K-State gears up for sesquicentennial

Gala, Carol Burnett and more slated for university’s 150th

By The Mercury

The nation’s first land-grant institution and Kansas’ first public university is laying plans to mark its sesquicentennial early next year.

A nine-month celebration marking the 1863 establishment of Kansas State University will begin with various events Feb. 14-17. The university was founded as Kansas State Agricultural College on Feb. 16, 1863.

The kickoff event will be from 1 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 at Ahearn Fieldhouse. An exhibition for colleges, units and groups, it will be free to the public.

Laurel Littrell, planning and assessment director for K-State Libraries, wrote “Nature’s Law” for the Kansas State University Orchestra to play during the kickoff celebration program, which will begin at 4 p.m.

Littrell graduated summa cum laude from Kansas State University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Music in theory/composition. She earned her Master of Music in theory/composition from the university in 1987.

Gala One Fifty, celebrating K-State history and the 1863 Circle, will be Friday, Feb. 15, at the Hilton Garden Inn. Register at found.k-state.edu/rsvp/150. Seating is limited.

For Founder’s Day, the celebration will focus on the men’s basketball game vs. Baylor at 6 p.m. Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum. For tickets, call the K-State Athletics Ticket Office at 785-532-7606.

Entertainer Carol Burnett will headline the weekend with a question-and-answer session focusing on her life and career, but allowing audience members to direct the focus. That presentation will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17 at McCain Auditorium. For tickets, contact the McCain box office at 785-532-6428.

There will also be what is termed a “Wildcat march exhibition” that will take place around town from Feb. 14 through fall 2013.

The idea is a simple one: have Kansas artists, architects, photographers and designers paint, decorate, and/or adorn fiberglass wildcat statues. These wildcats will be exhibited during the nine-month Sesquicentennial celebration.

At the conclusion in October, the wildcats will be auctioned, and the proceeds will go toward a 150th Student Academic Scholarship Fund, the Sesquicentennial Scholarship.

Other sesquicentennial projects include a pictorial history book, sesquicentennial time capsule, 150th Brown Bag Lunch and Lecture Series, and a special 150th ice cream flavor at Call Hall.

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