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The University of Kansas
University of Kansas seal.svg
Latin: Universitas Kansiensis
Motto Videbo visionem hanc magnam quare non comburatur rubus (Latin)
Motto in English
"I will see this great vision in which the bush does not burn." (Exodus 3:3)
Type Public
Established March 21, 1865 (1865-03-21)
Affiliation Kansas Board of Regents
Academic affiliation
Endowment $1.61 billion (2017)
Chancellor Douglas Girod
Provost Carl W. Lejuez (interim)
Academic staff
Students 28,510 total (Fall 2018)
38°57′29″N 95°14′52″W / 38.95806°N 95.24778°W / 38.95806; -95.24778
Campus College town, Urban,
1,100 acres (450 ha)
Colors Crimson and Blue
Nickname Jayhawks
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IBig 12
Mascots Big Jay and Baby Jay
University of Kansas wordmark.svg

The University of Kansas is a public university in Lawrence, a hilly city in northeastern Kansas. It is often abbreviated as "KU". KU held its first classes in 1866. As of Spring 2011, over 30,000 students attended school there.


Overlooking Lawerence and the Kansas River. (Boston Public Library) (cropped)
Old North College, the first building on KU Campus, 1867.

There was a plan to build a university in Kansas in 1855, but it didn't happen until Kansas became a state in 1861. The Kansas government needed to decide where to build the university. Their choices were Manhattan, Emporia, or Lawrence. On January 13, 1863, Kansas State University was built in Manhattan. The only cities left were Emporia and Lawrence. Amos A. Lawrence gave $10,000 and more than 40 acres (160,000 m2) of land for a university in Lawrence. The Kansas government liked that, so the government chose Lawrence.

On February 20, 1863, Kansas Governor Thomas Carney signed into law a bill creating the state university in Lawrence. The law was made if Lawrence gave a gift of a $15,000 endowment fund and a place for the university. The place would need to be in or near the town, of not less than forty acres (16 ha) of land.

On November 2, 1863, Governor Carney said Lawrence had met the conditions to get the state university. In 1864, the university was officially organized.

The university opened for classes on September 12, 1866, and the first class graduated in 1873.


School of Business

The University of Kansas School of Business is a public business school on the main campus in Lawrence. The KU School of Business was created in 1924. It has more than 80 staff members, and it has about 1500 students.

It was named one of the best business schools in the Midwest by Princeton Review. The KU School of Business has been credited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) for its undergraduate and graduate programs in business and accounting.

Lippincott Hall and James Woods Green Memorial
Lippincott Hall - Offices of Study Abroad and The Wilcox Museum

School of Law

The University of Kansas School of Law was created in 1878. It was the top law school in the state of Kansas. The 2016 U.S. News & World Report "U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings" says that it was the 65th best law school in the United States. Classes are held in Green Hall at W 15th St and Burdick Dr, which is named after former dean James Green.

School of Engineering

The KU School of Engineering is a public engineering school on the main campus in Lawrence. The School of Engineering was officially created in 1891, although engineering degrees were awarded as early as 1873.

The U.S. News & World Report's "America’s Best Colleges" 2016 issue says that KU's School of Engineering was the 90th best engineering school in the United States.

Famous alumni include: Alan Mulally (BS/MS), former President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, Lou Montulli, co-founder of Netscape and author of the Lynx web browser, Brian McClendon (BSEE 1986), VP of Engineering at Google, and Charles E. Spahr (1934), former CEO of Standard Oil of Ohio.

Edwards Campus

The KU Edwards Campus is in Overland Park, Kansas. It was created in 1993. It was created in order to provide adults with a chance to get college degrees and to get better education. About 2,000 students go there. The average age of the students is 31. The Edwards campus provides programs developmental psychology, public administration, social work, systems analysis, engineering management and design.


Students enrolled in 6 or more credit hours paid a yearly required campus fee of $888. The schools of architecture, music, arts, business, education, engineering, journalism, law, pharmacy, and social welfare charge more fees.

As of August 2019, the yearly tuition for 30 credit hours for a freshman is estimated by the university to be $10,182. This does not include room and board costs.


Allen Fieldhouse
A basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse at the University of Kansas

Kansas' athletics teams are called the Jayhawks. Kansas has 16 varsity teams, all of which compete in the Big 12 Conference. They are known for their men's basketball team, which most recently won a national championship in 2008.

Other locations

KU Campus Fountain
The Chi Omega Fountain at the University of Kansas

The KU Medical Center, which is one branch of the University of Kansas, is located in Kansas City, Kansas, which is east of Lawrence. Another branch of KU, called the Edwards Campus, is located in Overland Park, Kansas.

Student Activities


The University of Kansas has had more teams (70) compete in the National Debate Tournament than any other university. Kansas has won the tournament 6 times (1954, 1970, 1976, 1983, 2009 and 2018)


The University of Kansas's newspaper is The University Daily Kansan.


Potter Lake
Potter Lake, with Joseph R. Pearson Hall in the background
KU Student Housing Year opened Year closed Students Accommodations
Battenfeld Hall 1940 50 Men only
Corbin Hall 1923 900 Women only
Douthart Hall 1954 50 Women only
Ellsworth Hall 1963 580 All Students
Gertrude Sellards Pearson Hall (GSP) 1955 380 All Students
Grace Pearson Hall (GP) 1955 50 Men only
Guest House 2 Visiting Guests
Hashinger Hall 1962 370 All Students
Jayhawker Towers 200 Non-traditional, Upperclassmen, Transfer students
K.K. Amini Hall 1992 50 All Students
Krehbiel Hall 2008 50 Men only
Lewis Hall 1962 260 All Students
Margret Amini Hall 2000 50 Women only
Marie S. McCarthy Hall 2015 38 Men Only: Upperclassmen/Non-Traditional Students
McCollum Hall 1965 2015 976 Razed November 25, 2015
Miller Hall 1937 50 Women only
Oliver Hall 1966 660 All Students
Oswald Hall 2015 350 Freshmen only
Pearson Hall 1952 47 Men only
Rieger Hall 2005 50 Women only
Self Hall 2015 350 Freshmen only
Sellards Hall 1952 47 Women only
Stephenson Hall 1952 50 Men only
Stouffer Place 1957 2015 Graduate Students, Couples, Non-Traditional
Templin Hall 1959 280 All Students
Transition Housing 19 KU Faculty and Staff (temporary)
Watkins Hall 1925 50 Women only
Total 4,534 students

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