A passion of the KU Memorial Union
  • The forerunner of the University of Kansas School of Nursing begins its first day of classes under the direction of Pearl Laptad, the first of three early and influential nursing education leaders at KU.
  • KU comes into uncontested control of one of the world’s foremost ornithological libraries—its first major acquisition of rare books—when the Kansas Supreme Court rules that an agreement signed more than four years earlier by Ralph Ellis, Jr. is valid as a will.
  • Commander Ronald E. Evans becomes the first KU alumnus in space when he and two other astronauts of Apollo 17 blast off from Cape Kennedy on NASA’s sixth and final 20th century manned mission to the moon.
  • KU bestows its highest award, the Distinguished Service Citation, upon Philip F. Anschutz for his record of philanthropy, community service and support of humanitarian causes.
  • KU gains the William B. Thayer art collection, valued at $150,000.
The Chancellor is the chief executive officer of the University of Kansas, overseeing campuses in Lawrence, Kansas City, Overland Park and Wichita in addition to research and educational centers in Topeka, Hutchinson, Parsons and elsewhere in the state. Dr. Douglas A. GirodJuly 1, 2017-Present
Architect John G. Haskell, the prolific designer of scores of Kansas buildings, including five KU structures – two of which still remain – first arrives in Lawrence.
Twenty-three year old Flora Richardson delivers KU's first valedictory address on her way to becoming the University's first female graduate.
KU Chancellor James Marvin gives his inaugural address, urging American universities to chart a different educational course from their European counterparts.
Mathmatics and astronomy professor F. W. Bardwell dies at 46. During the Civil War Bardwell, a white officer, was a member of the 3rd United States Colored Infantry Regiment.
Cora M. Downs of Wyandotte accepts an offer from Kansas Governor John P. St. John to become the first woman member of the KU Board of Regents.
Lewis Lindsay Dyche accepts a KU chair in anatomy, physiology, and taxidermy.
The Kansas Board of Regents elects natural science professor Francis H. Snow the University’s fifth chancellor.
KU Chancellor Francis H. Snow announces that he will give a series of University Extension lectures on evolution, a move that provokes much criticism from local religious leaders.
KU’s Lewis Lindsay Dyche leaves New York as official naturalist on the ill-starred Cook expedition to the North Pole.
Dr. Simeon Bishop Bell, a Wyandotte County physician and real estate speculator, offers KU $75,000 in land and money to build a new hospital and medical college in present-day Kansas City, Kansas.
Bacteriologist Marshall A. Barber, whose invention of the micropipette will enable him to conclusively prove the germ theory of disease, begins his 17-year teaching career at the University of Kansas and the KU School of Medicine.
KU physics and engineering professor, Lucien I. Blake, successfully transmits the first long distance ship-to-shore message using underwater wireless technology.
Carl L. Becker, author of the much-reprinted essay “Kansas” and one of the central figures in the development of the nature of historical inquiry, begins teaching his first European history class at the University of Kansas.
KU Chancellor Frank Strong asks noted Kansas City landscape architect George Kessler to prepare the University’s first formal campus plan.
Mildred Curtis and Melvia Avery (above) become the first of twelve women to be graduated from the KU School of Medicine between 1906-1920.
The forerunner of the University of Kansas School of Nursing begins its first day of classes under the direction of Pearl Laptad, the first of three early and influential nursing education leaders at KU.
KU hosts the first annual National Conference of Schools of Journalism, featuring a keynote address by Arthur Brisbane, chief editorial writer for the Hearst newspaper chain.
The University of Kansas Board of Regents chooses acclaimed state public health advocate Dr. Samuel J. Crumbine to become dean of the KU School of Medicine.
President William Howard Taft stops on the KU campus for about one hour and speaks to a welcoming crowd in old Robinson Gymnasium.
Dr. Ralph H. Major joins the KU School of Medicine faculty, becoming both professor and chairman of the Department of Pathology, and launching a career “that can never be measured in terms any more precise than immense or profound.”
Lawrence widow Leonora Ricker Hollingbery dies, leaving a last will and testment that calls for the establishment of a low-cost residence for women that will become an ad-hoc addition to KU's student housing stock for more than two decades.
Evangelist Billy Sunday, nationally known for his passionate support of prohibition and revivalist crusades, congratulates Kansans for being the “least illiterate” people in the country in a speech to more than 1,800 KU students and faculty and members of the Kansas Editorial Association at Robinson Gymnasium.
