Resilience is the power to return to an original form, or the ability to recover after facing adversity. It's also the Wildcat Way. You hear it echoed in our alma mater, written by Humphrey Jones in 1888. Jones' song was selected in a 1903 campus contest, and reads:
I know a spot that I love full well,
'Tis not in forest nor yet in dell;
Ever it holds me with magic spell,
I think of thee, Alma Mater.
K-S-U, we'll carry thy banner high.
K-S-U, long, long may thy colors fly.
Loyal to thee, thy children will swell the cry.
Hail, Hail, Hail, Alma Mater.
During athletic events, when the alma mater is played, students and alumni put their arms around the shoulders of the K-Staters next to them, singing along and pumping their fist at the "K-S-U's." This is a family that stands by one another when the going gets tough.
When a fire raged through Nichols Hall in 1963, the marching band played the only piece of sheet music that was left, "The Wabash Cannonball." But it took more than school spirit to rebuild Nichols Hall, which was a shell of its former self. University administrators wanted to demolish the remains, but students protested and even met with the governor, and the building was preserved. Today, when the band blasts out the first booming "Wabash" notes, students rise to their feet, just as they did years ago when action was needed.
Years later, on June 12, 2008, a tornado ravaged the Manhattan campus, demolishing more than 200 trees and causing major infrastructure damage. Students were due to arrive back on campus from summer break in just a few short weeks, leaving little time to bemoan the tasks ahead. The K-State family quickly got to work, raising more than $250,000 in tornado relief funding, and ensuring campus was fully restored by the first day of classes that fall.
This tradition of resiliency is alive and well today. On May 22, 2018, a fire and accompanying water damage nearly destroyed Hale Library, which is home to countless books and research volumes, as well as the university's data center. Rather than focusing on the resources lost and infrastructure damaged, the K-State family forged ahead together to remain focused on what is most important to us: supporting our students, faculty and staff.
That's the #WildcatWay.