[25] USN&WR also ranked several programs in the top 25 among U.S. universities.[25]

School of Architecture, Design, and Planning (S.A.D.P.)

The University of Kansas School of Architecture, Design, and Planning (SADP), with its main building being Marvin Hall, traces its architectural roots to the creation of the architectural engineering degree program in KU's School of Engineering in 1912. The Bachelor of Architecture degree was added in 1920. In 1969, the School of Architecture and Urban Design (SAUD) was formed with three programs: architecture, architectural engineering, and urban planning. In 2001 architectural engineering merged with civil and environmental engineering. The design programs from the discontinued School of Fine Arts were merged into the school in 2009 forming the current School of Architecture, Design, and Planning.

According to the journal DesignIntelligence, which annually publishes "America's Best Architecture and Design Schools," the School of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Kansas was named the best in the Midwest and ranked 11th among all undergraduate architecture programs in the U.S in 2012.[26]

Chi Omega Fountain

School of Business

The University of Kansas School of Business is a public business school on the main campus of the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. The KU School of Business was founded in 1924 and has more than 80 faculty members and approximately 1500 students.[27]

Named one of the best business schools in the Midwest by Princeton Review, the KU School of Business has been continually accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) for its undergraduate and graduate programs in business and accounting.[28]

Lippincott Hall - Offices of Study Abroad & The Wilcox Museum

School of Law

The University of Kansas School of Law, founded in 1878, was the top law school in the state of Kansas, and tied for 65th nationally, according to the 2016 U.S. News & World Report "U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings."[25] Classes are held in Green Hall at W 15th St and Burdick Dr, which is named after former dean James Green.[29]

School of Engineering

The KU School of Engineering is an ABET accredited, public engineering school located on the main campus. The School of Engineering was officially founded in 1891, although engineering degrees were awarded as early as 1873.[30]

In the U.S. News & World Report's "America’s Best Colleges" 2016 issue, KU’s School of Engineering was ranked tied for 90th among national universities.[25]

Notable alumni include: Alan Mulally (BS/MS), former President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, Lou Montulli, co-founder of Netscape and author of the Lynx web browser, Brian McClendon (BSEE 1986), VP of Engineering at Google, Charles E. Spahr (1934), former CEO of Standard Oil of Ohio.

School of Journalism and Mass Communications

The William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications is recognized for its ability to prepare students to work in a variety of media. The school offers two tracts of study: 1) News and Information, and 2) Strategic Communication. This professional school teaches students reporting for print, online and broadcast, strategic campaigning for PR and advertising, photojournalism and video reporting and editing. The J-School's students maintain various publications on campus, including The University Daily Kansan, Jayplay magazine, and KUJH TV. In 2008, the Fiske Guide to Colleges praised the KU J-School for its strength. In 2010, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications placed second at the prestigious Hearst Foundation national writing competition.[31]

The Natural History Museum

Medical Center

The University of Kansas Medical Center features three schools: the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and School of Health Professions that each has its own programs of graduate study. As of the Fall 2013 semester, there were 3,349 students enrolled at KU Med.[11] The Medical Center also offers four year instruction at the Wichita campus, and features a medical school campus in Salina, Kansas devoted to rural health care.

The university-affiliated independent University of Kansas Hospital is co-located at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

The Edwards Campus, Overland Park

KU's Edwards Campus is in Overland Park, Kansas. Established in 1993, its goal is to provide adults with the opportunity to complete college degrees. About 2,100 students attend the Edwards Campus, with an average age of 32.[32] Programs available at the Edwards Campus include developmental psychology, public administration, social work, systems analysis, information technology, engineering management and design.


Tuition at KU is 13 percent below the national average, according to the College Board, and the University remains a best buy in the region.

