Emporia State University
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Emporia State University
Emporia State University
Emporia State University seal.svg
Motto Changing Lives for the Common Good
Type State university
Established March 7, 1863 (1863-03-07)[1]
Academic affiliation
Kansas Board of Regents
Endowment $83.57 million (2017)[2]
Budget $91.82 million (2017)[3]
President Allison Garrett
Provost David Cordle
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 5,732 (fall 2017)[4]
Location Emporia, Kansas, U.S.[5]
38°24?58?N 96°10?47?W / 38.416023°N 96.179584°W / 38.416023; -96.179584Coordinates: 38°24?58?N 96°10?47?W / 38.416023°N 96.179584°W / 38.416023; -96.179584
Campus Rural, 234 acres (0.95 km2)[3]
Colors Black and Gold[6]
Nickname Hornets
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division II - MIAA
Mascot Corky the Hornet
Website emporia.edu
Emporia State University wordmark.svg

Emporia State University (Emporia State or ESU) is a public university in Emporia, Kansas. Established in March 1863 as the Kansas State Normal School, Emporia State is the third-oldest public university in the state of Kansas.[7] Emporia State is one of six public universities governed by the Kansas Board of Regents.[8]

The university offers degrees in more than 80 courses of study through four colleges and/or schools: the School of Business, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Library and Information Management, and The Teachers College.

Emporia State's intercollegiate athletic teams are known as the Hornets, with the exception of the women's teams, which are known as the Lady Hornets. Emporia State competes in NCAA Division II and has been a member of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) since 1991.[9] Since joining the NCAA Division II in 1991, the Lady Hornets basketball team is the only team to win a NCAA championship.[10]


Early history

Emporia State name history
Years Name
1863-1923 Kansas State Normal
1923-1974 Kansas State Teachers College
1974-1977 Emporia Kansas State College
1977-present Emporia State University
Ellen Plumb, right, and Mary J. Watson, left, the first graduating class of the Kansas State Normal School in 1867.

The origins of the university date back to 1861, when Kansas became a state. The Kansas Constitution provided for a state university,[11] and from 1861 to 1863 the question of where the university would be located--Lawrence, Manhattan or Emporia--was debated. In February 1863, Manhattan was selected as the site for the state's land-grant college, authorized by the 1862 Morrill Land-Grant Act. Lawrence and Emporia were therefore left as the only candidates for a state university. The fact that Amos Adams Lawrence had donated $10,000 (plus interest), as well as 40 acres (160,000 m2) to the city of Lawrence had great weight with the Kansas Legislature, and Lawrence was selected by one vote over Emporia.[11] On March 7, 1863, the Kansas Legislature passed the enabling act to establish the Kansas State Normal School, which would one day become Emporia State University; it did not open until February 15, 1865.[12] The first class graduated two-and-a-half years later; it consisted of two women, Mary Jane Watson and Ellen Plumb.[13] Ellen was the daughter of US Senator Preston B. Plumb.

Allison Garrett, ESU's current president

In 1876, the Kansas Legislature passed the "Miscellaneous appropriations bill of 1876".[14] As a result, Leavenworth Normal and Concordia Normal were closed so the state funding for normal schools could be directed to Emporia.[15] Then, in the early 20th century, KSN branched out with locations in Pittsburg and Hays, Kansas. The western branch in Hays opened June 3, 1902. It has since developed as Fort Hays State University. The Pittsburg branch was opened as the Manual Training Auxiliary School in 1904; it became a four-year school named Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg in 1913. Today it is Pittsburg State University.[16]

Present university

Dr. Michael Shonrock became Emporia State's 16th president on January 3, 2012.[17] On April 9, 2015, it was announced that Michael Shonrock was stepping down to become president at Lindenwood University, effective June 1.[18] Former Butler Community College president Dr. Jacqueline Vietti became interim president.[19] On October 22, 2015, Allison Garrett was selected as Emporia State University's 17th president, effective January 4, 2016.[20]

Academics and rankings

In 2017, Emporia State University was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the 122nd best regional university in the Midwest, and as the 37th best public regional university in the same part of the country. That same year, Emporia's Business Program was ranked as the 425th best.[23] In 2017, Washington Monthly ranked the school as the 317th best regional university in the United States that awards masters degrees.[24]

According to the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education's official framework for categorizing universities, Emporia State University is classified as a "Master's College and University: Larger programs (M1)", meaning that its programs awarded at least 200 masters-level degrees. Its graduate instructional program is designated as "Research Doctoral: Single program-Other", due to the school offering a PhD in Library Science.[25]

In 2013 and 2014, The Chronicle of Higher Education reviewed Emporia State as a "Great College to Work For"[26][27][28][29] and the Princeton Review included Emporia State among its "Best of the Midwest" higher education institutions.[30]

Academic organization

Aerial View of Emporia State University

By enrollment, Emporia State is the seventh-largest university in Kansas. In the Fall 2014 semester, Emporia State set a record enrollment with 6,114 students.[4] Emporia State University comprises four colleges: the School of Business, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Library and Information Management, and the Teachers College.

