Friday, April 8, 2011

“One of the most difficult speeches to prepare is an address to a graduation class, which is why I don't often do them.”

Jerry Moran

     As I searched for a quote for today’s blog post, I came across this one from Jerry Moran.  I thought to myself, we were really lucky to get him to come speak at the KWU Commencement Ceremony in May of 2010, as according to, he doesn’t like it very much.  So no matter how you feel politically about Mr. Moran, you have to like that he was willing to do something he was really uncomfortable with (I mean, he IS listed on brainyquote for goodness sake) to make our students graduation ceremony a memorable event.  This got me thinking about other famous or political people who have spoke here at KWU.

     In April of 1970, Abbie Hoffman,  a political and social activist who co-founded the Youth International Party ("Yippies"), spoke at KWU and caused quite a stir when he blew his nose on the American Flag.  So much so, that he had a warrant issued for his arrest for flag desecration.

      In February of 1978, John Wooden, who just passed away in the past year on June 4th, 2010, spoke at Kansas Wesleyan.  Nicknamed the "Wizard of Westwood", he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period — seven in a row— as head coach at UCLA, an unprecedented feat.  Within this period, his teams won a record 88 consecutive games.  He was named national coach of the year six times.  John Wooden’s achievements are a blog post all their own, as are his many inspirational quotes.  His speech that day in 1978 was about success, something he may have know more about that anyone in the world.

     In March of 1980, comedian Jimmie Walker brought his comedy act to Sam’s Chapel. I am not sure how inspirational Jimmie was, but I bet that he was “Dy-no-mite”!

Monday, March 7, 2011

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

Marianne Williamson

Today I would like to pay tribute to our women athletes.  The quote above is actually the official quote of the Fight Like a Girl Club, a group dedicated to “supporting women battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases and those who love them.”  You can view their website at  Growing up, the phrase, “fight like a girl” was meant to belittle and insult.  Thanks to this group,  the phrase, “fight like a girl” takes on a whole new meaning.  We know that it means that women are incredibly strong, resilient, and amazing people, and to fight like one doesn’t mean you are weak, it means quite the opposite!  

Today we sent off the Lady Coyotes Basketball team on their way to the NAIA Div II National Championship.  The Lady Coyotes are KWU's first ever 30-win basketball team, men or women.  They have fought like girls all season and have played some of the best defense this college basketball fan has ever seen.  I have a project that has me looking through the student newspapers and last week was my trip through the 1970s, which led me to the beginning of women’s basketball here at KWU. 

Our women’s athletics programs began because of the hard work of many women, but especially KWU’s own Ginny Bevan.  Below is an article written in the 2007 Contact about Ginny and the amazing things that she did for this university and women’s athletics. (Click on each one to see it full size) 

In 1972, Women’s Varsity sports, which included basketball, volleyball, and softball were finally recognized by the KWU administration as a school activity. 

However, it  appears, that the University began funding women’s sports only to vote to cut them for the 1973-1974 season, unless the women could once again raise the money to fund their own program. You will see from The Advance (The KWU student newspaper) stories below that sports were reinstated and have remained intact, and have achieved great things. 

The treatment of women’s sports has certainly changed through the years.  Looking through the 1972 yearbook, I found that men’s sports had multi-page layouts, while the women’s teams were relegated to a half-page team picture.  My how times have changed!  I can now watch my alma mater’s women’s basketball team play on TV almost as often as I can the men’s. Why just this year we had the longest Division I basketball winning streak snapped.  The holder of that winning streak was John Wooden’s great UCLA men’s teams. It is now held by the University of Connecticut’s Women’s basketball team. 

Fight like a Girl.

Good luck Lady Coyotes!  We will all be rooting for you, and hoping that you make even more history!  

