Washburn University

Washburn University (WU) is a co-educational, public institution of higher learning in Topeka, Kansas, United States. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as professional programs in law and business. Washburn has 550 faculty members, who teach more than 6,100 undergraduate students and nearly 800 graduate students. The university's assets include a $158 million endowment.

Washburn University
Washburn University seal
Former names
Lincoln College
Washburn College
Washburn Municipal University
MottoNon Nobis Solum
Motto in English
Not for Ourselves Alone
EstablishedFebruary 6, 1865[1]
Academic affiliation
Endowment$158.02 million (2017)[2]
PresidentJerry Farley
ProvostJuliAnn Mazachek
Academic staff
Students6,691 (fall 2017)[3]
Location, ,

39°02′02″N 95°41′56″W / 39.033786°N 95.698975°WCoordinates: 39°02′02″N 95°41′56″W / 39.033786°N 95.698975°W
CampusUrban, 160 acres (0.65 km2)
ColorsYale Blue and White[4]
Sporting affiliations
MascotThe Ichabod
Washburn University logo


Washburn University was established in February 1865 as Lincoln College by a charter issued by the State of Kansas and the General Association of Congregational Ministers and Churches of Kansas on land donated by abolitionist John Ritchie. The school was renamed Washburn College in 1868 after Ichabod Washburn pledged $25,000 to the school. Washburn was a church deacon, abolitionist and industrialist who resided in Worcester, Massachusetts.[5]

Washburn arms as used by Washburn College
Washburn College in Topeka, Kansas, adopted a variation of the Washbourne Arms, using creative license to alter the tinctures (colors), to its school's colors, and used it as its own logo. Since becoming "Washburn University", the school has abandoned the Washburn Arms logo. They're now using a stylized "W" in its place. The school mascot "The Ichabods", is still in use.

Washburn arms as used by Washburn College

Washburn University’s mascot, The Ichabods, honors the school’s early benefactor, Ichabod Washburn. The original design of the studious-looking, tailcoat-clad figure was created in 1938 by Bradbury Thompson (B.A. ‘34), who became an internationally acclaimed graphic artist.[5]

In 1913 the medical department of Washburn College closed. Previously the Kansas Medical School had become infamous on December 10, 1895, when it was discovered that some of the bodies used for anatomical study had been stolen from local cemeteries. As the news was being printed (eventually across the country) the governor called out state troops to protect the school in fear of a riot. Three of the doctors, including the Dean of the school, and a janitor/student from the school were arrested as well as one man not a member of the school. Charges against the doctors were discharged, the janitor was convicted but had his conviction reversed on appeal and the final man was convicted but later pardoned.[5]

During World War II, Washburn Municipal University 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.[6]

On June 8, 1966, only a few days after classes were dismissed for the summer, much of the campus was demolished by a tornado, and completely denuded of trees.[7] Three months before the tornado struck, the Washburn Board of Trustees had reinsured every building on campus for the maximum amount. A week after the tornado struck, summer classes began at Topeka West High School. By the fall of 1966, Stoffer Hall was repaired and trailers were in place. It took years to reconstruct the campus, with students attending classes in trailers well into the early 1970s.[5]

Formerly a municipal university, the university's primary funding was moved from city property tax to county sales tax sources in 1999, with the school retaining status as a municipal subdivision of the state.[5] Washburn is governed by its own nine-member Board of Regents.[8]

President and the Board

Washburn, Topeka, Kansas, 1948
Aerial view of Washburn campus in 1948
Washburn (Topeka, Kansas) Class of 1900, Rice Hall
Class of 1900 in front of Rice Hall

The president of Washburn University is Jerry Farley, who has served as president since 1997 and taken an active approach in improving academics and student life. Washburn University is governed by a nine-member Board of Regents. Three, who must be residents of the state of Kansas, are appointed by the Governor. Three residents of the City of Topeka, one from each of the state senatorial districts, are appointed by the Mayor. One is the Mayor or a member of the governing body of the city designated by the Mayor. The Shawnee County Commission appoints one member, who must be a resident of Shawnee County but not of the City of Topeka. The Kansas Board of Regents annually selects one of its members to serve on the Washburn Board. Members of the Board (with the exception of the Kansas Board of Regents' appointee) serve staggered four-year terms.[8]


These persons have served as presidents or interim presidents of Washburn College (1869–1940), Washburn Municipal University of Topeka (1941–1952), and Washburn University (1952–present).[9]

