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Pat R.
Republican KS

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  • 150Th Anniversary of Kansas State University

    by Senator Pat Roberts

    Posted on 2013-02-13

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    ROBERTS. Mr. President, I rise to commemorate--along with my distinguished friend and colleague Senator Jerry Moran--the 150th anniversary of Kansas State University--home of the ever-optimistic Wildcats.

    Since its beginning--even before Kansas joined the union as a free State--all the way up to today, Kansas State University continues to provide a first-rate education for thousands and thousands of students.

    To quote the K-State alma mater lyrics: ``I know a spot that I love full well.'' I--along with more than 200,000 alumni--am proud to call Kansas State University my alma mater, as did my father and also my son.

    The year was back in 1858, when Kansas was only a territory--not even a State--that a group of local settlers founded Bluemont Central College. Then, in 1863, only 2 years into statehood, the State legislature and Governor became some of the first to accept the terms and conditions of the Morrill Act, thus creating the land grant system of colleges and universities.

    On February 16, 1863, the Kansas State Agriculture College, formally known today as Kansas State University, received a land grant charter and became the first operational land grant institution in the United States. Over the past 150 years, Kansas State University has progressed and expanded to accommodate the students and the people living in the State of Kansas--the people it has served so well.

    Today, Kansas State University is comprised of nine academic colleges ranging from liberal arts to veterinary medicine. The university expanded its campus in Manhattan to include an aviation and technology school in Salina and an innovation campus in Olathe, KS. Also, Kansas State University Research and Extension has a presence in every county in Kansas--all 105. These offices are a source of vital information to every farmer and rancher in our State. We are staying true to our land grant roots.

    Back in 1863, Kansas State University's first enrollment totaled a mere 14 students. This school year Kansas State University reached a record enrollment of more than 24,000 students. These students hail from all 50 States and over 90 countries. Out of this diverse population, the university has produced industry leaders, heads of States, humanitarians, generals, gifted scientists, and a few public servants.

    Kansas State University has received national recognition for the exceptional education it provides students year after year. Kansas State continues to have college programs ranked the best in the Nation. The university has been recognized as a leader among public universities in total number of Rhodes, Truman, Marshall, Udall, and Goldwater Scholars.

    I cannot talk about my alma mater without mentioning Kansas State University's athletic program, especially over the recent years. Since its first football game way back in 1883, dedicated fans have been coming to the sports arenas to support our athletes and our team. This intercollegiate athletic program has complemented the education provided by the university and has been a great source of purple pride for both alumni and Kansas.

    As Kansas State University looks toward the future, it sets new goals for the institution and for its students. Launched by president Kirk Schulz in 2010, K-State 2025, the university's strategic plan, strives to make Kansas State University a top 50 public research institution within 15 years. Thanks to the work that has been done throughout the past 150 years and the research that continues, I have no doubt Kansas State University is on track to achieve this very important goal.

    Throughout this week and weekend, students, staff, alumni, and friends of the university will gather in Manhattan, KS--the ``little apple''--to celebrate the history of Kansas State University.

    On behalf of the Senate, it is my honor to congratulate Kansas State [[Page S677]] University on its accomplishments over the past 150 years. As the alma mater song says, it is truly ``a spot that I love full well.'' Every man a Wildcat.

    I yield to my distinguished friend and colleague, Senator Moran.

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