This month is Wichita State University’s 50th birthday!
On July 1, 1964, the University of Wichita officially joined the state university system. It was not an easy journey.
The University of Wichita had been municipal university since the 1920s. By the 1960s, however, many in Wichita believed that the time had come for WU to join the state university system, serving the state, not just one city.
Starting a small business is hard, and keeping it going is even harder. It’s estimated that only one in three make it to the 10-year mark. But an organization in Wichita is helping both new and existing businesses keep their dreams alive.
On a hot, blacktop parking lot, Summer Guerrero greets one of her regulars. She’s owned After Hours Auto Repair in Southwest Wichita with her husband Mark for seven years.
Inside, the couple pulls together some chairs in the waiting room, right next to the car manuals and vending machines.
Residents of a West Wichita neighborhood learned in March that their private water wells had been contaminated with a chemical likely to cause major health defects. They’ve also learned that the contamination could be decades old.
Ron Barnhart owns a well groomed, one story home in west Wichita.
“We came here in ’64,” he says. “This was my parent’s house. I would always ask my dad through those years, you know, ‘Dad, what’s filtering that water coming from the ground?’ He had a filter down, but it wasn’t sufficient to put up with this.”
This past weekend, a memorial service was held for former Wichita State University professor Robert Town, who died in December. Town was professor of organ at the university from 1965 - 2006 and played a major part in the university's acquisition of the great Marcussen organ, which is housed in Wiedemann Hall and was the first such organ built in North America.
The voice you'll hear in this remembrance is Andrew Trechak, associate professor of piano at Wichita State, who arrived at WSU in 1981. The music is from a May 1990 concert by Town, playing the Marcussen organ.
Voice and opera students at WSU will have the opportunity to study with two international opera stars beginning this fall.
Samuel Ramey, a renowned and celebrated opera talent and the most recorded bass in history, and Alan Held, an international opera star and one of the leading bass-baritone singing actors today, will join Wichita State's music faculty.
As announced in a press release on Tuesday, Ramey will have a daily presence on campus throughout the year.