Title Name Years
President Horatio Q. Butterfield[10] 1869–1870
President Peter McVicar 1871–1895
President George M. Herrick 1896–1901
President Norman Plass 1902–1908
President Frank K. Sanders 1908–1914
President Parley P. Womer 1915–1931
President Philip C. King 1931–1941
Interim President Arthur G. Sellen 1941–1942
President Bryan S. Stoffer 1942–1961
President Harold E. Sponberg 1961–1965
President John W. Henderson 1965–1980
President John L. Green 1981–1988
President John Duggan 1988
Interim President Robert L. Burns 1988–1990
President Hugh L. Thompson 1990–1997
President Jerry Farley 1997–present
16 presidents; 2 interims 147 years

Law School

Formed in 1903[11] the Washburn School of Law was one of the first in the country to have a legal clinic where students are able to actively practice the legal profession. Today, it is in the minority of law schools to employ a full-time faculty for its law clinic. The Washburn School of Law had the highest pass rate of the Kansas State Bar Exam of any law school in the state of Kansas. The Washburn Law Library houses over 380,000 volumes and is the largest in the state.[12] Notable alumni include Bob Dole, Roy Wilford Riegle, Dennis Moore, Kim Phillips, Bill Kurtis and Fred Phelps.


The main buildings of Washburn University are all dedicated to someone or are an important part of Washburn's history.[13]

Building name Function of building
Living Learning Center

Lincoln Hall

Housing and dining

Housing and dining

Memorial Union Conference rooms, Dining services, Ichabod Shop (Bookstore)
Stoffer Science Hall Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Information Sciences, and Physics/Astronomy
Mabee Library Library, Washburn University Writing Center
Morgan Hall Departments of Mathematics, English, Communication, and Modern Languages
Student Recreation & Wellness Center Recreation activities
Garvey Fine Arts Center Departments of Music, Theatre, Philosophy, and Religious Studies
Petro Allied Health Center Athletics Department
Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center Alumni Association
Bennett Computer Center Information Technology Department, computer labs
Carnegie Hall Department of Education, Curriculum Resource Center, Deay Computer Lab
Art Building Art Department (painting, sculpting)
Carole Chapel Open to public, classroom
International House International programs, and Study Abroad programs
Benton Hall Leadership Institution, Center for Community Service, and School of Applied Studies
Henderson Learning Resources Center School of Business, Departments of History, Mass Media, and Sociology
Law School Building Washburn University School of Law
Foundation Building Washburn University Foundation


The athletic teams are known as the Ichabods. Prior to the 2013–14 season, the women's athletic teams were known as the "Lady Blues". On May 24, 2013, President Farley announced that all athletic teams will be known as the Ichabods for the first time in history.[14] Washburn is a member of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II. The current athletics director is Loren Ferré.

Fight Song

"The name of Washburn shall never fall, Midst the great and small, she's the best of all; For her fair name, Then, we'll win the game, And add another victor's crown So then, we'll smash, crash against the line "As in Auld Lang Syne," Crush them down, So Cheer now, yes, cheer, cheer, cheer Just for Washburn and her team!"

Greek Life

Greek Life at Washburn University has existed since 1909. Currently, three of the four Interfraternity Council and the three Panhellenic Council organizations are housed on or near campus.

Interfraternity Council chapters Panhellenic Council chapters NPHC chapters

Campus attractions

  • KTWU, a non-commercial, public television station authorized by the Federal Communications Commission, Washington, D.C. and licensed to Washburn University. KTWU, the first public television station in Kansas, commenced telecasting October 21, 1965.
  • Mulvane Art Museum opened in 1924. The museum's permanent collection, though international in scope, emphasizes the work of artists of Kansas and the Midwest.
  • Crane Observatory houses an 1898 Warner & Swasey refracting telescope.


  1. ^ Martha Imparato. "Washburn University History" (PDF). Retrieved September 9, 2015.
  2. ^ As of June 30, 2017. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY2016 to FY2017". Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  3. ^ "Board of Regents Announce 2017 Fall Semester Enrollment" (PDF). September 28, 2017. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  4. ^ Washburn University Brand Guidelines: A Guide To The Washburn University Identity for Vendors (PDF). June 19, 2017. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e "History". washburn.edu.
  6. ^ "McDonald, Billy Ray "B.R."". The Dwight D. Eisenhower Foundation. 2000. Archived from the original on December 24, 2011. Retrieved September 29, 2011.
  7. ^ "Stories of the 1966 Topeka Tornado". washburn.edu.
  8. ^ a b Board of Regents, Washburn University
  9. ^ "Meet the President". washburn.edu.
  10. ^ "Welcome to Washburn". Washburn University website. Retrieved May 3, 2016. Past Presidents 1869 – 1870: Horatio Q. Butterfield
  11. ^ Law School History
  12. ^ Washburn Law Library
  13. ^ "Virtual Tour". washburn.edu.
  14. ^ "Washburn Athletics". Washburn Athletics.