Beginning in the 2007–2008 academic year, first-time freshman at KU pay a fixed tuition rate for 48 months according to the Four-Year Tuition Compact passed by the Kansas Board of Regents. For the 2014–15 academic year, tuition was $318 per credit hour for in-state freshman and $828 for out-of-state freshmen. For transfer students, who do not take part in the compact, 2014–15 per-credit-hour tuition was $295 for in-state undergraduates and $785 for out-of-state undergraduates; subject to annual increases. Students enrolled in 6 or more credit hours also paid an annual required campus fee of $888.[33] The schools of architecture, music, arts, business, education, engineering, journalism, law, pharmacy, and social welfare charge additional fees.

Computing innovations

KU's School of Business launched interdisciplinary management science graduate studies in operations research during Fall Semester 1965. The program provided the foundation for decision science applications supporting NASA Project Apollo Command Capsule Recovery Operations.

KU's academic computing department was an active participant in setting up the Internet and is the developer of the early Lynx text based web browser. Lynx provided hypertext browsing and navigation prior to Tim Berners Lee's invention of HTTP and HTML.[34]

Student activities


Main article: Kansas Jayhawks
Kansas Jayhawks Athletics wordmark

The school's sports teams, wearing crimson and royal blue, are called the Kansas Jayhawks. They participate in the NCAA's Division I and in the Big 12 Conference. KU has won thirteen National Championships: five in men's basketball (two Helms Foundation championships and three NCAA championships), three in men's indoor track and field, three in men's outdoor track and field, one in men's cross country and one in women's outdoor track and field. The home course for KU Cross Country is Rim Rock Farm. Their most recent championship came on June 8, 2013 when the KU women's track and field team won the NCAA outdoor in Eugene, Oregon becoming the first University of Kansas women's team to win a national title.[35]

Memorial Stadium

KU football dates from 1890, and has played in the Orange Bowl three times: 1948, 1968, and 2008. They are currently coached by David Beaty, who was hired in 2014.[36] In 2008, under the leadership of Mark Mangino, the #7 Jayhawks emerged victorious in their first BCS bowl game, the FedEx Orange Bowl, with a 24–21 victory over the #3 Virginia Tech Hokies. This capstone victory marked the end of the most successful season in school history, in which the Jayhawks went 12–1 (.923). The team plays at Memorial Stadium, which recently underwent a $31 million renovation to add the Anderson Family Football Complex, adding a football practice facility adjacent to the stadium complete with indoor partial practice field, weight room, and new locker room.

The KU men's basketball team has fielded a team every year since 1898. The Jayhawks are a perennial national contender, coached by Bill Self. The team has won five national titles, including three NCAA tournament championships in 1952, 1988, and 2008. The basketball program is currently the second winningest program in college basketball history with an overall record of 2,070–806 through the 2011–12 season. The team plays at Allen Fieldhouse. Perhaps its best recognized player was Wilt Chamberlain, who played in the 1950s.

Kansas has counted among its coaches Dr. James Naismith (the inventor of basketball and only coach in Kansas history to have a losing record), Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Phog Allen ("the Father of basketball coaching"), Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Roy Williams of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Basketball Hall of Fame inductee and former NBA Champion Detroit Pistons coach Larry Brown. In addition, legendary University of Kentucky coach and Basketball Hall of Fame inductee Adolph Rupp played for KU's 1922 and 1923 Helms National Championship teams, and NCAA Hall of Fame inductee and University of North Carolina Coach Dean Smith played for KU's 1952 NCAA Championship team. Both Rupp and Smith played under Phog Allen. Allen also coached Hall of Fame coaches Dutch Lonborg and Ralph Miller. Allen founded the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), which started what is now the NCAA Tournament. The Tournament began in 1939 under the NABC and the next year was handed off to the newly formed NCAA.[37]

Notable non-varsity sports include rugby. The rugby team owns its private facility and internationally tours every two years.