Emporia State is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.[31] The university offers degrees in more than 80 courses of study.[32] Emporia State has a satellite campus in Kansas City, which is mostly online classes, but some classes are held in the building.[33]

School of Business

Founded in 1868, the School of Business is located on the main campus. It has more than 30 faculty members and approximately 300 students.[34]

The School is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). The programs have been thoroughly reviewed and found to be of the highest quality. This distinction is found with less than 5% of business schools worldwide.[35]

Koch Center for Leadership and Ethics

The School of Business opened the Koch Center for Leadership and Ethics, which is a center made up of classes that focuses on entrepreneurial management.[36] The Center was funded through grants of $750,000 from the Fred Koch Foundation, as well as Koch Industries.[37]

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in numerous fields, with an emphasis on health professions and related programs, biological and biomedical sciences, and social sciences. Courses are offered at the main campus, online, and at satellite campuses.[34]

School of Library and Information Management

The School of Library and Information Management, which was founded in 1902,[38] is the "oldest school of library and information studies in the western half of the United States" and has branches in six different states.[39] SLIM is the only accredited American Library Association program in Kansas,[40] and the School Library Media Licensure program is also accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).[41] The School of Library and Information Management also offers Emporia State University's only PhD: a doctorate in Library and Information Management.[42]

The Teachers College

The one-room schoolhouse on the Emporia State University campus.

The Emporia State University's Teachers College is an "Exemplary Model Teacher Education" program as named by Arthur Levine in 2006[43] In 2011, The Teachers College was featured in a video produced by the U.S. Department of Education highlighting the use of professional development schools.

Jones Institute for Educational Excellence

The Jones Institute for Educational Excellence is a non-profit organization provided by the Jones Trust in Lyon County. In August 1982, the office was established as part of The Teachers College for research to better education in the state of Kansas.[44]

National Teachers Hall of Fame

The National Teachers Hall of Fame (NTHF) is a non-profit organization that honors exceptional school teachers and was established in 1989 by Emporia State University, the City of Emporia, the local school district, and the Chamber of Commerce. The NTHF has a museum on Emporia State's campus that honors the teachers inducted. It also has a teacher resource center, and a recognition program, which recognizes five of the nation's best educators each June.[45]

The Hall of Fame annually honors five teachers who have demonstrated commitment and dedication to teaching children. The first induction of five teachers was held in June 1992 and since then, 115 teachers have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Inductees cover more than three-quarters of the United States and Washington D.C.[45]

Memorial for Fallen Educators with the one-room schoolhouse in the background
Memorial for Fallen Educators

On June 13, 2013, NTHF executive director, along with former university officials, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran's staff, and local government leaders broke ground by the one-room schoolhouse located on the campus to build a memorial for teachers who have fallen in the "line of duty". The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was the main inspiration for the memorial.[46] On June 6, 2014, the granite memorial markers were placed along with granite benches.[47] The official dedication was on June 12, 2014.[48]

On September 21, 2015, United States Senator Moran of Kansas introduced a bill to the United States Congress to designate the memorial as the "National Memorial to Fallen Educators".[49] Should the bill pass by both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, the memorial would then need signed by the President of the United States, and the memorial would not become a part of the National Park Service and would not receive Federal funding for the memorial.[50]

Kansas City Campus

Emporia State University-Kansas City is the branch campus of Emporia State, located in Overland Park.[51] The campus offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees.[33]

Honors College

On August 29, 2014, Emporia State announced that it received $1 million additional funding from the Governor's office for the school's first-ever Honors College.[52][53][54]


Academic buildings

Most academic buildings at Emporia State University are dedicated to someone or are an important part of Emporia State's history.[55]

Beach Music Hall, named in honor of former professor Frank A. Beach, houses the Music Department. The building was built in 1926, and has classrooms, a recital hall, and practice studios.[56]

The science building is one building split with two different names that several different departments - Bruekelman Science Hall houses the Biological Sciences department and mathematics and economics departments, while Cram Science Hall houses the Physical Sciences department.[57] Inside Cram Science Hall, includes classrooms for Chemistry, Physics, and Earth science. Inside the science building is two museums - Johnston Geology Museum[58] and the Richard H. Schmidt Museum of Natural History[59] - along with the Peterson Planetarium.[60]

Named after former president Thomas W. Butcher, the Butcher Education Center houses the Sociology, Anthropology, and Crime & Delinquency Studies Department on the north side,[61] and on the south side of the building is the ESU Center for Early Childhood Education, which is a daycare center and also serves as a preschool.[62]

Cremer Hall is houses to the School of Business.[63] The building opened in 1964 and is also home to the Kansas Business Hall of Fame, and the Koch Center for Leadership Studies.

