Washburn University turned 142 years old on Tuesday, Feb. 6, celebrated as Founder’s Day. To commemorate the occasion, discounts and activities were planned along with free birthday cake.
Josh Shald, president of Washburn Student Government Association, cut the first piece of cake.
“It is important for us to remember the history of Washburn and how far we have come in 142 years,” said Shald.
The Washburn Bookstore, Union Market and Corner Store also participated in the event by discounting several products.
Dena Anson, director of University Relations, said Washburn is rich with history and was founded at one of the most historic times in the Midwest. The University was one of the first schools in Kansas to admit women and minorities.
“Currently, we are experiencing the most progressive change. We are at a strong evolution point,” said Anson.
Washburn was founded in 1865 as Lincoln College, through a charter authorized by the State of Kansas and the General Association of Congregational Ministers and Churches of Kansas. In 1868, Ichabod Washburn, a church deacon, donated $25,000 to Lincoln College. In acknowledgement of his donation, the college was renamed Washburn College; there upon the mascot became “The Ichabod.” What began as a two-story brick building on the northeast corner of 10th and Jackson in 1866, has expanded to a 160-acre campus in the heart of Topeka with over 7,300 students in attendance and 200 programs to choose from.
Amanda Millard, assistant director of University Relations, has seen the University grow and change over the last 10 years. She thinks celebrating Founder’s Day builds unity and makes people aware of how the university began.
“I think students have such a passion for Washburn. They get more one-on-one contact with teachers,” said Millard.