Sheahon Zenger was introduced as KU's new athletic director in January 2011.[38] Under former athletic director Lew Perkins, the department's budget increased from $27.2 million in 2003 (10th in the conference) to currently over $50 million thanks in large part to money raised from a new priority seating policy at Allen Fieldhouse, a new $26.67 million eight-year contract with Adidas replacing an existing contract with Nike, and a new $40.2 million seven-year contract with ESPN Regional Television. The additional funds brought improvements to the university, including:[39]

Fraser Hall - KU's Landmark Academic Building

Debate teams

The University of Kansas has had more teams (70) compete in the National Debate Tournament than any other university.[40] Kansas has won the tournament 5 times (1954, 1970, 1976, 1983, and 2009)[41] and had 14 teams make it to the final four.[40] Kansas trails only Northwestern (13), Dartmouth (6), and Harvard (6) for most tournaments won. Kansas also won the 1981–82 Copeland Award.


Notable among a number of songs commonly played and sung at various events such as commencement and convocation, and athletic games are: "I’m a Jayhawk", "Fighting Jayhawk", "Kansas Song", "Sunflower Song", "Crimson and the Blue", "Red and Blue", the "Rock Chalk, Jayhawk" chant", "Home on the Range" and "Stand Up and Cheer."[42]


The university's newspaper is University Daily Kansan, which placed first in the Intercollegiate Writing Competition of the prestigious William Randolph Hearst Writing Foundation competition, often called "The Pulitzers of College Journalism" in 2007. In Winter 2008, a group of students created KUpedia, a wiki about all things KU. They received student funding for operations in 2008–09. The KU Department of English publishes the Coal City Review, an annual literary journal of prose, poetry, reviews and illustrations. The Review typically features the work of many writers, but periodically spotlights one author, as in the case of 2006 Nelson Poetry Book Award-winner Voyeur Poems by Matthew Porubsky.[43][44]

The University Daily Kansan operates outside of the university's William Allen White School of Journalism[45] and reaches at least 30,000 daily readers through its print and online publications[46]

The William Allen White School of Journalism

The university houses the following public broadcasting stations: KJHK, a student-run campus radio station, KUJH-LP, an independent station that primarily broadcasts public affairs programs, and KANU, the NPR-affiliated radio station. Kansas Public Radio station KANU was one of the nation's first public radio stations. KJHK, the campus radio has roots back to 1952 and is completely run by students.


Potter Lake, with Joseph R. Pearson Hall in the background
KU Student Housing[47] Year opened Year closed Students Accommodations
Marie S. McCarthy Hall 2015 38 Men Only: Upperclassmen/Non-Traditional Students[48]
Oswald Hall 2015 350 Freshmen only
Self Hall 2015 350 Freshmen only
Battenfeld Hall 1940 50 Men only
Corbin Hall 1923 900 Women only
Douthart Hall 1954 50 Women only
Ellsworth Hall 1963 580 All Students
Gertrude Sellards Pearson Hall (GSP) 1955 380 All Students
Grace Pearson Hall (GP) 1955 50 Men only
Guest House - 2 Visiting Guests
Hashinger Hall 1962 370 All Students
Jayhawker Towers - 200 Non-traditional, Upperclassmen, Transfer students
K.K. Amini Hall 1992 50 Men only
Krehbiel Hall 2008 50 Men only
Lewis Hall 1962 260 All Students
Margret Amini Hall 2000 50 Women only
McCollum Hall 1965 2015 Razed November 25, 2015 [49]
Miller Hall 1937 50 Women only
Oliver Hall 1966 660 All Students
Pearson Hall 1952 47 Men only
Rieger Hall 2005 50 Women only
Sellards Hall 1952 47 Women only
Stephenson Hall 1952 50 Men only
Stouffer Place - 283 Graduate Students, Couples, Non-Traditional
Templin Hall 1959 280 All Students
Transition Housing - 19 KU Faculty and Staff (temporary)
Watkins Hall 1925 50 Women only
Total - 4,534 students -