External links

Albert M. Cole

Albert McDonald Cole (October 13, 1901 – June 5, 1994) was a U.S. Representative from Kansas.

Born in Moberly, Missouri, Cole moved to Topeka, Kansas, in 1909. He attended the grade schools of Topeka, Kansas, Sabetha (Kansas) High School, and Washburn University, in Topeka. He earned his LL.B. at University of Chicago Law School in 1925. He was admitted to the bar in 1926 and commenced practice in Holton, Kansas.

Cole served as county attorney of Jackson County 1927-1931. He served as member and president of the Holton School Board 1931-1943. He served as member of the Kansas Senate 1941-1945.

Cole was elected as a Republican to the Seventy-ninth and to the three succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1945 – January 3, 1953). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1952 to the Eighty-third Congress. He then served as administrator for the Housing and Home Finance Agency, (now the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development) Washington, D.C., from March 1953 to January 1959. He was vice president of Reynolds Aluminum Service Corp. from 1959 to 1961, and president, Reynolds Metals Development Corp. from 1961 to 1967, and director from 1967 to 1970. Afterwards, Cole practiced law in Washington, D.C., from 1967 to 1990.

Cole was a resident of Washington, D.C., until his death there on June 5, 1994, at the age of 92.

Anthony Hensley

Anthony Hensley (born September 2, 1953) is a Democratic member of the Kansas Senate, representing the 19th District since 1992. He has been the Minority Leader since 1996 and has also been a committeeman of the Democratic Precinct since 1976. In 1992, he was the Majority Whip. From 1977 to 1992, he was a Representative. In 1991 and 1992, he was the chairman of the 2nd District Democratic Committee and from 1981 to 1986, he was the chairman of the Shawnee County Democratic Central Committee.

Delano Lewis

Delano Eugene Lewis (born November 12, 1938) is an American attorney, businessman and diplomat. He was the United States Ambassador to South Africa from 1999 to 2001, and previously held leadership roles at the Peace Corps and National Public Radio. He is the father of actor Phill Lewis.

Gary Woodland

Gary Woodland (born May 21, 1984) is an American professional golfer who plays on the PGA Tour. Following a successful collegiate career, he competed on the Nationwide Tour briefly after turning pro in 2007. Woodland has competed on the PGA Tour since 2009 and has three wins. He is known as one of the longest hitters on tour.

Harold H. Chase

Harold H. Chase (March 31, 1912 – October 24, 1976) was an American politician. He was Lieutenant Governor of Kansas from 1961 to 1965. A lawyer, he was educated at Phillips University in Oklahoma, Washburn University, and Kansas Wesleyan University.

Jerry Schemmel

Jerry Schemmel (born November 26, 1959) is an American sportscaster, currently employed as a radio announcer for Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies. He was formerly the play-by-play announcer for the NBA's Denver Nuggets, calling their games from 1992 to 2010, until being hired as the full-time voice of the Rockies in January 2010. Prior to that, he was a play by play announcer for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was the radio voice of Colorado State athletics during the 2009-2010 season and has been a fill-in broadcaster for the Rams each year since.

Schemmel is also a survivor of the crash-landing of United Airlines Flight 232 on July 19, 1989. After escaping the plane, he returned to the wreckage to rescue an 11-month-old baby. His book, Chosen to Live describes the experience.

In June 2015, Schemmel competed in the Race Across America, a 3,000-mile bicycle race from Oceanside, California, to Annapolis, Maryland, as part of a two-person relay team. He and Brad Cooper won the two-person relay division, finishing in 7 days, 14 hours. In 2016, he was a member of a four-person relay that set the a record for the "Colorado Crossing," a 468-mile cycling race from the Utah/Colorado border to the Kansas/Colorado border. In 2017, he set the solo age group record in the same event, finishing in 33 hours, 3 minutes, just 54 minutes from the all-time speed record for the event, set in 1992. Schemmel has also completed nine triathlons and three marathons.

Schemmel is a 1982 graduate of Washburn University; he earned a law degree from the same school in 1985. He played baseball at Washburn and coached there for three years. He spent a year with the Continental Basketball Association, serving as both Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner.

He is the younger brother of Jeff Schemmel, a former college track and field All-American, long-time college athletic administrator and former athletic director at San Diego State. They are natives of Madison, SD.

