Presidential Lecture Series

Attn: Jeanette LaFreniere and Abby Works
New Student Services
Kansas State University
9 Anderson Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506–0110


 1-800-432-8270 (toll free) or 785-532-6318


History and Society

African-American Communities in the United States – An Overview Since 1865

LaBarbara James Wigfall, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Regional & Community Planning

African-American settlements were established in every region of the United States following Emancipation. This presentation traces the founders’ lifestyles and the evolution of their communities.

Conducting a Community History Study

LaBarbara James Wigfall

This presentation focuses on techniques a student or community group might use to record the history of a place. Analyzing photographs, maps, county records, and interviews can be fascinating if you know how and where to use the clues. Learn more about community genealogy techniques.

History of Nicodemus, Kansas

LaBarbara James Wigfall

Nicodemus, in western Kansas (off Highway 24, between Stockton and Hill City), is the only remaining post-Civil War African-American settlement west of the Mississippi. Discover how the early settlers survived on the Plains and why Nicodemus still exists today.

Save It or Tear It Down? The Choices We Make For Progress

LaBarbara James Wigfall

Have you ever passed an old school house, church, or office building scheduled for demolition and wondered what it was like in its heyday? Isn’t it funny how we take ordinary places for granted until they’re threatened by redevelopment? This presentation highlights the issues and choices associated with removing or replacing a historic site or structure in a community.

U.S. Presidential Pets

Dr. Ronnie Elmore,Associate Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine

Although the value of owning animals is widely recognized and accepted by most people living in the United States today, how animals living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with our first families have affected United States history is often under appreciated. Examples of how presidential pets have helped their masters win elections, make friends with foreign dignitaries and other official guests, relieve stress, and divert attention from unpleasant situations and criticism are plentiful. Many living at the White House have wisely used animals for photo opportunities to improve approval ratings by the public. Conversely, some presidents have unwittingly created negative press by mistreating their animals in the eyes of the public. Most of our presidents have not taken for granted the power of the human-animal bond and the benefits of including animals in their daily lives.