University of Kansas Memorial Corporation

The first union was built on campus in 1926 as a campus community center.[50] The unions are still the "living rooms" of campus, and include three locations – the Kansas Union and Burge Union at the Lawrence Campus and Jayhawk Central at the Edwards Campus. The KU Memorial Unions Corporation manages the KU Bookstore (with seven locations). The KU Bookstore is the official bookstore of KU. The Corporation also includes KU Dining Services, with more than 20 campus locations, including The Market (inside the Kansas Union) and The Underground (located in Wescoe Hall). The KU Bookstore and KU Dining Services are not-for-profit, with proceeds supporting student programs, such as Student Union Activities.

KU Endowment

KU Endowment was established in 1891 as America’s first foundation for a public university. Its mission is to partner with donors in providing philanthropic support to build a greater University of Kansas.[51]

Notable alumni and faculty

See also


  1. 1 2 "KU Info: When Was KU Founded?". Retrieved 2014-04-22.
  4. "Board of Regents Announce 2015 Fall Semester Enrollment" (PDF). Topeka, Kansas. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2015.
  5. "KU primary & secondary color palette". University of Kansas. December 29, 2015. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  6. Steven Hanschu. The Kansas State Normal years: 1863–1923 (PDF). Emporia, Kansas. Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  7. 1 2 3 4 "Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History".
  8. "University of Kansas". Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  10. "Head Count Enrollment - University Summary Fall 2015" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-11-14.
  11. 1 2 "University of Kansas Profiles:Net Registration Head Count Enrollment" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-11-07.
  12. "University of Kansas Profiles:Faculty University Summary Fall 2015" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-04-21.
  13. "History of KU - Kansas Historical Society". Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  14. 1 2 3 Griffin, C.S. "The University of Kansas and the Years of Frustration, 1854–64". Retrieved 2009-12-04.
  15. "KU150". Retrieved 2014-04-22.
  16. "History of the Jayhawk Battalion". Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas. 2011. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  17. "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016: USA". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
  18. "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. July 5, 2016.
  19. "Best Colleges 2017: National Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. September 12, 2016.
  20. "2016 Rankings - National Universities". Washington Monthly. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  21. "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016". Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. 2016. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
  22. "QS World University Rankings® 2016/17". Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2016. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  23. "World University Rankings 2016-17". THE Education Ltd. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  24. "Best Global Universities Rankings: 2017". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  25. 1 2 3 4 5 "U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 15, 2016.
  26. "KU Architecture Ranked No. 14 in DesignIntelligence Rankings, No. 1 in Midwest". 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2013-11-07.
  27. "KU Business History". Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  28. "KU in KC region". Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  29. "James Green Hall". Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  30. "Tradition". Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  31. "Hearst Foundation national writing competition". Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  32. "About KU Edwards Campus". Retrieved 2013-11-07.
  33. "Costs and Scholarships - KU Affordability". Retrieved 2015-03-28.
  34. "Early Lynx". Retrieved 2009-09-07.
  35. Women's Track and Field team Championship is 1st KU women's championship
  36. "David Beaty Introduced Coach Kansas Jayhawks".
  37. "Phog Allen founded NCAA Tournament". Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  38. "Sheahon Zenger". Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  39. King, Jason. "Hawk Market", The Kansas City Star (June 11, 2006), pp. C1, C14.
  40. 1 2 "KU Debate". Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  41. "NDT Winners". Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  42. "School Songs". Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  43. "2006 Award Winner Reviews ~ Kansas Authors Club". Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  44. "Poet well-versed in voyeurism" ~, December 2, 2006
  45. "Welcome from the Dean". Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  46. University Daily Kansan
  47. "KU Student Housing". KU Office of Student Housing. Retrieved June 30, 2014.
  48. "Marie S. McCarthy Hall". University of Kansas.
  49. "Fifty-year-old residence hall imploded at KU". CBS. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  50. "KU Memorial Unions website". Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  51. "KU Endowment". Retrieved 12 October 2014.

Further reading

External links

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