The HPER Building, officially known as the Health, Physical Education and Recreation building, is home to the Athletics department physical education department.[64] Inside the building are five gyms, locker rooms, classrooms, administrative offices, and a swimming pool.[65]

Inside John E. King Hall, named after the 11th president of ESU, is the Theatre Department, and the Arts and Communication Departments. Also inside is the Karl C. Bruder Theatre.[66]

Preston B. Plumb Hall

Plumb Hall serves as the administration building, which is where the President's office,[67] Academic Affairs,[68] and Fiscal Affairs is housed. Also in Plumb Hall is Financial Aid services, Human Resources, and some classrooms, along with the Social Sciences and English departments, as well as the Graduate School. The building is named after Senator Preston B. Plumb. Also inside is Albert Taylor Hall, which is an auditorium named after the 5th president of ESU.[69]

Roosevelt Hall, once a high school in Emporia, once served as the home of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences dean's office.[70] Inside are classrooms primarily for the English, Modern Languages, and Journalism classes, as well as a theatre.[71]

John E. Visser Hall is home to The Teachers College. The building is named after ESU's 12th president. Visser Hall also serves as the home to the Teachers Hall of Fame.[72]

The William Allen White Library is home to SLIM. Inside is a computer lab, the University Archives, and the Academic Center for Excellence and Success.[73]

Other buildings

The Emporia State University Memorial Union is the student activity center for Emporia State, and opened on Founder's Day in 1925 as a memorial to the KSN students who perished or were lost in World War I. It was the first student union on the westside of the Mississippi River.[74][75] Inside the Union is the Bookstore, Admissions office, and Sodexo dining services, as well as the Division of Student Affairs office.[76]

The Sauder Alumni Center houses the Emporia State University Foundation and Alumni Association.[77][78] Cora Miller Hall houses the School of Nursing and is located next to Newman Regional Hospital.[79]

Student life


At ESU, all incoming freshmen students must live in the Towers Complex (North & South Towers, Singular & Trusler), unless they live within a 30-mile (48 km) radius of the campus.[80] Upperclassmen have the choice to live in Morse Hall Complex.[81]

Morse Hall Complex consists of four wings: Northeast Morse, Central Morse, South Morse and Abigail Morse. Northeast, Central and South are all upperclassmen residence halls. South Morse is used for office purposes such as the TRIO Program and Student Wellness Center are located in South.[82]

The Towers Complex is made up into four residence halls: North & South Towers, and Singular and Trusler Towers.[80] Trusler went under renovation in the fall 2013,[83] with Singular going under renovation in the spring 2014.[84]

Fraternity and Sorority Life

ESU has eight fraternities[85] and six sororities.[86]

Student newspaper

The school newspaper of Emporia State University is ESU Bulletin, which was established in 1901.[87]The Bulletin is published once a week on Thursdays and is distributed free of charge in all campus buildings. Supported by student fees and advertising, The Bulletin is written and operated by student staff members.[88]

Student yearbook

Sunflower, the university's yearbook, is published each spring as a chronicle of the year's events and activities. It is funded by student fees and is distributed during finals week of the spring semester. Students who choose to be included in the yearbook are photographed at no charge during the fall semester.[89]


ESU's official athletics logo
Sports at Emporia State
Men's Women's
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross country
Cross country Soccer
Football Softball
Tennis Tennis
Track and field Track and field

Emporia State University's intercollegiate athletic teams are known as the Hornets with the exception of the women's teams, which are known as the Lady Hornets. Emporia State competes in the NCAA Division II where it is a member of the MIAA. Since 1893, Emporia State has belonged to six conferences: the Kansas Conference, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, the Great Plains Athletic Conference, the Central States Intercollegiate Conference and the MIAA.[90]

2010 National Championship banner hanging in White Auditorium

Of its varsity sports, Emporia States's women's basketball team has been the only one to claim a national title. The Lady Hornets, who was led head coach Brandon Schneider, won the 2010 NCAA Division II Women's Basketball Championship, defeating the Fort Lewis College (Colorado) Skyhawks.[91] The men's basketball team is currently coached by Shaun Vandiver, a former NBA First Round Draft Pick.[92]

