K-State Sesquicentennial Keepsakes

While the topics are selected at random, all are chosen with the hopes that readers will learn more about K-State’s impressive history and traditions and, along the way, find the content interesting and entertaining! Some K-State Keepsakes are chosen for their timeliness, such as our profile of the founding of K-State on Founders' Day or our celebration of the Kansas Sesquicentennial on its 150th birthday.

All of the information, including the photographs (with a few exceptions), was taken from sources in the Richard L. D. and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections.

K-State Keepsakes in order of publication

1. Julia R. Pearce: K-State’s First Librarian

In September 1894, Julia Roselle Pearce was appointed the first full-time librarian at K-State, which included an appointment to the college faculty.


2. Basketball Madness

Here's a glimpse of the rich basketball tradition at Kansas State University.

3. Graduates

The college opened in 1863 with 52 students: 26 men and 26 women. The first graduating class, in 1867, consisted of five students: three women and two men.

4. The Manhattan Train Depot, Teddy Roosevelt, and K-State

Completed in 1901, the Union Pacific train depot in Manhattan remained open to passenger trains until 1971 and freight trains stopped passing through in 1984.  The station deteriorated until government officials, preservation and historical organizations, and individuals raised funds to have the structure restored.


5. K-State Student Union: Celebration and Controversy!

Despite criticism of its design and the interruption of World War II, K-State finally built its long-awaited Student Union in 1956.


6. Meet Anderson Hall 

This edition of the Keepsakes series is devoted to Anderson Hall, K-State’s most recognizable architectural symbol.

7. The Truman Capote Connection 

Truman Capote spent time at K-State before going to Holcolmb to write In Cold Blood.

8. “Fire!” 

This edition of the Keepsakes series is devoted to the fires that have changed the architectural landscape of K-State.


9. The College Bell

The College Bell stands as a visible reminder of the university’s rich heritage and honors those who kept it ringing for over 100 years.


10. Birth of a College

With the help of the citizens of Manhattan and land granted by the Morrill Act, Kansas State University opened on September 2, 1863. 

11. Poetry

April is National Poetry Month and we recognize K-State's poets and poetry.

12. Extra! Extra! Campus Newspapers

From The Industrialist to The Collegian, here's a brief history of K-State's print publications.


13. Hale Library, 1997-2007: “Happy Birthday to you…”

On October 5, 1997, Hale Library was officially dedicated, ending an 80-year architectural odyssey and ushering in a new world of library resources.


14. “The Tuttle Creek Story” and the Velen Sisters

The Doris and Leona Velen Tuttle Creek Dam Collection, along with the papers of Doris H. Fenton, illuminate the controversial construction of Tuttle Creek Dam, profiled in the film "The Tuttle Creek Story."

15. Jerry Wexler: Mr. “Rhythm & Blues”

One needs not go any further than the K-State Libraries to learn more about K-Stater Jerry Wexler and his influence on America's music!

16. Wildcat Olympians

This edition of the Keepsakes series is devoted to the very impressive number of K-State athletes who have participated in the Olympics.


17. First Ladies of K-State 1863-2009

Meet twelve of K-State's thirteen marvelous First Ladies.


18. Edward M. Kennedy

As the country mourns the death of Senator Edward Kennedy, here's a look back at his memorable visit to K-State to deliver the 61st Alfred M. Landon Lecture on Public Issues on January 30, 1983. 


19. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visits K-State

On January 19, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to a crowd of over 7,000 in Ahearn Field House on the campus of Kansas State University.


20. Men’s Basketball from Ahearn Filed House to “Octagon of Doom!”

K-State's men's basketball moved to Bramlage Coliseum on Nov. 26, 1988, leaving some fans from Ahearn Field House a little disappointed.


21. “Beware the Ides of March!”

Inspired by the Ides of March, the senior class of 1916 instituted Roughneck Day, a day students came to campus dressed in the most outlandish clothing possible.


22. “In Her Own Write”: Women’s History Month in the University Archives

Celebrate National Women's History Month with a look at the impressive women who have played a significant roles in K-State's history since its establishment in 1863.


23. Play Ball! Wildcat Baseball Highlights

This edition of the Keepsakes series is devoted to memorable moments from Wildcat Baseball.


24. Commencement!  

Take a look at this timely snapshot of our university's remarkable commencement traditions.


25. “Alma Mater”

Did you know K-State held a university-wide competition in 1902 to find the university's official song, "Alma Matter"?


26. K-Hill 

The history of K-Hill is full of school pride, heated debate, demands for removal, and even murder.


27. The Kansas Sesquicentennial & K-State! 

Kansas State University has been an integral part of the State of Kansas's 150-year history. 


28. Lon Kruger Returns to K-State

Pieces of K-State basketball history find their way back to the university. 


29. Wildcats Rock

Check out this impressive list of the musical acts that have graced the stages of K-State's performance venues, including the Beach Boys, Billy Joel, B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Def Leppard, and many others.


30.The Konza Prairie: 40 Years of Earth, Wind, and Fire, 1971-2011

The Konza Prairie Research Natural Area, renamed the Konza Prairie Biological Station (KPBS) in 2000, was created through the joint efforts of The Nature Conservancy and Kansas State University as a field research station operated by the Division of Biology.


31. Remembering Pearl Harbor Day

Read a brief overview of World War II's effects on K-Staters.


32. Julius T. Willard—Mr. K-State History!

Julius Willard has had the longest official association with K-State of anyone in the history of the university.


33. Celebrating Our First Black Graduates!

The lives and accomplishments of K-State's first Black graduates, George Washington Owens, Class of 1899, and Minnie Howell, Class of 1901.


34. K-State's Sesquicentennial Celebrating 150 Years!

February 16, 2013 marks the beginning of K-State's Sesquicentennial!

Last updated: 01/30/2015