150th celebration closes with party, time capsule

By Bryan Richardson

The only way to end a nine-month party is with another party.

K-State held the grand finale of its sesquicentennial Thursday on the front lawn of Anderson Hall.

The 150th anniversary celebration began in February.

As the university moves past 150 years, K-State President Kirk Schulz said two building dedications and two groundbreakings Thursday and Friday provide a glance at K-State’s future.

“What a great way to finish off our 150th celebration, and really look towards our future at some of the exciting new facilities that will be here for the folks – probably for the next 150 years,” he said.

Kansas State was founded Feb. 16, 1863, as the nation’s first operational land-grant university created under the Morrill Act.

Jackie Hartman, university chief of staff and sesquicentennial chair, said the 150th steering committee worked for three years to plan events for this special anniversary.

Thursday’s events included tables of sesquicentennial memorabilia, the final batch of the Wildcat Birthday 150 cake-flavored ice cream and a viewing of the artifacts that will go into the university’s time capsule.

Items included a wooden letter from the Dev Nelson Press Box, a football jersey, 150th celebration memorabilia and material from various colleges and student organizations.

A donated 3,000-pound vault from Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home will be buried towards the edge of the Anderson Hall front lawn.

Hartman said a limestone patio and a bronze plaque would mark the spot where the capsule is buried.

“There will be a memorial right here with benches that will be a permanent place for people to reflect on our generations of success: our past, our present and our future,” she said.

Ron and Barbara Thurston of Horicon, Wisconsin, came to the event with their seven-year-old granddaughter, Frida Gonzalez-Thurston.

The Thurstons are the parents of Sara Thurston-Gonzalez, director of International Student and Scholar Services at K-State.

Barbara said she and her husband make the 12-hour trip about six times a year.

“We love K-State,” Barbara said. “Of course, we support Jordy Nelson who plays for the Green Bay Packers.”

Frida, a second grader at Lee Elementary, had a chance to see what she likes about K-State. It didn’t involve the appearances of Willie the Wildcat or the cheerleaders.

“I like the baton twirling,” Frida said. “I’m getting lessons from one of them.”

The trio looked at time capsules items together.

“Frida hopes to be back one day to see it opened again,” Ron said, noting that his granddaughter wants to attend K-State.

As for the time capsule, it will be revisited in 2063 with the celebration of K-State’s 200th anniversary.

If things go according to plan, Frida will be a Kansas State alumna when that happens.

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