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Celebrate Founders’ Day at ESU

Emporia State University will celebrate 160 years of educational excellence and opportunity with its annual Founders’ Day celebration this week — and provide an opportunity for friends of ESU to offer birthday gifts through the annual Day of Giving at the ESU Foundation.

2013 marks the second year that the Foundations Day of Giving has coincided with celebration of the university’s founding in 1863. Events for the day on Wednesday, Feb. 15, include challenges to match specific gifts.

Information about the Day of Giving at ESU is online.

Emporia State’s traditional celebration of Founders’ Day will be Friday, Feb. 17, beginning at 11:30 a.m. in Webb Hall on the second floor of the Memorial Union.

During Founders’ Day activities, Emporia State pays tribute to the foresight of those Kansans who established the Kansas State Normal School in 1863. The first day of class was Feb. 15, 1865, with 18 teacher-education students meeting on the second floor of the district’s local schoolhouse.

Friday’s event includes a buffet lunch with a program beginning at 12:05 p.m. and concluding by 1 p.m. The registration cost is $5 and is required for the Founders’ Day luncheon. Reserve your seat before noon Tuesday, Feb. 14, online or by contacting Laurie Pitman at

The program will celebrate the future of ESU while recognizing new and past Kellogg Society members, and will include a special recognition of Nancy Fleming, a 1976 graduate of ESU, who generously established the Nancy I. Fleming Legacy Fund at the ESU Foundation.

The winner of the annual 1863 scholarship essay competition will be announced at the luncheon. For the competition, students submit essays about “How has Emporia State University changed your life?” These are judged by Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professors from across campus.

The essay contest began with a gift of $1,863 from the President’s Community Advisory Council. Since 2014, the gift has been divided between two recipients who receive either $1,000 or $863.