Since 1940, home basketball games have been played at William L. White Auditorium, a 5,000-seat arena which is named after William Lindsay White, son of William Allen White.[93] In addition to serving as home to the men's and women's basketball teams, the arena is used by the Lady Hornets volleyball team. In 2008, White Auditorium received an upgrade throughout the entire building.[94]

The Hornets football team, is currently coached by former Hornets quarterback Garin Higgins.[95] Since joining the MIAA in 1991, the Hornets have gone 123-118 in conference play.[96] The Hornets have also participated in five post-season bowls in which three of those were wins.[96]

Francis G. Welch Stadium serves as home to the Hornets football team.[97] The stadium, named after long-time Emporia State football coach and athletic director Fran Welch, opened in 1947 and since then has gone under a few renovations. In 1994, the east and west side concession areas, restroom facilities, and entrances were renovated, a new scoreboard was hoisted into place at the south end of the stadium and a new landscaped fence was erected.[97] In 1997, the Hutchinson Family Pavilion, a three-tiered facility which has enclosed theatre seating on the first floor, a president's box and four sky-boxes on the second floor, and a game-day management and media center on the third floor was built.[97] The current seating capacity is 7,000. In 2005, an artificial football field was placed down, with that one being replaced in 2016, as well as a new track.[98]

The Hornets baseball team played its first game in 1949.[99] The team has four conference championships, three conference tournament champions, and two College World Series appearances with a 2009 runner-up.[100] The team had also made five appearances in the NAIA World Series, winning the 1978 World Series.[99] Currently the team is coached by Bob Fornelli,[101] who is 377-153 (.711) at Emporia State and 683-266 (.720) overall.[101] The Lady Hornets softball team played its first game by 1971,[102] seven years before the baseball team.[103] The team is currently coached by April Huddleston, who took over the program on October 19, 2015.[104][105] The softball team appeared in three Women's College World Series in 1971, 1972 and 1979[102] and also won the first AIAW Division II national championship in 1980. Emporia State also played for the national championship in 2006 and 2008.[103]

Trusler Sports Complex is home to the baseball and softball teams.[106] The baseball team competes on Glennen Field, named after Dr. Robert E. Glennen, 13th president of Emporia State. In 2009, the field was renovated with a new artificial turf that replaced the infield on Glennen Field. The Lady Hornets compete on Turnbull Field, which is named after of J. Michael Turnbull, a trustee of the Trusler Foundation.[106]

In addition, Emporia State also has a men/women's cross country/track and field team,[107][108] women's soccer team,[109] men/women's tennis,[110][111] and women's soccer.[112]

School colors

Black Gold

Emporia State's official school colors are black and gold.[113] They have been the colors since the school was founded in 1863, and until recently, the gold was Old gold.[114]


Corky the Hornet at an Emporia State football game.

In 1923, the teams were known as the "Yaps", but it was not a popular name. Men's basketball coach Vic Trusler[115] recommended to a reporter of the Emporia Gazette that the name should be changed to "Yellow Jackets". Due to the lack of newspaper space, the reporter changed it to Hornets.

In 1933, the Teachers College had a student contest where students and staff could design a mascot for the college. Sophomore Paul Edwards, who graduated in 1937, designed Corky. Although hundreds of drawings were submitted, Edwards' Corky, a "human-like" hornet was selected. Corky was published in The Bulletin, the student newspaper for Emporia State University.[115]


Established in 1952, the Emporia State University Foundation is an independent, nonprofit corporation that helps support Emporia State by fundraising.[116]


Now & Forever Campaign logo

In February 2013, the University announced a campaign to raise $45 million in five to seven years.[117] The campaign started in February 2013, when the University turned 150.[117] The Campaign's slogan is Silent no more.[118] After an announcement of a donation, big or small, the University rings a bell called Silent Joe.[119] The bell, which is located just south of Francis G. Welch Stadium, was originally rung only after a football team won at home.[120] The campaign ended in February 2017, totaling $58.03 million, the largest in the university's history.[121]

Police and Safety

ESU Police and Safety is the campus police department. Besides enforcing the law, the department also provides other assistance for the students and faculty/staff members such as escorts and vehicle problems.[122] The Department has ten full-time commissioned officers (1 chief, 1 lieutenant, 3 sergeants, 2 corporals, 3 officers), one full-time dispatcher and several student dispatchers.[123] The Kansas Highway Patrol also has an office in the building.

Parking Department

The Parking Department is a division of Police and Safety and issues permits for students, faculty/staff, and visitors.[124]

Notable alumni and faculty


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