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Wichita State University

From Academic Kids

Wichita State University (WSU), an American university, was founded as a Congregational institution in 1895. It is located Wichita, the largest city in Kansas. WSU is one of six state universities governed by the Kansas Board of Regents. The current President is Dr. Donald Beggs.

Wichita State University University offers more than 60 undergraduate degree programs in more than 200 areas of study in six undergraduate colleges: W. Frank Barton School of Business, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, College of Health Professions, and Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Graduate School offers an extensive program including 44 master's degrees which offer study in more than 100 areas; a specialist in education degree; and doctoral degrees in applied mathematics; chemistry; communicative disorders and sciences; human factors and community/clinical psychology; educational administration; and aerospace, electrical, industrial, and mechanical engineering.

With an enrollment of more than 15,000, the University's students come from almost every state in the USA and 110 foreign countries; 87 percent are from Kansas, representing nearly all counties in the state. Wichita State has 479 full-time faculty and 41 part-time faculty. Of the total, 73 percent have earned the highest degree in their field.

The 330 acre (1.3 km²) campus is modern and accessible and at the same time retains the flavor of the University's 107-year heritage.

Contents

History

Wichita State University was instituted as Fairmount College, a Congregational Institution, in 1885 by the Rev. Joseph Homer Parker. The college continued the college preparatory program of Fairmount Institute which began in 1892. In 1926, by a vote of the citizens of Wichita, Kansas, the college became the Municipal University of Wichita, the first municipal university west of the Mississippi.

After 38 years as a municipal university, WSU again changed its status on July 1, 1964, when it officially entered the state system of higher education. Now, Wichita State University is one of six state universities governed by the Kansas Board of Regents.

Shockers

Wichita State University's mascot name is Shockers. The name reflects the University's heritage: Early students earned money by shocking, or harvesting, wheat in nearby fields. Early football games were played on a stubbled wheat field. Pep club members were known as Wheaties. Tradition has it that in 1904, football manager and student R.J. Kirk needed a name for the team in order to advertise Fairmount's upcoming engagement with the Chilocco Indians. He came up with Wheatshockers. [1] (http://www.wichita.edu/my/wushock.asp)

Although the Wheatshockers name was never officially adopted by the university, it caught on and survived until it was later shortened to Shockers. Until 1948, the university used a nameless shock of wheat as its symbol.

WuShock came to life in 1948, when junior Wilbur Elsea won the Kappa Pi honorary society's competition to design a mascot typifying the spirit of the school. Elsea, who had been a Marine during World War II, decided that "the school needed a mascot who gave a tough impression, with a serious, no-nonsense scowl."

Once Elsea's mascot was adopted by the university, which by that time was known as the Municipal University of Wichita, all that was needed was a name. The Oct. 7, 1948, issue of The Sunflower, the student newspaper, ran an advertisement urging students to submit names for the school's new mascot. It was freshman Jack Kersting who suggested the winning name, "WuShock."

In 1998, WuShock, also referred to as "WU," marked his 50th birthday by undergoing a redesign and getting a pumped-up physique and revved-up attitude. The mascot's costume has changed over the years, as well. With the redesign, a new costume was introduced in fall 1998. In fall 1999, the head of the new costume underwent another redesign after a number of supporters suggested the mascot needed a more intimidating look.

Athletics

WSU is a Division I institution, and fields teams in tennis, cross-country, basketball, track, golf, crew, bowling, men's baseball, and women's volleyball and softball. The men's baseball team is one of college baseball's most successful programs since the late 1970's, with numerous conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances. The baseball team won the national championship in 1989, and was runner-up in 1982, 1991, and 1993. The menís and womenís bowling teams have won numerous national championships, including the menís 2003 title and the women's 2005 title.

Famous Alumni

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Missouri Valley Conference:
Bradley | Creighton | Drake | Evansville | Illinois State | Indiana State
Missouri State | Northern Iowa | Southern Illinois | Wichita State
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Missouri Valley Conference

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