Jim Slattery

James Charles Slattery (born August 4, 1948) is an American politician. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1983 to 1995 representing Kansas's 2nd congressional district as a Democrat, was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1994 and was the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator in 2008.

Joan Finney

Joan Finney (February 12, 1925 – July 28, 2001) was an American politician who served as the 42nd Governor of Kansas from 1991 to 1995, the first woman to hold that office. She had previously served four terms as the Kansas State Treasurer from 1975 to 1991, the first woman to hold that office as well.

Joe Skubitz

Joe Skubitz (May 6, 1906 – September 11, 2000) was a U.S. Representative from Kansas.


KTWU, virtual and VHF digital channel 11, is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to Topeka, Kansas, United States. The station is owned by Washburn University. KTWU's studios are located on the western edge of the Washburn University campus at 19th Street and Jewell Avenue (with a College Avenue mailing address) in central Topeka, and its transmitter is located on Wanamaker Road (south of the Kansas River) on the city's northwest side. It also operates a low-power translator serving portions of southeastern Kansas, K30AL-D (channel 30) in Iola, whose transmitter is located near Moran.

On cable, KTWU is available in the Topeka area on Cox Communications cable channel 8 in standard definition and digital channel 2008 in high definition, and on AT&T U-verse channel 11 (SD) and 1011 in (HD). The station is also available throughout eastern Kansas on many cable and satellite providers. It is also carried on many cable systems on the Kansas side of the Kansas City metropolitan area, giving viewers west of the Missouri River a second choice for PBS programming alongside KCPT.

Michelle Bowman

Michelle White "Miki" Bowman (born May 25, 1971) is an American attorney and a Governor on the Federal Reserve's board. She is the first person to fill the community bank seat on the board, a seat created by a 2015 law.Previously, Bowman was the Kansas banking commissioner, from January 2017 through November 2018. She also held senior staff positions at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security during the George W. Bush administration.

Nancy Moritz

Nancy Louise Moritz (born March 3, 1960) is a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and former justice on the Kansas Supreme Court.

There's Know Place Like Home

There's Know Place Like Home is Kansas' fifth live album. It was released as a double CD and also on DVD on October 13, 2009 and Blu-ray on November 23, 2009. The DVD charted at No. 5 on the Billboard Music DVD chart the week of its release, Kansas's only appearance on that chart.There's Know Place Like Home is a recording of a concert that took place on February 7, 2009 in Topeka, Kansas at Washburn University (which several members of Kansas attended) along with the Washburn University Symphony Orchestra. The concert featured several orchestral arrangements by Larry Baird of Kansas songs (Baird also served as conductor for this concert) - arrangements the band has been playing with symphony orchestras around the US since the release of 1998's Always Never the Same which featured the London Symphony Orchestra accompanying the band.

The cover features the old man depicted on the cover of Leftoverture and the papers around him with a black background.

A special edition bundle has been released, containing the DVD and two CDs of the concert.

Washburn Ichabods

The Washburn Ichabods are the athletic teams that represent Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. Named for Ichabod Washburn, the Ichabods are a member of the NCAA Division II and the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.

Washburn Ichabods football

The Washburn Ichabods football program represents Washburn University in college football. They participate in Division II sports within the NCAA. The team plays their home games in Yager Stadium at Moore Bowl, located on the Washburn University campus in Topeka, Kansas.

Wasburn's football program dates back to 1891. The Ichabods claimed one MIAA conference championship in 2005, but 12 conference championships all together. Under Craig Schurig, the Ichabods have appeared in the Division II playoffs in 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2011.

Washburn Institute of Technology

The Washburn Institute of Technology (colloquially known as WU Tech) is an American institute of technology located in Topeka, Kansas. It houses a variety of programs including nursing, auto technology and culinary arts. It is administered under Washburn University.

Washburn University School of Law

The Washburn University School of Law, commonly referred to as Washburn Law, is a public law school located on the main campus of Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. Washburn Law was founded in 1903.

William R. Roy

William Robert Roy (February 23, 1926 – May 26, 2014), also known as Bill Roy, was a United States Representative from Kansas, a physician, and a columnist for The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Yager Stadium at Moore Bowl

Yager Stadium at Moore Bowl is a sport stadium in Topeka, Kansas. The facility is primarily used by Washburn University for college football and men's and women's soccer teams. The stadium currently hosts the Kansas State High School Activities Association Class 6A state championship game.

Previously just called the Moore Bowl, the stadium was re-dedicated in 2002 and named for former Washburn player Gary Yager at the request of an anonymous donor.

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