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K-State Today

February 1, 2013

Back to the future: Students showing their purple pride by planning, organizing events for University's 150th celebration

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Kansas State University's 150th anniversary celebration, which kicks off this month, isn't just about honoring the university's past. Current students are being encouraged to take part in planning and celebrating the sesquicentennial.

"Our overall objective for students, student groups, clubs and organizations alike is to integrate the 150th celebration into their already existing events. This allows students to celebrate K-State's history and accomplishments in a timely and cost-effective way," said Megan Umscheid, coordinator for the 150th celebration. "To date, there have been many students involved in the preparation of the 150th celebration, and many more continue to join in with planning efforts."

Grant Hill, a senior in accounting and student body vice president, Whitewater, is playing a major role in creating a student committee to decide the contents of the sesquicentennial time capsule to be buried as part of the 150th celebration, Umscheid said. Hill's job has been checking with the university archivists to find out the best way to preserve the memorabilia that will be put in the time capsule.

Hill and Nate Spriggs, senior in agricultural economics and student body president, Riverton, also have initiated sponsorship of a student statue for the Wildcat March exhibition, which will feature specially painted and decorated wildcat statues, all sponsored by different university groups or area businesses and organizations. The students' wildcat statue is being painted and adorned by the student group AIGA with input from the Student Governing Association. It will be featured at the K-State Student Union and on the university's Salina and Olathe campuses during the nine-month sesquicentennial celebration.

"Having a student comfortable with the 150th Committee and staff makes it easier to get across ideas that other students may be too cautious to bring up. I hope to make an impact for my fellow students," Hill said.

Mason Grittman, senior in mechanical engineering, Hoyt, also has been active in planning the celebration. Grittman has been charge of going through the university's archives to find Notable Wildcats -- people who either graduated or attended Kansas State University and who are are now widely known.

"I found the Notable Wildcats by looking through more than 10 years of the oldest issues of The K-Stater magazine from the K-State Alumni Association," said Grittman. "I found most of the names from the section called 'Class Notes.'"

Umscheid said student classes also are involved in planning the celebration. These include:

* A Senior Graphic Design class helped create the official 150th banner, poster and T-shirt designs. 

* A senior interior architecture class assisted in the development of exhibit designs and the overall layout of Ahearn Field House for the kickoff celebration on Feb. 14.

* Many hotel and restaurant management students will assist in the execution of food, beverage and merchandise organization at the kickoff celebration.

* The K-State Student Alumni Board and Student Foundation members will assist as hosts of special kickoff weekend events.

* In addition, many classes across campus have had daily assignments or projects that have centered around the 150th celebration.

"Engaging our student population in this once-in-a-lifetime celebration is of incredible importance -- they are obviously a large part of our university's history and future," Umscheid said. "Not only do we hope that students integrate the 150th celebration into their already-existing events and activities, but we also wish that they participate in our kickoff weekend Feb. 14-17. It will make for a memorable year."

More information on Kansas State University's 150th celebration is available at https://www.facebook.com/KState, and find out the latest updates on Twitter, @KState150.