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Special Collections and Archives WWI and the Memorial Union

WWI and the Memorial Union

The Memorial Student Union opened February 15, 1925, in honor of the Kansas State Normal School students who lost their lives in the Spanish-American War (1898) and World War I (1917-1919). Emporia’s building has the distinction of being the first student union built west of the Mississippi River, the second student union built to memorialize war veterans, and the eighth student union in North America. Since that historical beginning the Memorial Union has expanded physically to continue meeting the needs of the campus. It has also been rededicated to honor student veterans who served and sacrificed in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

This exhibit commemorates the relationship between World War I and the Memorial Union as 2017 marks the centennial anniversary of the United States entering World War I on April 6, 1917, and the 92nd anniversary of the Memorial Union. Explore the Memorial Union as it evolves to meet the needs of students yesterday and today, including four building additions and a major renovation in 2010-2012. Compare the student services offered in years past with those enjoyed by today’s students. Discover more than 140 ways to get involved at Emporia State University through Recognized Student Organizations that offer athletic, cultural, educational, service, and social opportunities. The past meets the present in Woosters Entertainment Club; current students have the opportunity to perform in this space which recreates the original club housed in the Memorial Union’s Hornets Nest from 1986-2010. Recognize the service and sacrifice of students, staff, and faculty soldiers and sailors at the Veterans Wall of Honor. Utilizing current technology, bring each veteran to life by exploring his or her life and career. Take a look at services offered to student-veterans currently attending Emporia State University.

The Memorial Student Union stands as a permanent tribute to Emporia State University’s veterans of the past, present, and future.

Memorial Union History

Memorial Union Timeline