Contact university relations for even more information about Founders Day and other Celebrate 150 events. (785)670-1154University relations
Founders' Day is when Washburn University celebrates its long and storied past. From its founding on the heels of the Civil War to the 1966 tornado to the 21st century institution it is today, Washburn University is resilient, determined, well-established and standing the test of time.
In recognition of the importance of the past and the future, we celebrate the founding of Washburn University on Feb. 6 (or a date close to Feb. 6, if it falls on a weekend).
Washburn was founded as Lincoln College, a private Congregational school, on
Feb. 6, 1865. Since few young people had a high school education at that time,
the founders decided to offer a three year high school curriculum in addition
to the college curriculum. Classes began January 3, 1866 with 38 high school
students enrolled, including one African-American. The stage was set and the
first two college students enrolled in Lincoln College in the fall of 1866.
The economy right after the Civil War was not conducive to raising money, so the fledgling college struggled to keep its doors open. The Board appointed Rev. Horatio Q. Butterfield, professor, Latin and Greek, to be its field agent (fundraiser) in order to solicit money to help with expenses and to create an endowment to put the college on a more secure financial footing.
In the fall of 1868, Rev. Butterfield traveled to New England, home of many Congregational churches. Someone recommended that he visit Ichabod Washburn, of Worcester, Mass., a wealthy and philanthropic businessman who made his fortune in the wire industry. Washburn had retired by 1868 and was not in good health, but upon hearing about the college in Kansas that was educating women and African Americans, causes that he supported, he pledged $25,000. In gratitude for this gift, the Board of Trustees voted on November 19, 1868 to change the school’s name to Washburn College.
Founders' Day 2013 brings special events and deals all over campus.
Beginning at 11 a.m., while supplies last, cupcakes will be served on the main level of the Memorial Union.
7 p.m., Washburn Room, Memorial Union
Free and open to the public
Recently, Sinha was a featured commentator on "The Abolitionists" portion of the "American Experience" series on PBS. Sinha consulted on the script for the series and is featured prominently on screen discussing the era and her forthcoming book on the abolitionists. Sinha is the author of "The Counterrevolution of Slavery: Politics and Ideology in Antebellum South Carolina" (University of North Carolina Press, 2000) and "To Live and Die in the Holy Cause: Abolition and the Origins of America's Interracial Democracy" (Forthcoming, Yale University Press).
Like Washburn 150 on Facebook by Friday, Feb. 8 for a chance to win. One lucky person who has liked the Washburn 150 page will receive a 150 prize pack, which includes a $25 gift certificate to the Ichabod Shop.