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K-State Today Student Edition

January 22, 2013



Hail to the chief: Kansas State University inks partnership with presidential library

By Communications and Marketing

Kansas State University is bolstering its research opportunities under a partnership with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood Home in Abilene, Kan.

U.S. Archivist David S. Ferriero and Kansas State University President Kirk Schulz signed a formal agreement at the university's Hale Library Tuesday, Jan. 22. The agreement is designed to create student internships, scholarly conferences, public lectures, exhibits and the joint development of classroom curriculum.

"I am delighted that we will be able to increase engagement and outreach and create more research opportunities for our graduate and undergraduate students," Schulz said. "This partnership fits perfectly into a number of our thematic goals that will help us achieve a Top 50 public research university ranking by 2025."

The agreement will advance teaching, research and scholarship in areas relevant to both institutions, including the military and leadership. The partnership will support the university's academic programs and library collections in history, education, community development, military science and leadership studies.

The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum will share its textual and audiovisual archives and artifacts collections with the university.

"Kansas State University will greatly benefit from this new partnership with access to primary research resources in the presidential library's outstanding collection," said Lori Goetsch, dean of Kansas State University Libraries. "Students and faculty can learn about President Eisenhower's legacy of military and presidential leadership and his ties to Kansas."

The partnership allows the presidential library and museum to access the resources of a world-class public research university, said Karl Weissenbach, director of the Eisenhower Library and Museum.

"The partnership will increase our visibility to Kansas State University students, faculty, alumni and the greater university community," he said. "The partnership will make those stakeholders more aware of the scholarly and cultural resources available for their use and enjoyment in Abilene, which in turn enables us to fulfill our mission to provide these opportunities to as many visitors as possible." 

The partnership builds upon other collaborations between the institutions. In 2001, the presidential library signed an agreement with the Institute for Military History and 20th Century Studies, part of the College of Arts and Sciences and based in the department of history.

Dedicated in 1962 and opened for research in 1966, the presidential library in Abilene is one of 13 administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Presidential libraries promote understanding of the presidency and the American experience, preserving and providing access to historical materials, supporting research, and creating interactive programs and exhibits that educate and inspire.

The Eisenhower campus includes a research library, visitor center, museum, Eisenhower's boyhood home and a place of meditation where Eisenhower is buried.

Raised in Abilene, Eisenhower was the 34th U.S. president from 1953 to 1961. The two-term president was a five-star general in the Army during World War II. During his presidency, Eisenhower oversaw the creation of the nation's interstate system, NASA and the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

"Ike's rise from a modest home in the greater vicinity of Kansas State University is a reminder of the potential of every young person educated in the American heartland for principled global leadership," Weissenbach said.

One of Eisenhower's brothers, Milton, was a 1924 graduate of Kansas State University and served as president of the university from 1943 to 1950.