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Celebrate Founders’ Day at ESU

Poster reading: "Let's Celebrate, Founders Day 2021"

Emporia State University will mark 158 years of educational excellence with its annual Founders’ Day celebration.

During the Founders’ Day program, Emporia State will pay 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.

The 2021 celebration will be a virtual event and goes live at 12 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19. Interested attendees can register at Advance registration is requested.

The program will include presenting the winners of ESU’s annual 1863 scholarship essay contest. For this competition, students are asked to reflect on the question “How has Emporia State University changed your life?” Submissions are then 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, a group of local business and community leaders. Since 2014, the annual gift of $1,863 from the President’s Community Advisory Council has been divided between two recipients for $1,000 and $863.

The program will also feature student performances, recognition and celebration of generosity through planned giving by the members of ESU’s Kellogg Society and will conclude with an exciting special announcement.

Immediately following the virtual celebration will be an interactive After Party where university leadership will provide a more in-depth look at campus happenings and a special presentation by Dr. Mel Storm and past/current 1863 essay award recipients.

Links to the Founders’ Day celebration and special After Party will be provided to registrants before the events.