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Welcome to the rich history of the University of Kansas! is the online history of the University of Kansas. A project of the KU Memorial Unions, draws on the holdings of University Archives and other archival and special collections in the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas, as well as the Archives and the Clendening History of Medicine Library at the KU Medical Center and the Archives of the Kansas State Historical Society.

This Week In KU History had adapted the format of the “Today In History” column published by most major daily newspapers and taken that concept several miles further. Week after week, our date-driven e-history of the University of Kansas provides new material about notable moments in KU history.

Our content includes over 200 original articles written primarily by graduate students at the KU History Department and overseen by an advisory board composed of historians, KU administrators, and community representatives. These articles combine scholarly methodology with magazine-style journalism to interpret KU history in an eminently readable style for an educated general audience. Each story is illustrated with numerous historical images from University Archives and other sources.

A Few Words Of Warning:  Don’t Expect A Valentine

The establishment of this website began in January 2001 under the leadership of Henry Fortunato and is now carried on by Mike Reid, for the KU Memorial Unions. After years of researching, writing, and developing This Week In KU History, we know this institution’s history inside out. With that background, we’re quite comfortable with the high opinion we hold of the University of Kansas, the contributions it has made, and its importance in the greater scheme of things.

But this intellectual affection hasn’t affected our scholarly judgment. This Week In KU History is hardly a love letter to old KU. History can be messy, even on Mount Oread. So be forewarned: We haven’t airbrushed out or otherwise ignored those aspects of KU history that some might find painful or unpleasant.

We hope you’ll find our open-eyed, slightly wry, interpretation of KU history to be a good thing, a reason to rely on our content, and a mark that sets us apart. The vast majority of college history web sites take the “rah-rah” approach. The histories they present are largely celebratory and promotional. It’s great stuff, if that’s all you’re looking for, but our sense is that the KU community wants, and certainly deserves, a caliber of work at a higher standard.

And that’s what you get with This Week In KU History. We tell it like it was -warts and all. But if history is going to teach us something, that’s the way it has to be. If we want to learn from history, we need the unvarnished version. That’s what you’ll find on


Thanks to our campus partners

The KU Endowment Association, the KU Student Senate, the KU Natural History Museum, the KU/Coca-Cola Partnership, the KU Department of Student Housing, the KU Libraries, the Historic Mount Oread Friends, the Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, the Humanities and Western Civilization Program, and KU Edwards Campus have provided additional funding for the founding of the project.

The KU School of Medicine, the KU School of Nursing, the Executive Vice Chancellor’s Office of the KU Medical Center, the University of Kansas Hospital, and the KU School of Medicine-Wichita provided support for to develop the Medical Milestones series about the history of the KU Medical Center.

The Hall Center for the Humanities, the Spencer Museum of Art, the Kansas Alumni Association, Kansas Public Radio, and University Relations provide this initiative with extensive in-kind support.


Tell us what you think?

This Week In KU History will always be a work in progress. We’d love to know what you think – good, bad, or indifferent. Contact us at or click on the “contact” link at the bottom of each page. We’ll get back to you either way.
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