Rock Chalk Jayhawk. We’ve long wanted to check out the campus of Kansas University in Lawrence. We recently had that opportunity. And it came with local tour guides. Alexandra and her husband Kyle (Alexandra has a blog called “Simply Alexandra”) were happy to show off their alma mater to us.
The four of us started our day with a breakfast meet-up at Milton’s Café in downtown Lawrence. The food and service were outstanding.
We headed off for the campus on top of a hill overlooking the city of about 90,000 people. The buildings on the main campus were older, with character. They had names of personal donors and alumni – Snow, Marvin, Lippincott, etc.
The KU and American flags flew high above the campus. The building is the tallest on campus and can be seen as you drive into Lawrence.
Budig Hall/Hoch Auditoria offers a nice view on a tree-lined street. It’s named after Gene Budig ( A Nebraska-Lincoln alum) who served as Kansas University Chancellor 1981-94. He left KU to serve as President of the National league (Major League baseball). He held that post until 1999, when MLB dissolved the NL and American League presidencies.
Strong Hall has a beautiful flower bed in front of, along with a Jayhawk. The chancellor in the early 1900s (Strong) sought to have the building serve as the school’s architecture model. He lobbied the legislature for funding for the building. It is now home to the chancellor’s staff and other college administrators.
Twente Hall is home to the School of Social Welfare. It was originally a hospital, when opened in 1932. Named after Elizabeth Miller Watkins, Watkins Memorial Hospital was open for about four decades. I loved the design of the building, with the stone exterior in a V-shape front.
I am a fan of sculptures, as most people know, so you know I had to like the sculpture of the wheat in front of the building.
The Watson Library building opened in 1924 and is a Gothic-style. It now houses collections from various departments at Kansas University.
Snow Hall is the second building of the same name. The current building opened in 1930. The original Snow Hall was demolished in 1934, after becoming a structural risk in the mind-1920s. It’s been speculated that the hall is actually named after a donor’s daughter, but officially it’s named after Francis Hall, who served as a professor and then chancellor.
I “had” to get a shot of Marvin Hall. Anything with my dad’s name on it, I will snap a picture of. Marvin Hall is a limestone building, built in 1909. It was named after the first dean of the engineering school, Frank O. Marvin. The building, home to Kansas’ fine arts program, was renamed in 1982 to include the dean’s son.
We believe this building starts the Greek life row of fraternities and sororities. I liked the fountain and landscape in the foreground.
As we continued our visit around campus, Alexandra wanted to show us a special memorial. A professor she took classes with designed the school’s Korean War Memorial. It shows four cranes immersed together in “Korean Cranes Rising.” Each crane represents the four countries involved with the conflict – United States, China, South Korea and North Korea. John Havener created a beautiful piece of art that speaks volumes in honoring the 44 KU-related deaths during the war.
A short walk down Memorial Drive is the Kansas University World War II Campanile. Graduating students walk through the doors of the campanile en route to the ceremony.
Down the hill is Memorial Stadium, home of the Jayhawks football team. While it doesn’t have a great football tradition, Kansas University did enjoy a nice run of winning seasons 2005-08.
Dyche Hall is home to the school’s Museum of Natural History. It opened in 1902. It was designed in a Venetian Romanesque style. The building is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.
As we approached the student union, I felt the urge to yell “Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU” when we saw the school mascot.
Across the street, we viewed one of the most beautiful religious statues we’ve seen. Moses prays in front of the school’s building.
The sculpture’s location allows for a couple of interesting views. From behind, you can see Moses in front of a stained glass window.
Spooner Hall is home to the campus’ anthropology department. The limestone and sandstone building, built in the Romanesque Revival style, is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The building was dedicated n 1924 as the school’s library.
The “Uncle Jimmy” Green sculpture stands in front of Lippincott Hall. It was formerly the law school, where Green was dean. It was unveiled in 1924.
The campus chapel is home to both church services and weddings.
Miller Hall is one of two student houses built for females on campus. Miller Hall is named after Frank Miller. His sister, Elizabeth Watkins, donated money to build the house and the nearby Watkins Hall. Each building is home to 49 women.
We didn’t get a chance to tour the buildings, or visit the museums inside. They were closed. However, our visit to the campus was fun and educational.
We had a little time before our hosts had to leave for a family get-together, so we took a brief tour of downtown. It was a bit rainy, so I left the camera in the bag. The downtown looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
Our visit to Lawrence only whetted our appetite to see more of the area. We will be back…soon. A huge THANK YOU to Alexandra and Kyle for spending time with us and showing us around their community.
NOTE: Thanks to the Kansas University website – http://www.places.ku.edu” – for background information on the buildings we visited.
For more information on attractions in Lawrence, please visit www.explorelawrence.com.