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Washburn University

Washburn University is a co-educational, public institution of higher learning in Topeka, Kansas, USA. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as professional programs in law and business.


1700 SW College Avenue


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Additional Information

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The Ichabod
White Blue
Mid-America Intercollegiate
Athletic Twitter

College History


Washburn University was established in February 1865 as Lincoln College by a charter issued by the State of Kansas and the General Association of Congregational Ministers and Churches of Kansas on land donated by abolitionist John Ritchie. The school was renamed Washburn College in 1868 after Ichabod Washburn pledged $25,000 to the school. Washburn was a church deacon, abolitionist and industrialist who resided in Worcester, Massachusetts.citation needed Washburn University�s mascot, The Ichabods, honors the school�s early benefactor, Ichabod Washburn. The original design of the studious-looking, tailcoat-clad figure was created in 1938 by Bradbury Thompson (B.A. �34), who became an internationally acclaimed graphic artist.citation needed In 1913 the medical department of Washburn College closed. Previously the Kansas Medical School had become infamous on December 10, 1895, when it was discovered that some of the bodies used for anatomical study had been stolen from local cemeteries. As the news was being printed (eventually across the country) the governor called out state troops to protect the school in fear of a riot. Three of the doctors, including the Dean of the school, and a janitor/student from the school were arrested as well as one man not a member of the school. Charges against the doctors were discharged, the janitor was convicted but had his conviction reversed on appeal and the final man was convicted but later pardoned. During World War II, Washburn Municipal University was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission. On June 8, 1966, only a few days after classes were dismissed for the summer, much of the campus was demolished by a tornado, and completely denuded of trees. Three months before the tornado struck, the Washburn Board of Trustees had reinsured every building on campus for the maximum amount. A week after the tornado struck, summer classes began at Topeka West High School. By the fall of 1966, Stoffer Hall was repaired and trailers were in place. It took years to reconstruct the campus, with students attending classes in trailers well into the early 1970s.citation needed Formerly a municipal university, the university's primary funding was moved from city property tax to county sales tax sources in 1999, with the school retaining status as a municipal subdivision of the state.citation needed Washburn is governed by its own nine-member Board of Regents.

College Specialty


Washburn University enriches the lives of students by providing opportunities for them to develop and to realize their intellectual, academic, and professional potential, leading to becoming productive and responsible citizens. We are committed to excellence in teaching, scholarly work, quality academic and professional programs, and high levels of faculty-student interaction. We develop and engage in relationships to enhance educational experiences and our community.



Ernest Bearg � WU football coach (1918�19, 1929�35), Nebraska football coach (1925�28), Nebraska football Hall of Fame (1988), Washburn Athletics Hall of Fame (1973�74) Bob Davis � radio broadcaster for the Kansas City Royals and Jayhawks football and men's basketball teams Kurt Budke � WU basketball and graduate assistant, head coach for Louisiana Tech (2002�2005) and Oklahoma State (2005�2011) women's programs Morley Fraser � coach, Albion College (1954�1968), led the school to 11 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships Davey Lopes (bed '69) � former manager, Milwaukee Brewers baseball team; 16-year major league baseball career Mike Racy � vice president, National Collegiate Athletic Association, head of Division II athletics Jerry Schemmel (ba '82, jd '85) � radio voice of the Denver Nuggets Ed Schneider Troy Stedman Cary Williams ('08) � NFL cornerback, Tennessee Titans (2008-2009), Baltimore Ravens (2009�2012), Philadelphia Eagles (2013�Present)



Urban, 160 acres (0.647 km�)