Wichita in Sedgwick County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Standing Proudly on the Hill
From its beginning as Fairmount College in 1895, Wichita State University has stood, like these columns, “proudly on the hill” – a phrase from the university’s “Alma Mater” referencing the highest point of land in Sedgwick County. The columns were originally part of Fairmount’s Carnegie Library, designed by Albert R. Ross and opened in 1909. The building later was named in memory of Nathan J. Morrison, Fairmount’s first president, whose legacy included his paramount goal – the creation of a library for the fledgling college.
Fire destroyed Morrison Library in 1964, but the portico and its eight Ionic columns remained in place until 1973, when it was razed for construction of McKnight Art Center.
Three columns and lintels, plus the cornerstone, dated 1907, and stones dated ’08 and ’09, were moved to this site and dedicated on April 28, 1973, along with a new time capsule containing materials interred at the library’s cornerstone laying on March 10, 1908. The capsule was opened during the university’s centennial in 1995. The Centennial Capsule, to be opened in 2095, was interred on May
The effort to preserve these columns was led by Mrs. Kathleen Robertson Edmiston, BA '33, President of the Alumni Association 1953-54 and long-time member of the University of Wichita Board of Regents, the Wichita State University Board of Trustees, and the Campus Planning Committe. Mrs. Edmiston also served as Mayor of the City of Wichita in 1985. The Board of Trustees and the Alumni Association provided funding for the preservation of the columns.
May these three columns commemorating the traditions and values of the university's three historical phases - Fairmount College, The Municipal University of Wichita, and Wichita State University - forever stand proudly on the Hill.
May 3, 1996
Erected 1996 by Wichita State University.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work • Education. In addition, it is included in the Carnegie Libraries, and the Time Capsules series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1906.
Location. 37° 42.945′ N, 97° 17.78′ W. Marker is in Wichita, Kansas, in Sedgwick County. Marker is at the intersection of 17th Street N and Fairmount Avenue, on the left when traveling east on 17th Street N. Monument is on the Wichita State University campus. Touch for mapTouch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Edwin A. Ulrich (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fiske Hall Centennial Celebration (about 400 feet away); Fiske Hall (about 500 feet away); McKnight Art Center (about 500 feet away); Memorial '70 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bicentennial of the Birth of George Washington (approx. ¼ mile away); Morrison Library (approx. ¼ mile away); Pizza Hut Number One (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wichita.
Also see . . . Wichita State University. (Submitted on June 10, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 31, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 10, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 436 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 10, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.