Friday, February 25, 2011

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”

T.S. Eliot

   We are celebrating Founders’ Day today at Kansas Wesleyan University, and also holding Board of Trustees meetings all day.  This means lots of wonderful visitors on campus.  I was lucky enough to have a KWU Alumna from the late 50s come in today and spend a little bit of time in the archives.  It was so much fun to show her some pictures from her time here and show her all the work that is being done (and still needs to be done).  She seemed appreciative and happy with what was happening here at the archives, and that made me happy.

   In honor of Founders’ Day, I wanted to share some photos from the early years here at KWU!  I have also started a Flickr account for all of the wonderful photos I have been scanning so that they can be looked at any time, even if they are not being featured in the blog.  This way maybe if you recognize something or someone, you can let me know so we can start identifying some of the wonderful photographs!  Click here to go to our Flickr account!

KWU Business School on Santa Fe

KWU graduating class of 1893

Monday, February 14, 2011

"I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon."

~Author Unknown
Today is Valentine’s Day here at Kansas Wesleyan University, and while the only flowers delivered here in the library were addressed to someone who hasn’t worked here in about 9 years, we still had plenty of chocolates, one pound cookies, and giant Hershey Kisses.  Today also got me to thinking about finding love in college and the many couples who found that special someone right here on our beautiful campus.  The legend here on campus is that if a couple kisses by the wishing well (pictured below), than that is who they will marry! 

So single gals and guys, if you think you have found that special someone, and they aren’t quite on board yet, take them to the wishing well and plant one on them...if legend holds true, they will be yours forever!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”

Winston Churchill

Kansas Wesleyan University has seen many beautiful buildings come, and unfortunately seen some go. On February 15th, it will have been 24 years since King Gymnasium was destroyed by an accidental fire. Built in 1916, it was one of the finest structures of its kind in the state of Kansas. Much of the credit for the building was given to the person it was named after, Dean Albert H. King.

I came across the Kansas Wesleyan Contact from the year the building was destroyed where they wrote a very nice tribute to the building and what it meant to the campus. You can click the images below to read the story

One of the reasons I am intrigued by this story? I grew up in Salina and can only imagine the number of times I came by this campus. When this building burnt down, I was 12 years old, (plenty old to remember such an event) and lived like 4 to 5 blocks away from campus, yet I cannot remember this building ever existing!  This is why we need to work to preserve our history, and why I need to play more Sudoku, in hopes it really does help to improve brain function and memory

Friday, January 28, 2011

“I was thrown out of N.Y.U. my freshman year... for cheating on my metaphysics final. You know, I looked within the soul of the boy sitting next to me.”

Woody Allen

Sometimes you can tell who the freshmen are on a college campus.  The scared, lost, or blank eyes can often give you a clue.  However, more often than not, they are undistinguishable.  From what I can tell in the 50’s and early 60’s, Kansas Wesleyan University  freshman wore beanies like the ones pictured below.

These girls are in the library, unlike everyone today with this 63 degree weather!!

In the early years, they would have the year that they would graduate embroidered on that hat.  I guess back then people really did get through college in four years!  However, it must have been too much pressure for those students to graduate on time, so they got rid of the years.  If anyone has more information about this tradition, please share your wisdom!

Friday, January 14, 2011

"Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of."

Charles Richards

The new semester started yesterday here at Kansas Wesleyan University, and with it came new assignments and new schedules for the students.  It happens to us as faculty and staff as well.  My calender has been filling up with new meetings and library orientations.

As I sat  in my office on a Friday afternoon, feeling very pressured to post today since I had told a certain someone in the Admissions Office that I would; I began scanning the shelves to find inspiration for the next blog post.  There I found a perfectly preserved 1915 calendar that the university had printed.  It is filled with pictures from the campus and the Smoky Hill River.  There were a few things that were interesting to me.  One is that college is based so much on dates: semester start dates, assignment due dates, etc.  However, this calendar really has nowhere to write down any meetings or events.   Also, the pictures are not printed on the paper; they have been printed separately and then adhered to the calendar.  Check out the scanned calendar below!  If you click on the pictures, you can see them enlarged.