We’ve spent the last year celebrating a milestone in Emporia State University’s history–150 years of changing lives. But while the party decorations may have been dismantled, the pride in our accomplishments and excitement of anticipating the future are two sensations that defy boxing up and storing on dusty shelves.
So what’s next? We’re already at work on that, and have been for several months.
Campus Master Plan
What will the Emporia State University of the future look like? After a year of research and exploration involving campus and community representatives, a consultant is presenting ideas that strengthen community connections, create a cohesive campus, address student housing and building conditions, and suggest facility improvements.
It’s all being done with a goal of creating an inviting, exciting place for students to learn. That means developing a model residential campus that is engaged with the Emporia community and connected with its downtown Commercial Street neighbors.
“We anticipate some real change in terms of the look and feel of Emporia State,” said Dr. Michael D. Shonrock, president, during the spring semester General Assembly.
Shonrock said he was excited about the growing vision of a Black and Gold District in downtown Emporia. Envisioned to encompass Commercial Street from Ninth to 12th Avenue, which abuts the south edge of campus, Shonrock said the emerging plans include input and participation from Emporia Main Street, the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce, Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas, Emporia City Commission and Lyon County Commission to make the development a reality.
Since August, we’ve been having conversations about the mission and vision of Emporia State University.
Spearheaded by DeWayne Backhus, retired chair of the departments of physical sciences at Emporia State, the strategic planning process has involved analyzing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats perceived by various constituent groups–faculty, staff, alumni, community supporters and others among the more than 1,000 people who responded to an online survey.
“We have a very good vision in our current program and strategy for Emporia State University,” said Shonrock. “What you’re going to see is a vision that looks at the common good, looks at ways to change lives and make a difference.”
With a date-specific logo like the one Emporia State has used to celebrate its sesquicentennial, it’s obvious that we’ll need a different look once we’re past the 150th anniversary. While the jury is still out on the exact nature of the university’s post-sesquicentennial visual identity, some aspects will remain constant–the familiar Power E among them. That logo will continue to live as the symbol of Emporia State’s athletic teams and will be used on promotional items such as t-shirts.