Celebrating K-State's 150th Birthday

Half of K-State's first students in 1863 were young women. There were 26 and most came from less than 80 miles away.

Courtesy: K-State Libraries

John A. Anderson

John A. Anderson

Ten years later, college president John A. Anderson organized Kansas State Agricultural College into three units – one for the students who wished to be farmers, one for those who wanted to be "mechanics or industrial citizens" and one for the "young ladies."

That seems blazingly sexist today. But Anderson was ahead of his time on the American frontier when he established a program "chiefly for young ladies." He believed a woman should be educated, despite the literature of the day that declared that education physically harmed females. A woman should be "an industrialist instead of a butterfly," he said.

Students in a Justin Hall lecture room built in 2012The program for young ladies sprouted and grew into the College of Human Ecology which today has more than 3,000 students (male and female), a new $5 million wing on Justin Hall, $21 plus million in extramural funding and more than $19 million in endowments.

Historians and philosophers tell us that we need to understand the past so we can forge a better future. Plus, the past – especially in the College of Human Ecology – is quite interesting.

Today we stand on the shoulders of many outstanding leaders, faculty, staff and students. Today, as we look back at a rich and vibrant past during the sesquicentennial celebration of Kansas State University, we take time to appreciate their gifts and to say "Thank you."

This website outlines the college's participation in Kansas State University's 150th celebration and a few history lessons. Welcome to the birthday party.

We Accept Birthday Presents (hint, hint...)

Throughout our history, gifts to the College of Human Ecology have helped build our reputation for excellence in teaching and research in many ways:

  • supporting research and scholarship for students and faculty,
  • funding the Justin Hall expansion with start-of-the-art classrooms and collaboration space,
  • paying for the Hoeflin Stone House Early Childhood Education Center,
  • providing scholarships,
  • helping students gain a global perspective by studying abroad,
  • and more.

Invest in The Dean's Excellence Fund, or talk to Jennifer Rettele-Thomas, director of development for the college at KSU Foundation, and explore ways to give. Contact Jennifer at jenniferr@found.ksu.edu or 800-432-1578.

Stay a part of the K-State family by joining the K-State Alumni Association.

Give to K-State