KU gains the William B. Thayer art collection, valued at $150,000.
Lt. William T. Fitzsimons, a KU alum and US Army doctor serving in France, becomes the first American casualty of World War I.
KU unveils a full-length bronze statue of Law School Dean James W. “Uncle Jimmy” Green sculpted by Daniel Chester French.
With no other candidates willing to take the job, Dr. Harry R. Wahl, professor and department chairman of pathology, is named acting dean of the KU School of Medicine, inaugurating a 24-year period that will become known as “The Wahl Years.”
After having been fired less than 3 weeks earlier by outgoing Kansas Gov. Jonathan Davis, Chancellor Lindley is formally reinstated at the behest of new governor, Ben Paulen.
Elizabeth M. Watkins begins building her philanthropic legacy to the University of Kansas with the opening of Watkins Scholarship Hall, named in honor of her late husband.
Future KU alumnus Clyde Tombaugh announces his discovery of the planet Pluto.
Genevieve Harman, whose undergraduate efforts on behalf of housing cooperatives will result in a KU women’s co-op residence being named in her honor, albeit with the occasional misspelling, begins her first day of classes.
Deane W. Malott is inaugurated as KU’s eighth chancellor, becoming the first alumnus and native Kansan to lead the University.
Dr. Logan Clendening, a leading medical historian, a newspaper columnist appearing in 383 newspapers, and author of one of the best selling medical books of the 20th Century (The Human Body), dies in Kansas City.
At the age of 32, Dr. Franklin D. Murphy – a son both of KU and of a Medical School “founding father” – agrees to become dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine, the youngest man in the nation to hold such an office.
KU comes into uncontested control of one of the world’s foremost ornithological libraries—its first major acquisition of rare books—when the Kansas Supreme Court rules that an agreement signed more than four years earlier by Ralph Ellis, Jr. is valid as a will.
KU Chancellor Franklin D. Murphy announces the appointment of Frank R. Burge (above) as director of the Kansas Memorial Union, a position he would hold for more than 30 years.
Pharmacology professor Dr. W. Clarke Wescoe becomes dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine and director of the KU Medical Center, ushering in a period of “momentous change and daring innovation” at 39th and Rainbow Boulevard.
Dr. Hilden Gibson, a popular political science professor and strong supporter of KU’s cooperative housing movement, unexpectedly passes away, inspiring the men of 1614 Kentucky Street to name their co-op in his honor.
Henry Fortunato, the creator of kuhistory.com, entered the world January 8, 1956, on Long Island, New York. Serendipity had him become a resident of Kansas, a student of KU and, ultimately, the narrator of this popular institutional history.
Nearly 4,000 students pack Hoch Auditorium to protest the resignation of KU Chancellor Franklin Murphy following a long-simmering conflict with Kansas Governor George Docking.
KU celebrates Carrie Watson Day, honoring the University’s first and longest-serving professional librarian.
Commander Ronald E. Evans becomes the first KU alumnus in space when he and two other astronauts of Apollo 17 blast off from Cape Kennedy on NASA’s sixth and final 20th century manned mission to the moon.
In the first of two stunts that would enter into campus legend, KU art student Dan Wessel, who preferred to be known as “The Great Wesselini” and similar monikers, attempts to fly his homemade glider over Memorial Stadium by rolling down a 32-foot ramp north of the Campanile.
More than 200 “internationally known scientists from Europe, Japan and the U.S” descend on the Lawrence Holiday Inn Holidome for a symposium on “Directed Drug Delivery” held in honor of KU professor Takeru Higuchi, the “father of physical pharmacy.”
KU bestows its highest award, the Distinguished Service Citation, upon Philip F. Anschutz for his record of philanthropy, community service and support of humanitarian causes.
Team owners of Major League Baseball announce that they have chosen KU Chancellor Gene A. Budig to become the seventh president of the American League.
1936 University of Kansas graduate John B. McLendon was enshrined for a second time into the Naismith Hall of Fame on Friday evening, September 9, 2016. Originally enshrined as a conributor, McLendon was inducted as a coach along with 9 other inductees into the class of 2016.
Del Shankel passed away Thursday, July 12, 2018 at the age of 90. Shankel was a chancellor emeritus and professor emeritus of the University of Kansas after a career dedicated to the university. (Click title to read more.)
Subscribe to People

KU Today
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times